Director and producing mogul Brett Ratner says film critic aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes is a destructive force in Hollywood.
Speaking at the Sun Valley Film Festival last weekend, the Rush Hour director wanted to make it clear he has plenty respect for traditional film critics. But he says reducing hundreds of reviews culled from print and online sources into a popularized aggregate score has become a toxic and often inaccurate label.
“The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes,” said Ratner, whose company RatPac Entertainment co-financed Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (among dozens of other Warner Bros. titles). “I think it’s the destruction of our business. I have such respect and admiration for film criticism. When I was growing up film criticism was a real art. And there was intellect that went into that. And you would read Pauline’s Kael’s reviews, or some others, and that doesn’t exist anymore. Now it’s about a number. A compounded number of how many positives vs. negatives. Now it’s about, ‘What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?’ And that’s sad, because the Rotten Tomatoes score was so low on Batman v Superman I think it put a cloud over a movie that was incredibly successful.”
Directed by Zack Snyder, Batman v Superman cost about $250 million to make and grossed nearly $900 million worldwide — despite being considered a disappointment (with a 27 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes).
“People don’t realize what goes into making a movie like that,” Ratner continued. “It’s mind-blowing. It’s just insane, it’s hurting the business, it’s getting people to not see a movie. In Middle America it’s, ‘Oh, it’s a low Rotten Tomatoes score so I’m not going to go see it because it must suck.’ But that number is an aggregate and one that nobody can figure out exactly what it means, and it’s not always correct. I’ve seen some great movies with really abysmal Rotten Tomatoes scores. What’s sad is film criticism has disappeared. It’s really sad.”
SOURCE: JAMES HIBBERD