Paul Yanover, the president of Fandango, the parent company over Rotten Tomatoes, told CNET that they weren’t trying to engineer the changes at Rotten Tomatoes around the negative feedback that Captain Marvel was receiving. However, regardless of what Yanover said, Rotten Tomatoes is going out of its way to suppress the negative reaction that people have toward the new super hero flick.
At the moment the ratings for Captain Marvel over on Rotten Tomatoes are at 79% for the critics and 53% for the user ratings. They have 36,743 ratings counted. However, the numbers were much higher before Rotten Tomatoes began manipulating the score.
Geeks + Gamers have actually been tracking the figures since Friday, and the numbers are startling. On Friday, March 8th, 2019, the score started at 59%.
At the twilight of March 8th and early morning of March 9th, the score dropped even more when 71,810 ratings were compiled and the overall score dropped all the way down to 35%.
Jeremy from Geeks + Gamers captured the event right as it was happening.
Zero Hedge also compiled the numbers, and noticed that there was quite the discrepancy in the figures.
The user rating figures saw massive subtractions over the course of hours, going from 58,327 all the down to 4,296 before bouncing back up to 71,810, and then finally settling down at 36,743 as of the writing of this article. You can tell that the user ratings are being removed because the official critic review count keeps going up as more outlets submit their reviews, but the user ratings keep fluctuating as tens of thousands of them are removed periodically.
That’s not to mention that some astroturfing took place briefly for the film’s positive user reviews, which was spotted by the users over on RedLetterMedia, where a bunch of positive reviews from users were using a copy and pasted template to buff up Captain Marvel’s user ratings.
The user reviews regurgitating the same talking points have now been deleted.
The short gist of it is that the numbers are being meddled with by Rotten Tomatoes in an attempt to quell outrage over certain movies. This comes after they completely removed pre-release user ratings, so now you can on longer comment or see the ratings for how many people are not interested in a film.
At this point we can very readily see that there seems to be a concerted effort to diminish the negative perception of Captain Marvel instead of letting the film stand on its own merits. This kind of socially engineered push back against the audience is only going to make things worse, much like how the hate towards Star Wars: The Last Jedi only escalated as the media attempted to suppress negative criticism and attack the fans, which had the ripple effect of people forfeiting the opportunity to go see Solo: A Star Wars Story.
But in this case, Rotten Tomatoes trying to censor and remove negative user ratings won’t help much if the actual critics keep giving it negative scores, which will bring down the overall freshness rating, regardless of the subversion that Rotten Tomatoes is utilizing to protect the film.
(Thanks for the news tip Rala Cloft and Katsuragi Buns)