So how does an aggregate score like the one on the right affect the long-term domestic box office performance of a big summer tent-pole movie? That’s a question Ben Fritz recently explored for a piece in the Wall Street Journal:
The direct correlation between aggregated reviews and attendance is only 30%, said Kevin Goetz, president of research firm Screen Engine/ASI. However, two-thirds of avid moviegoers, who often are particularly influential among their peers, are aware of Rotten Tomatoes scores, compared with one-third of casual moviegoers.
Eight percent of moviegoers see six or more films in a two-month period and qualify as “avid,” compared with 80% who have seen between two and five in the past two months.
As Fritz notes, the other main aggregator of critics’ reviews, Metacritic, samples about one-fifth of the outlets that Rotten Tomatoes does and uses a more sophisticated grading system. At press time, that site’s number for Suicide Squad was 46.
On a related note, EW’s Will Robinson reveals that an Egyptian DC Comics fan has launched a petition to try and shut down Rotten Tomatoes. We’re not sure if Abdullah Coldwater (!?) realizes that the film’s studio, Warner Bros., is a minority owner.