The first real indicator that set off the now week long debates amongst fans regarding “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” wasn’t the film’s strong 92% Rotten Tomatoes critics score, but rather its surprising 54% audience score on the same site. Despite frequent talk of critics and audience tastes differing on many films, the difference in their RT approval ratings is rarely so massive.
As ComScore and CinemaScore polls tracking audience members exiting the cinema have come in and shown a score much closer to the critics ones, there’s been an understandable suspicion that organized voting campaigns and even possible bot targeted interference was responsible for the RT user score being so skewed.
Fandango’s Vice President of Communications and Rotten Tomatoes spokesperson Dana Benson has now come out and verified the authenticity of the audience score in an interview with Forbes, saying the film ratings site goes to great lengths in order to ensure the authenticity of their scores:
“We have several teams of security, network, and social database experts who constantly monitor reviews and ratings to ensure that they are genuine. They haven’t seen anything unusual with The Last Jedi, except that there has been an uptick in the number of written user reviews submitted.
Aside from that, everything is normal and we don’t see any unusual activity. We looked at The Last Jedi compared to other blockbusters and it has been consistent with those past films. We’ve been working around the clock to get the numbers right.
Authenticity is very important to us. We have security teams, network teams, database teams who work so hard, it’s a little disheartening for them to see people make such [accusatory] claims without knowing the facts.”
Benson adds that the latest Star Wars film has received a ‘comparable number of reviews to The Force Awakens’ at the same point in the film’s cycle. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is now playing in cinemas.