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For those who aren’t familiar, Rotten Tomatoes offers two scores. The main one is an aggregated percentage of reviews from published critics, while the second, the “audience score” is decided by Rotten Tomatoes users. Until today, unreleased movies also had a version of the audience score, measuring audience anticipation for a film. But in a blog post published on Feb. 25, the site announced it was removing the “Want To See” score entirely:
“As of February 25, we will no longer show the ‘Want to See’ percentage score for a movie during its pre-release period. Why you might ask? We’ve found that the ‘Want to See’ percentage score is often times confused with the ‘Audience Score’ percentage number. (The ‘Audience Score’ percentage, for those who haven’t been following, is the percentage of all users who have rated the movie or TV show positively – that is, given it a star rating of 3.5 or higher – and is only shown once the movie or TV show is released.)”
Thanks to “an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling,” it’s also disabling comments on unreleased movies.
Over the past couple of weeks, people spammed Captain Marvel with negative comments to the point where it looked like the least popular Marvel movie to date. Instead of judging the movie on its merits, these comments were motivated by the fact that Captain Marvel is a woman (disgraceful!) and actress Brie Larson wants a more diverse pool of journalists to cover the movie (terrifying!).
Removing the “Want To See” score stops people from trolling the movie before it comes out, but Rotten Tomatoes is kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place here. The trolls will presumably return once Captain Marvel is out, but Rotten Tomatoes can’t get rid of audience scores because audience input is one of the main appeals of the site.
Captain Marvel tickets are actually selling like hotcakes, making it a more popular film than Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and most of the Marvel franchise. So it’s safe to say that outside the world of Rotten Tomatoes trolls, people do, in fact, want to see it.
Gavia Baker-Whitelaw is a staff writer at the Daily Dot, covering geek culture and fandom. Specializing in sci-fi movies and superheroes, she also appears as a film and TV critic on BBC radio. Elsewhere, she co-hosts the pop culture podcast Overinvested. Follow her on Twitter: @Hello_Tailor