Following a deluge of negative posts about “Captain Marvel” in late February, review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes revealed it would no longer allow users to vote on whether they want to see a movie until it begins playing in theaters.
It appeared as if online trolls tried to exact revenge by flooding the website with thousands of audience reviews trashing the film, even as both critics and more officially verified audience polling systems like CinemaScore showed audiences quite liked the film.
Rotten Tomatoes hastily moderated the reviews to weed out the fakes, at one time issuing a statement it was due to a glitch in their system. In any case, attempts to trash the film didn’t work – the film opened to $154.3 million domestically and more than $455 million globally. It has already passed the $550 million mark worldwide with mid-week numbers showing the film is performing incredibly robustly.
Now, THR says the site is looking at additional serious long term measures for audience reviews to prevent the situation from happening again. In this case, a user may be asked to verify that he or she has seen a film in question before being allowed to post a critique.
Dana Benson, vp communications for Fandango which owns the company, says: “We are disappointed that there was a group of people who were obviously very passionate and who had a negative opinion of the movie, whether they saw it or not… We are in the middle of evolving the audience score. We want to ensure its credibility,”
How an audience verification system would be enforced is unclear.