Decoding Rotten Tomatoes: Unveiling Its Significance

Rotten Tomatoes

When it comes to movie ratings, Rotten Tomatoes is a household name. But what exactly does it mean and why is it important? In this article, we’ll dive into the world of Rotten Tomatoes and uncover its significance in the movie industry.

What is Rotten Tomatoes?

Rotten Tomatoes is a popular review aggregator website for movies and TV shows. It collects reviews from professional critics and calculates an overall score based on the percentage of positive reviews. The website also allows users to rate and review movies, which contributes to the overall score.

How Does Rotten Tomatoes Work?

Rotten Tomatoes logo

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Rotten Tomatoes uses a unique system to calculate its scores. Movies are given a “fresh” or “rotten” rating based on the percentage of positive reviews. A movie with a score of 60% or higher is considered “fresh”, while a score below 60% is considered “rotten”.

The website also assigns a “Certified Fresh” label to movies with a score of 75% or higher and at least 80 reviews from critics. This label is meant to highlight movies that have received widespread critical acclaim.

Why is Rotten Tomatoes Important?

Rotten Tomatoes has become an important tool for moviegoers and industry professionals alike. Here’s why:

Audience Trust

In a world where anyone can post a review online, it can be difficult to determine which reviews are legitimate. Rotten Tomatoes solves this problem by only including reviews from approved critics. This adds a level of credibility to the scores and helps audiences make informed decisions about which movies to watch.

Impact on Box Office Performance

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Rotten Tomatoes scores have a significant impact on a movie’s box office performance. A high score can attract more viewers, while a low score can deter them. In fact, a study by Rotten Tomatoes found that a Certified Fresh label can increase a movie’s box office performance by 44%.

This is because audiences often use Rotten Tomatoes as a deciding factor when choosing which movie to watch. A high score can give them confidence that they will enjoy the movie, while a low score may make them think twice.

Influence on Movie Studios

Rotten Tomatoes scores can also have a major influence on movie studios. A low score can lead to a decrease in ticket sales and potentially harm a studio’s reputation. This has led to some studios attempting to manipulate the scores by only inviting certain critics to screenings or even creating fake reviews.

However, Rotten Tomatoes has taken steps to prevent this by implementing a verification process for critics and monitoring for suspicious activity.

Controversies Surrounding Rotten Tomatoes

While Rotten Tomatoes has become a trusted source for movie ratings, it has also faced its fair share of controversies.

Critic Consensus

Movie critics

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One of the main criticisms of Rotten Tomatoes is its use of a “Critic Consensus” for each movie. This is a short summary of the overall critical consensus for the movie, which is often used in promotional materials.

Critics have argued that this summary can be misleading and does not accurately represent the opinions of all critics. Some have even accused Rotten Tomatoes of cherry-picking positive reviews to create a more favorable consensus.

Audience Score Manipulation

In addition to the official Tomatometer score, Rotten Tomatoes also includes an audience score based on user ratings. However, this score has been subject to manipulation, with some users intentionally giving a movie a low score to bring down its overall rating.

This has led to calls for Rotten Tomatoes to remove the audience score or find a way to prevent manipulation.

The Future of Rotten Tomatoes

Despite its controversies, Rotten Tomatoes remains a popular and influential source for movie ratings. However, the website has made efforts to improve and evolve in order to stay relevant in the ever-changing movie industry.

Inclusion of TV Shows

TV show

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In recent years, Rotten Tomatoes has expanded its scope to include TV shows. This has allowed the website to reach a wider audience and provide ratings for popular TV series.

Addition of Verified Ratings

To combat manipulation of the audience score, Rotten Tomatoes has introduced a “Verified Ratings” system. This allows users to confirm that they have seen the movie before rating it, adding more credibility to the audience score.

Original Content

Rotten Tomatoes has also started producing its own original content, including podcasts and video series. This has helped the website stay relevant and attract new audiences.


Rotten Tomatoes has become an integral part of the movie industry, providing audiences with a trusted source for movie ratings and influencing box office performance. While it has faced its fair share of controversies, the website continues to evolve and adapt to stay relevant in the ever-changing world of movies and TV shows.

Whether you’re a movie buff or just looking for your next film to watch, Rotten Tomatoes is a valuable resource for finding the best movies and TV shows to add to your watchlist. So next time you’re deciding on a movie to watch, be sure to check out Rotten Tomatoes for an accurate and reliable rating.