Rotten Tomatoes to Tackle “Trolling” Comments Ahead of Release of ‘Captain Marvel’

Movie and T review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes have made changes on their site in order to stop trolling, by now not allowing people to post comments about films before they are released. This could also be to stop spoilers, since as we all know,  nobody really likes those.

This monumental news comes ahead of the release of Disney’s Marvel ‘Captain Marvel’ movie featuring the first female super hero in the lead role. However, Rotten Tomatoes have flatly denied blocking comments on films is just to protect the upcoming release of ‘Captain Marvel’, starring Brie Larson.

The site announced this change in a blog post, writing that some comments are “a disservice to our general readership”. It also says there’s been “an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling.”

However, the site assured fans they would still be able to review films once they are released.

“We have decided that turning off this feature for now is the best course of action,” the blog said. “Audiences can leave a user rating and comments as they always have.”

The comment feature isn’t the only thing that’s changing, however, as Rotten Tomatoes also announced they’d be scrapping the “want to see” percentage score.

“As of February 25, we will no longer show the ‘Want to See’ percentage score for a movie during its pre-release period,” the blog continued.

“Why you might ask? We’ve found that the ‘Want to See’ percentage score is often times confused with the ‘Audience Score’ percentage number.”

Rotten Tomatoes latest changes may go some way to withhold judgement on films before they are released. Credit: Slash Film

Rotten Tomatoes say these changes will “refresh and modernise” its Audience Rating System, adding that it’s being done to “more accurately and authentically represent the voice of fans, while protecting our data and our public forums.”

These changes follows after claims of fans who were attempting to down-vote Captain Marvel before its release date on the 8th of March, with many negative comments towards the film’s main star Brie Larson.

The movie is the first Marvel film to have a female star in a lead role for just over a decade in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starting with Iron Man in 2008. So, you can imagine butthurt fans wanting to down-vote the film purely for this reason, similar to how some Star Wars fans behaved towards having more females in their latest films. Can we say pathetic any louder?

However, the president of Fandango (which owns Rotten Tomatoes) Paul Yanover, told CNET that they didn’t change the site to protect Captain Marvel. Rather, some adjustments were made to achieve what he calls “noise reduction – when high-profile films such as Captain Marvel or Star Wars attract trolls with their agendas. As a whole, these changes are part of a long-term site strategy.”

Brie Larson stars as ‘Captain Marvel’ in the midst of Earth being caught up in a Galactic war between two alien races. Credit: Radio Times

As for the Captain Marvel movie itself, a few earlier reviews have praised the film, particularly for being “retro & trippy, mysterious & dorky.”

However, Larson told Marie Claire magazine that she noticed the critics covering the film were “overwhelmingly white male” and has also spoken out to support underprivileged girls seeing the film.

She later spoke to FOX 5 in Washington D.C. that she wasn’t trying to take away access, but was just creating more of it.

“What I’m looking for is to bring more seats up to the table,” Larson said. “No one is getting their chair taken away. There’s not less seats at the table, there’s just more seats at the table.”

However, commenters on Rotten Tomatoes interpreted it differently, with one saying “men need not see this movie” while another commented: “I somehow feel that [the Captain Marvel Skrull characters] are not the enemy, but that I am, since Brie has been careful to state she doesn’t want the press tour to include types like me.”

As you’d expect, the response on social media was mixed with some supporting the changes while others opposed them. But what was unexpected was the absurd rumour that followed about the changes being caused by a payment made by Disney to try and protect its Marvel films, while others claimed that Rotten Tomatoes is owned by Disney or Marvel.

These claims are of course false, and Yanover added that the idea there was “some predesigned arrangement between ourselves and Disney is completely untrue.”

These changes will apply to all movies that have not been released yet, not just Disney or Marvel films. As for how “good or bad” Captain Marvel is when it releases, that’s ultimately up to you and many other fans to decide after March 8th, 2019.


Story by Emily Clark

Featured Photo Credit: MovieWeb

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