Deadline reports that studio insiders blame Rotten Tomatoes for the recent disappointing box office numbers of both Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Baywatch. Stating that the movies didn’t make as much money as estimated because of the low ratings given out by RT. They continue to say that they plan on holding off on critic screenings in the future to avoid this problem because these type of movies are meant for the general public.
On a certain level they’re right. Rotten Tomatoes is partly responsible for the lower box office of these movies, but is that a bad thing? Early reviews are meant to help people decide whether they want to watch the movie. If they trust the critics’ opinions and they’re saying that it’s not worth watching then it makes sense to skip the movie. I understand people should want to form their own opinion on movies, but reviews have this same function in other products. If i’m going to buy something I’m going to look at reviews of that product to make sure it’s right for me. The same line of thinking applies here. The way to fix this problem is to make movies that don’t suck. If you do that then you won’t have to worry about critics giving your movie a bad rating, and you might land up making more money than you expect. The idea of not allowing early screenings to avoid the bad reviews is counter productive too. It tells the audience that you have no faith in your product. Your box office will drop regardless.