The ‘Captain Marvel’ And Rotten Tomatoes User Reviews Debacle May Prompt A Strict Verification Process

Brie Larson and Annette Bening attend the 'Captain Marvel' screening at Henry R. Luce Auditorium at Brookfield Place on March 6, 2019 in New York City.
Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

Captain Marvel has become a universal success, both critically and commercially. The film is breaking box office records, however, there were many who were unhappy with the movie being released, and had resorted to trying to manipulate reviews of the film online. However, after multiple attempts to manipulate the film’s ratings, movie review aggregating website Rotten Tomatoes will be implementing stricter control over who gets to leave user reviews.

Most recently, as The Inquisitr previously reported, droves of people online, commonly referred to as “trolls,” attempted to “review bomb” Captain Marvel, thereby influencing the fan anticipation metric on Rotten Tomatoes. The attempts in doing so promptly caused the website to overhaul their system of metrics, and instill stricter registration guidelines for the users wanting to leave reviews or scores for films. Most notably, user reviews were no longer allowed until after a film had released, removing the negative reviews that have already been submitted.

These measures safeguarded Captain Marvel from illegitimate reviews, for a brief time. Another The Inquisitr report details how, as soon as the film released, within minutes, in fact, those previously disregarded reviews returned and caused the average user rating for Captain Marvel to plummet to 33 percent. Rotten Tomatoes acted swiftly in removing those user reviews, but the damage was done.

Now, one week after the film’s release, Rotten Tomatoes is taking stronger measures to ensure that this debacle is not repeated.

(L-R) Actors McKenna Grace and Brie Larson attend the Los Angeles World Premiere of Marvel Studios' 'Captain Marvel' at Dolby Theatre on March 4, 2019 in Hollywood, California.
(L-R) Actors McKenna Grace and Brie Larson attend the Los Angeles World Premiere of Marvel Studios’ ‘Captain Marvel’ at Dolby Theatre on March 4, 2019 in Hollywood, California. Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

The review aggregating site is now entertaining the idea of instilling a verification process within their website, one that requires users to confirm that they have seen the film in question, prior to leaving a review. In a new report from The Hollywood Reporter, Dana Benson, VP of Communications for Fandango, the parent company of Rotten Tomatoes, addresses the Captain Marvel situation.

“We are disappointed that there was a group of people who were obviously very passionate and who had a negative opinion of the movie, whether they saw it or not. We are in the middle of evolving the audience score. We want to ensure its credibility.”

This wouldn’t be the first time that a passionate group of people online attempted to sabotage the perception of a film. Both Black Panther and the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot suffered similar attempts at manipulating the user scores and ratings. IMAX President Megan Cooligan commented in the same The Hollywood Reporter article.

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“The trolls have become ineffective now that everyone instantly recognizes that for what it is — people just hating to hate.”

How Rotten Tomatoes will implement a process where the user needs to verify they’ve seen a movie prior to leaving a review, or what the detailed mechanics of such a system will entail, remain to be seen.

Captain Marvel is currently playing in theaters.