Rotten Tomatoes is changing its review system again, this time to combat trolls from snarking about upcoming releases.
Following headlines about films such as Captain Marvel and Star Wars: Episode IX getting slammed on the site in early fan reviews, the critic aggregator is scrapping its pre-release review option for fans.
Instead, fans won’t be able to leave written reviews or comments about a movie until after its release in theaters. The site credited an “an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling.”
Another change is tweaking the way it polls moviegoers about whether or not they want to see a film which has been used as a measure of fan anticipation. The so-called “want to see” score was previously represented as a percentage, it will now be presented as a raw number that will be tallied in real time — so it will show how many people want to see a movie rather than giving any hint of how many do not want to see a movie.
In recent weeks, Rotten Tomatoes users have slammed Captain Marvel with negative comments so that it reportedly looked like the least anticipated Marvel movie ever, even though ticket pre-sales have been very strong (bigger than Aquaman or Wonder Woman, according to Fandango). Many of the comments were reportedly attacking the superhero film for having a female lead, and some were in reaction to star Brie Larson complaining that the press pool covering her film was “overwhelmingly white male.” She later clarified, “What I’m looking for is to bring more seats up to the table. No one is getting their chair taken away. There’s not less seats at the table, there’s just more seats at the table.”
The same trolling was happening for Episode IX, with the final installment of the Star Wars trilogy getting a trove of negative comments, despite the film not even having a trailer or title yet. Many of those comments were in reaction to fan disappointment with the previous film in the trilogy, The Last Jedi.