Justice League reviews will start coming out early Wednesday morning — the studio-imposed embargo lifts at 2:50 am Eastern on November 15. But anyone who’s wondering whether the film will be deemed “fresh” or “rotten” by Rotten Tomatoes will have to wait another day for the site to reveal its rating. And that’s raising some eyebrows.
For major studios pushing subpar movies, Rotten Tomatoes has become a big problem. Executives have long bemoaned how the site, which aggregates film reviews, can impact ticket sales, prompting viewers to stay away from movies that earn overall “rotten” ratings. Of course, Rotten Tomatoes is really only the messenger—but that hasn’t stopped industry bigwigs from blaming low ticket sales of films like Baywatch and Pirates of the Caribbean 5 on the site rather than the quality of those movies.
But thanks to the launch of a new series, it appears Rotten Tomatoes may have found a handy work-around to this problem. It’s a solution that could calm down frustrated execs while also exalting the importance of the Tomatometer in one swift motion.
A couple weeks ago, on October 31, Rotten Tomatoes announced the launch of a weekly show called Rotten Tomatoes See It / Skip It, broadcast on Facebook via the social media site’s Watch platform. One of the show’s regular features is a “Tomatometer Score Reveal” — and this week’s reveal is Justice League, the hotly anticipated DC Extended Universe movie that unites Batman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, Aquaman, The Flash, and Superman. The episode containing the reveal is scheduled to air at 12:01 am on Thursday, November 16.
The choice to hold the film’s Tomatometer score is a savvy one, from Rotten Tomatoes’ perspective — especially as advertising for See It / Skip It. The site has long billed itself as merely a review aggregator, a kind of landing spot that gathers the critical opinions of thousands of “Tomatometer-approved critics” around the world, then assigns a score that correlates to the percentage of positive reviews.
As ScreenRant points out, Rotten Tomatoes is delaying the release of Justice League’s Tomatometer score until Thursday—a day after the embargo for Justice League reviews lifts. Instead, R.T. will debut the Justice League score on its new Facebook series, See It/Skip It, which will air at 12:01 A.M. on Thursday—mere hours before the film’s official release.
The delay serves several purposes. For one, it will keep fans hoping to know the film’s overall reception on tenterhooks for an extra day, making them more likely to tune in to the R.T. Facebook series. And perhaps more importantly, it will also give Warner Bros. an extra day of peace (and undisturbed advance ticket sales) before an aggregated score is slapped onto this particular film, the latest in a series that has historically fared poorly with critics. Batman v Superman, for example, notched a score of 27 percent, while Suicide Squad has 26 percent. (Wonder Woman, the outlier, earned a healthy 92 percent.)
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