Studios are blaming Rotten Tomatoes for "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Baywatch" tanking at the Box-Office

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Oh, give me a break. You really think we wanted a fifth "Pirates" movie? Who's the brainiac that greenlit the damn thing? How about making a movie out of a show, "Baywatch," that was mocked at when it aired in the '90s and was only watched by pervs that wanted to catch beach bods in action (pre-Porn era)? Yes, we might be living in a culture where film aggregates are becoming important to a film's success and know what? I'm glad we are. Didn't we all wish in the '90s and '00s to live in a time when the good movies made money and the bad ones tanked? Well, this is the time folks. Bet big on "Baby Driver" doing well in late June, ditto "Dunkirk," "The Beguiled" and "Detroit." Why? The film community will be supporting these artistic statements and the people will listen. Te cinematic experience is becoming too expensive, people are becoming pickier and relying more on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic to make their decisions for them. This is my message to studios if they want box-office success: How about you just make a good movie.

Judging by my own experiences, Millennials are really into Rotten Tomatoes. Most of the ones I talk to, the non-movie writers of course, very much value a movie's RT score and do make their decision to buy a movie ticket based on that. For example, I can name you at least a dozen friends of mine that were going to watch SUICIDE SQUAD, but ended up skipping it in theaters after its horrific RT score. I'm betting Wonder Woman will now over perform at the box-office due to its rave reviews, 96% Fresh score, which has been the talk of many media outlets in the last few days. It's just the times we live in and I am glad that critics are having more and more power in relation to a movie's success.

"Insiders close to both films blame Rotten Tomatoes, with Pirates 5 and Baywatch respectively earning 32% and 19% Rotten. The critic aggregation site increasingly is slowing down the potential business of popcorn movies. Pirates 5 and Baywatch aren’t built for critics but rather general audiences, and once upon a time these types of films — a family adventure and a raunchy R-rated comedy — were critic-proof. Many of those in the industry severely question how Rotten Tomatoes computes the its ratings, and the fact that these scores run on Fandango (which owns RT) is an even bigger problem."

"Both Pirates 5 and Baywatch started high on tracking four weeks ago, $90M-$100M over four and $50M over five days respectively, and the minute Rotten Tomatoes hit, those estimates collapsed. Over the weekend, I heard that some studio insiders want to hold off critic screenings until opening day or cancel them all together (that’s pretty ambitious and would cause much ire, we’ll see if that ever happens). Already, studios and agencies are studying RT scores’ impact on advance ticket sales and tracking."

There’s just not a great date on the calendar to open a poorly reviewed movie,” said one studio marketing vet this morning."

It's not like the box-office is filled with certified fresh movies, but your movie being well-reviewed does help. Pirates, Baywatch, Snatched and King Arthur have all underperformed, many people believe it is due to poor word of mouth.















Earlier this month I wrote:

Hollywood hasn't got an original thought in its entire collective brain. If the only originally conceived blockbuster they can come up with this summer, or for the next four months, is "Dunkirk," then we seriously have a problem here.  If all they can do is regurgitate sequels, prequels, remakes and reboots whilst ripping off everything from comics to TV to games, then this will be the result and it will be all come crashing down like the Hiddenburgh. The scourge of the bean-counter has hit them as much as anywhere else and producers need to start thinking out of the box again and encouraging new writers and fresh, original screenplays.

The Independent has this to say about the bummer summer Hollywood is about to endure:

Some of the tent poles are just not as strong this year,” 20th Century Fox head of domestic distribution Chris Aronson says. “Pirates of the Caribbean? It's the fifth one. Transformers? It’s the fifth one.” 

'Fox has just released their sixth instalment in the Alien franchise — Alien: Covenant — and are releasing the third in the rebooted Planet of the Apes series, War for the Planet of the Apes."

I always go back to this Steven Spielberg quote, which seems to become more prophetic by the year: 

"There's eventually going to be an implosion — or a big meltdown. There's going to be an implosion where three or four or maybe even a half-dozen megabudget movies are going to go crashing into the ground, and that's going to change the paradigm. We were around when the Western died and there will be a time when the superhero movie goes the way of the Western. It doesn't mean there won't be another occasion where the Western comes back and the superhero movie someday returns." - Steven Spielberg to THR

[Deadline]

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