2019 saw a significant portion of Rotten Tomatoes, as well as the internet community in general, trying to troll the system by review bombing release like Marvel’s Captain Marvel, thanks to the previous system that allowed users to post ratings and reviews before and after a film had been released. In order to combat such abuses of the system, Rotten Tomatoes removed the pre-release audience rating, allowing audiences to only rate films past their opening date.
Now the company is taking another, more aggressive step in determining which reviews are legitimate and which ones are fake. And it starts with a new feature known as the Verified Audience section.
Effective as of today, when you purchase tickets to any film through Fandango, you can choose to have your account linked to Rotten Tomatoes. Through that link, you’ll be able to post “verified” reviews and ratings on RT, as your ticket purchase will be your verification that you’ve seen the film.
However, if you haven’t seen the film, or even if you don’t buy tickets through Fandango, you’ll be able to still post a review after films like Disney’s Aladdin have opened. But those reviews will go to the “All Audience” section of Rotten Tomatoes’ audience feedback, meaning it has not been confirmed that you’ve actually seen the film.
This sort of activity is bound to be reduced by the end of the year though. The Hollywood Reporter specified that cinema chains AMC Theaters, Regal Theaters and Cinemark Theaters will have their ticketing apps included in the Verified field as the year goes on.
This new policy feels like a happy medium for fans who like to use their Rotten Tomatoes accounts to log personal reviews. Those who really want to be verified can do so with a simple purchase through Fandango, whereas those who aren’t too concerned with such things can still put their feelings down in digital ink. However, that difference in verification will definitely tinge how people read the reviews in the Verified and All Audience fields.
Rotten Tomatoes has been making quite a few alterations to the way it records reactions from both fans and critics alike, as even its RT Verified guidelines for critics have shifted in recent times. It’s clear to see that the review aggregator is looking to shape up its image, as well as draw more attention to itself through events like official freshness score unveilings.
How exactly this will shake out for the company’s fortunes is yet to be seen, and really it can’t be properly be judged until at least the big three movie theater chains sign up to be a part of Rotten Tomatoes’ Verified review program. For now, it’ll be interesting to see how the public reacts to these early days, as well as how the quality and quantity of reviews on both sides shows this program’s efficiency.
If you’re interested in testing out your status as a Verified reviewer, then check out the 2019 release schedule to see which new films you’d be interested in seeing for yourself. Also, don’t forget that only tickets purchase through Fandango will allow you to achieve such status.