Saturday March 02, 2019

Rotten Tomatoes Bans "Want to See" Score, User Comments before Films' Release

The world’s most popular review aggregator for film and television has announced it is making two significant changes to its website: Rotten Tomatoes will no longer show the "Want to See" percentage score for a movie during its pre-release period, nor will it allow comments prior to a movie’s release date. Many are convinced this decision was prompted by the recent review bombing of "Captain Marvel," but Paul Yanover, president of Fandango, which owns the RT, claims that had nothing to do with it. Yanover is a former Disney executive.

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According to Rotten Tomatoes’ official statement, it eliminated the Want to See percentage score because it was sometimes confused with the Audience Score (submitted by those who have seen the movie), which is also represented as a percentage. There’s likely another reason Rotten Tomatoes wants to discourage negative buzz for movies ahead of their release: The site is part of NBCUniversal’s Fandango, which acquired the movie-ranking site in 2016 from Warner Bros. -- and negative comments and lower "Want to See" scores, whether those are from trolls or anyone else, may depress pre-release ticket sales.