Rotten Tomatoes Updates Audience Rating System

With Marvel’s Captain Marvel just over two weeks away from its theatrical release on March 8, negativity surrounding the film seems to be growing in certain circles. As has happened to other franchises in the past, it would appear that fans opposing the film and its themes are showing up to review-bomb the MCU’s newest entry.

UPDATE (2/27/2019):

  • On Monday, Rotten Tomatoes introduced their new Product update blog.
  • This first post addressed some recent concerns about negative audience remarks prior to films being released.
  • The website notes, “Rotten Tomatoes will launch the first of several phases of updates that will refresh and modernize our Audience Rating System. We’re doing it to more accurately and authentically represent the voice of fans, while protecting our data and public forums from bad actors.”
  • The post then goes on to note that the site, “will no longer show the ‘Want to See’ percentage score for a movie during its pre-release period” as it’s often confused with the Audience Score percentage.
  • The Audience Score percentage is the percentage of positive scores given to a TV show or movie following its release.
  • In addition to those changes, Rotten Tomatoes says they are also: “disabling the comment function prior to a movie’s release date. Unfortunately, we have seen an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling, which we believe is a disservice to our general readership.”
  • Rotten Tomatoes is quick to note that fans will be able to have their say, “once a movie is released, audiences can leave a user rating and comments as they always have.”


  • The Hollywood Reporter is writing that the yet to be released film is already receiving bad reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • According to the THR article, it’s not the quality of the story or the actual movie that’s inciting the negativity, some fans seem to take issue with the existence of the film or, rather, its star.

  • With Captain Marvel being Marvel’s first female led superhero film, actress Brie Larson is using this opportunity to encourage change.
  • She has requested that her press tours embrace ethnic and gender diversity, especially by including more female journalists.
  • Audience reviewers on Rotten Tomatoes are first saying they are “not interested” in the film, but then going on to give it a negative review.
  • This isn’t the first time this has happened, as audiences have expressed dislike for the all-female Ghostbusters prior to that film’s release, as well attacking The Last Jedi actress Kelly Marie Tran for the character she played in the Star Wars film.

What they’re saying:

  • Brie Larson interview with Marie Claire: “About a year ago, I started paying attention to what my press days looked like and the critics reviewing movies, and noticed  it appeared to be overwhelmingly white male. So, I spoke to  Dr Stacy Smith at the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, who put together a study to confirm that. Moving forward, I decided to make sure my press days were more inclusive. After speaking with you, the film critic Valerie Complex and a few other women of colour, it sounded like across the board they weren’t getting the same opportunities as others. When I talked to the facilities that weren’t providing it, they all had different excuses.”

Rotten Tomatoes comments:

  • “flash g:” “Oh boy first off this will be worst than the last jedi im calling it now critcs [sic] will love it audience hate it,”
  • Anonymous: “Why Marvel decided to cast a very vocal racist and sexist aimed at white males, I’ll never know. If Robert Downey Jr. started saying that he didn’t care about the opinions of 40 year old white chicks and he doesn’t want to be interviewed by a white woman as its not inclusive enough, people would lose their minds.”
  • “Jonathan B:” “Tired of all this SJW [Social Justice Warrior] nonsense.”
  • “steve s:” “Strong Wamen [sic] more Hollywood BS – no thanks.”

In other news:

  • Last night, the first wave of social reactions to the movie came in with critics having mostly positive things to say about the Phase 3 Marvel film.

Captain Marvel flies into theatres on March 8, 2019.