Expections vs Reality: A Rotten Tomatoes Problem

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel

December 30th, 2017

Content Editor, Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast

Expections vs Reality: A Rotten Tomatoes Problem

Expectations vs. Reality: A True Problem

Credit: Disney

The disconnect between fans and film critics predates the internet with various franchises panned at release but gaining cult status. Scarface (1984) for example was despised for the grotesque violence, but later became a landmark in the crime genre: influencing a generation of filmmakers and lovers. Even universally panned films like The Room (2003) have been accepted in the Industry, turning into a cult classic with a feature-length adaptation of the creative process released in 2017.

The current generation of Hollywood is obsessed with creating lavish marketing campaigns, resulting in various fans and critics overhyping projects. Twisting the public to develop a set of expectations, and not forming realistic ideals. Rotten Tomatoes has been at the forefront of many discussions, with many people calling it to the death of opinion. According to many, the review board is changing the public’s views on film for the worse; with many obsessed to get the Certified Fresh logo beside their favorite projects. Value of a Rotten Tomatoes score has once again become a hot topic, due to a rise of the divide between fans and critics. Discussions of the gap spawned in Star Wars: The Last Jedi which received 100,000 and average 54 percent audiences score. A similar situation happened with Warner Bros. Pictures “Justice League” which has lower critic scores but a decent 74 percent audience score.


Credit: Netflix

Netflix’s Bright, on the other hand, got an appalling 27 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, which I called “a film which doesn't know what it wants to be“ received outstanding reviews from the public equaling to 89 percent. Justice League, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Bright releases close together, making the review score differences all the more intriguing. For the last couple years, fans and even critics have all pointed fingers at Rotten Tomatoes - but maybe the glitzy marketing is to blame. Pushing the certified fresh logo as the beeswax of good filmmaking, I genuinely believe that Rotten Tomatoes has grown into something dangerous in providing expectations for moviegoers.

Also, over-reliance on internet rumors are affecting audience expectations, with many upset insane theories are false. Majority of people despised Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) for not approaching these fan theories, instead of reshaping the universe for upcoming projects and passing the torch to new generations. I loved the approach but due to fans focused on insane analysis,  what got delivered failed to meet their expectations.

Credit: Disney

But the issue is going to be a common occurrence in 2018, with Avengers: Infinity War being in the forefront of aggressive fans looking for Easter eggs and links to forthcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe films.  Solving it should be down to fans, and the Rotten Tomatoes saga will give insight to marketing executives to stop overhyping upcoming releases; tempering expectations from fanatics. These regressive marketing programmes need to be limited to aid not being disappointed with the final results.

This article was written to question approaches to the exciting projects, and the limit is from creating insane expectations instead going in blind to avoid the disappointment. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a film that highlights this worrying trend, as the trailers pointed to the skies but results left many disappointed with the conclusion. After reviewing countless movies, I have become very wary of advertising and hype for upcoming projects: in turn avoiding disappointment and going into a blockbuster with no knowledge. Film marketing is known to over exaggerate releases, but are the studio executives to blame? Or should we powder our expectations and focus on reality.



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