Rotten Tomatoes Claims 'Bug' Responsible For Apparent 'Captain Marvel' Trolling

A glitch has been fixed, but has it stopped the problem?

Sexist trolls “review-bombed” “Captain Marvel” on Rotten Tomatoes before it was released, and since then, the movie rating site has made drastic changes. Unfortunately, those updates have led to some new drama.

After “Captain Marvel” finally hit theaters, The Hollywood Reporter noted that within hours, the movie seemingly gained 58,000 user ratings and had an audience score of just 33 percent. For those wondering: No, that’s not normal.

According to THR, “Captain Marvel” was likely being “sandbagged” by a wave of trolls. As of 6 p.m. Eastern, however, the number of ratings had dropped from 58,000 to a little more than 10,000.

The number on the left represents the critic score, the number on the right is the audience score, both of which Rotten Tomat
The number on the left represents the critic score, the number on the right is the audience score, both of which Rotten Tomatoes says are accurate.

Rotten Tomatoes sent a statement to HuffPost saying that a glitch had inflated the number of ratings.

Though the website recently changed its functionality to prevent users from leaving comments prior to a movie’s release, it still allows people to vote if they “want to see” a movie before it comes out.

The website told us it has “identified a bug” that erroneously rolled the pre-release “want to see” ratings into the post-release ratings, resulting in that alarmingly high number:

Historically, the user rating totals represented the quantity of all user engagement – want to see votes, and number of rating and reviews. In our product update, we planned to remove the “want to see” votes from that user ratings total – which didn’t happen (the glitch) and showed an inflated number. And we fixed that, which brought down the number. 

Rotten Tomatoes reiterated that it plans to add more “clarity around fans’ pre and post-release opinions” and “for movies moving forward, the quantity of user ratings should only reflect the number of people who have left a user rating or written review, after a movie’s release.” 

Though the number of ratings has since been amended, the audience score still sits in the low 30s as of press time. Rotten Tomatoes told us that number is accurate.

“Just to be clear the 30+% score always reflected the post-release ratings and reviews only,” said a rep for the website.

(As of 10:45 p.m. Eastern, the audience score has climbed to 46 percent.)

For the record, no other movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe ― even the most poorly reviewed ― approaches such a low audience rating

The Incredible Hulk,” a film consistently near the bottom of lists ranking MCU movies, has an audience score of 70 percent. “Captain Marvel” may not be getting as “sandbagged” as initially thought, but this unusually low score suggests the trolling continues.

This post was updated to reflect the rising audience score.



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