Rotten Tomatoes to limit fan rating to actual moviegoers.

Everything after the first sentence in this Variety article could and will probably be vehemently argued somewhere, so let’s just look at the sentence in question: “Rotten Tomatoes is dramatically changing its Audience Score methodology for movies: The site’s standard user rating will now reflect only moviegoers who can prove they’ve bought a ticket to see it in a theater.” For right now it’s specifically people who bought a ticket via Fandango (which mostly owns Rotten Tomatoes), but they’re already talking about bringing in theater-specific ticket services like Regal’s*. Which they will absolutely have to do if they want this to work.

Like Sonny Bunch, I approve of this move on general principles. I retain a naive, and no doubt actively Pollyanna, desire to have people review things on the basis of having actually watched/read/listened/otherwise consumed them; and I am weary of trying to plow through the current signal-to-noise ratio. If you want to hate something before you even see it, awesome. I do that myself all the time; and it’s both a legitimate life choice, and great fun. But if you want to affect my decision toward the thing in question by ‘reviewing’ it, at least buy a ticket first so I know that you have some skin in the game.

Or not! You’re either all adults, or else you’re reading over an adult’s shoulder. But non-viewer reviews do make it harder for me to pick which movies to watch. Sorry about that.

Moe Lane

*I picked Regal because I use their rewards program, and I use their rewards program because the Regal Theater near me is awesome and I don’t like to go anywhere else now.

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