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The film’s first round of reviews will be published on Tuesday night; however, Rotten Tomatoes won’t post its aggregated review score until Thursday, less than 24 hours before opening night. Ordinarily, a Tomatometer rating appears as soon as reviews have been recognized by the site. For instance, Netflix’s The Punisher, whose reviews came out yesterday, is now on Rotten Tomatoes with a score of 76 percent.
As Screenrant points out, this delay is probably a hype-building exercise for Rotten Tomatoes’ new webshow, which will reveal Justice League‘s rating on Thursday. Unfortunately, this plays into the ongoing internet drama about DC movies and their critical response. Warner Bros., the studio behind Justice League, owned Rotten Tomatoes between 2011 and 2016 and still has a minority stake in the site.
While a two-day delay is unlikely to make much impact on the film’s success, it’s practically begging to inspire conspiracy theories. Remember, the DCEU franchise inspired the recent debate about Rotten Tomatoes allegedly “destroying” Hollywood. Director and Batman v Superman financier Brett Ratner described the site as “the worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture,” claiming that Batman v Superman‘s Tomatometer score “put a cloud over a movie that was incredibly successful.” (Just as a side note, it’s bold of Ratner to label anything as “the worst,” given the recent allegations about his personal conduct.)
The DCEU has a uniquely intense relationship with Rotten Tomatoes and film criticism in general. Transformers fans don’t care about the franchise’s terrible Tomatometer scores, and I don’t recall anyone getting mad about X-Men: Apocalypse earning a “rotten” rating. But certain DC fans are unusually defensive; infamous for arguing against negative reviews and Tomatometer scores.
On social media, theories already range from “Rotten Tomatoes wants to hurt Zach Snyder by hiding positive reviews,” to “Warner Bros. intentionally caused the delay to hide negative reviews.” Yet another example of a strange trend in superhero movie fandom. The DCEU is a commercial product that generally gets poor reviews (Wonder Woman aside), but many fans see those reviews as evidence of bias or a conspiracy, rather than a problem with the product itself.
H/T to Screenrant
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