Rotten Tomatoes Exerts Excessive Influence on Films

The Hollywood Reporter recently published an article revealing that studios now rely on a director’s previous scores on Rotten Tomatoes when deciding whether to greenlight a movie. This phenomenon has made it easier for filmmakers to end up in “director jail”, a term describing the loss of future opportunities to direct feature films after a flop at the box office or with critics. Throughout Hollywood’s history, many directors have faced this predicament, with Buster Keaton being an example.

The article provides specific examples, citing the case of Chazelle and the challenges posed by review aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes in assessing the true quality of a movie. The text also discusses the limitations of review aggregators and how they may inaccurately reflect the sentiment around divisive movies. It contrasts the reception of “Babylon” and “Black Widow” and the impact on their Rotten Tomatoes scores, highlighting the complexities and biases involved in such rating systems.

The article points out the tendency for Rotten Tomatoes to favor movies that cater to the broadest audience, potentially stifling creativity and discouraging daring and distinct choices by filmmakers. It discusses the surprising dips of recent Marvel movies into the Rotten zone, suggesting that there are no safe bets in the industry. The text also challenges the notion of relying on review aggregators, emphasizing the importance of making interesting art and entertainment without trying to manipulate the system.

It concludes by quoting celebrity stylist Karla Welch, who emphasizes the significance of being on the “best dressed” or “worst dressed” lists, highlighting the importance of being interesting and standing out.

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