The headline from EW that I saw was this: “Rotten Tomatoes Is ‘the Destruction of Our Business,’ Says Director.” I clicked on it to see what director thought Rotten Tomatoes was destroying our business and I saw that it was Brett Ratner. I guffawed. I cackled at my laptop. Brett Ratner thinks that Rotten Tomatoes is destroying the business?
Look in the fucking mirror, dude.
“The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes,” said Ratner, whose company RatPac Entertainment co-financed Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (among dozens of other Warner Bros. titles). “I think it’s the destruction of our business … Now it’s about a number. A compounded number of how many positives vs. negatives. Now it’s about, ‘What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?’ And that’s sad, because the Rotten Tomatoes score was so low on Batman v Superman I think it put a cloud over a movie that was incredibly successful.”
“People don’t realize what goes into making a movie like that,” Ratner continued. “It’s mind-blowing. It’s just insane, it’s hurting the business, it’s getting people to not see a movie. In Middle America it’s, ‘Oh, it’s a low Rotten Tomatoes score so I’m not going to go see it because it must suck.’ But that number is an aggregate and one that nobody can figure out exactly what it means, and it’s not always correct. I’ve seen some great movies with really abysmal Rotten Tomatoes scores. What’s sad is film criticism has disappeared. It’s really sad.”
Look: I don’t disagree with the man’s assessment of Rotten Tomatoes. I’m not a huge fan of it, particularly for a movie that’s split among critics, such as a film like Brad Pitt’s Allied, which appeals to a certain demographic and is terribly boring to another. It’s also ridiculous that a movie like Doctor Strange — which was well liked but not beloved — would get a 90 percent on RT, while a movie like Loving would get only an 89 percent, because Loving is clearly a much better movie. Personally, I’ll read a couple of reviews, or ask Kristy or Rebecca or TK, if it’s not a movie I’m reviewing myself. But I also understand that Rotten Tomatoes rarely hurts a movie (not when <>Batman vs. Superman makes $900 million after a 27 percent score) and sometimes actually helps a movie (Get Out’s 100 percent certainly helped propel that movie to the sleeper hit of the year).
But honestly, this is too rich coming from Ratner, producer of Horrible Bosses 2, Mother’s Day, Jersey Boys, War Dogs, and Rules Don’t Apply, and the director of The Rush Hour series, X-Men: The Last Stand, Red Dragon and The Family Man (he also directed Hercules, which I liked even though it was terrible). Dude’s a hack: If he wants better Rotten Tomatoes’ scores, he should make better movies. This guy has financed a lot of terrible shit (and some decent films, which are generally recognized as decent by Rotten Tomatoes).