In recent years, a long succession of blockbuster movies, especially ones produced in the Star Wars and Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises, have been hit with negative online reviews by movie fans arguing against a supposed "social justice warrior" tilt of those movies. Backlashes of this kind, most memorably against 2017's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, have rarely required those leading the reviews to have actually seen the movie in question.
Now, this same phenomenon is happening with Captain Marvel, the Marvel movie set for release in March, and the first film in the MCU series with a lone female lead.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Rotten Tomatoes audience reviews page for Captain Marvel has been "overrun by multiple accounts claiming to be 'not interested' in it, even though they apparently have a lot to say about it."
Captain Marvel isn't being released until March 8, and it has not yet been screened for film critics or held a premiere. It doesn't appear that anyone who isn't an employee of Disney has even seen the movie yet.
Actress Brie Larson, the star of the film, gave a recent interview to the British edition of Marie Claire in which she mentioned that she making an effort to include more women and people of color in press interviews while promoting her movies. She also discussed what it means to young girls that she's playing a female superhero.
This was interpreted, by several of those Rotten Tomatoes audience reviewers, some of whom are under the impression that Larson has said that she does not want white males to see or review her movie at all. One called her "a very vocal racist and sexist aimed at white males.""Oh boy first off this will be worst than the last jedi im calling it now critcs will love it audience hate it," Flash G wrote. "Secondly im [sic] only excited for nick fury and the skrulls and the kree thats pretty much it im not intrested in her all i wanna see is skrulls do there things and see how nick lost an eye but without 2 hours of cringe with we will most likely get," the commenter added.
Other critics parroted the false conspiracy theory that film critics are bribed by Marvel and Disney to give their films positive reviews.
The film, per an earlier Hollywood Reporter piece, is tracking to open at over $100 million. It will be followed the next month by another Marvel film, Avengers: Endgame.