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New Rotten Tomatoes ticket buying policy seeks to curb Star Wars, Marvel troll reviews

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May 23, 2019

Rotten Tomatoes is seeking to keep Internet trolls from prematurely tanking the scores of its films by implementing a new policy that will require a person to prove they bought a ticket to a certain movie in order to leave a fan-based review.

The move, rumored to be coming back in March and announced by the site this morning, is going by the name of  "Verified Ratings." If you're not a critic and want to leave a review, you'll have to confirm your ticket purchase via Fandango (which owns Rotten Tomatoes), AMC, Regal Cinemas, or Cinemark.

"We believe an Audience Score made up of these Verified Ratings is the most trustworthy measure of user sentiment we can offer right now – one that gives entertainment fans a genuine audience assessment of a movie they’re considering watching, and one which puts significant roadblocks in front of bad actors who would seek to manipulate the Audience Score," reads the official release.

Rotten Tomatoes verified audience score

Credit: Rotten Tomatoes

Rotten Tomatoes new audience score policy

Credit: Rotten Tomatoes

This update will hopefully result in a serious decline in the affairs that have affected films like Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Captain Marvel, two features whose aggregated audience scores were taken to low numbers by a deluge of negative reviews.

In the case of Captain Marvel, the film's "Want To See" audience score was tampered with weeks before the movie even opened in theaters. This prompted Rotten Tomatoes to remove this feature from the site in February.

When Variety asked Fandango if the new ticket verification policy was about selling more tickets, the company's chief marketing officer, Lori Pantel, said the following:

“Absolutely not. We’re open to any partner that wants to come on board. [Our users] want more transparency ... It’s about scale and expediency as we kick off the summer season of movies."


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