Comparing Cinemascore, Rotten Tomatoes, and Box Office

rt-shillsComparing Cinemascore, whose ratings are computed from the results of exit interviews with actual movie goers on opening night, with Rotten Tomatoes critics and user scores and opening weekend domestic box office grosses reveals some interesting discrepancies. First, some data. I’ll comment below.

Movie Cinemascore RT Critics RT Users
Box Office
Star Wars: The  Last Jedi  A (92)  92%  53%  $220M
Justice League  B+ (77)  41%  78%  $94M
Thor Ragnarok  A (92)  92%  88%  $123M
Blade Runner 2049  A- (85)  87%  81%  $33M
Wonder Woman  A (92)  92%  88%  $103M
Guardians of the Galaxy 2  A (92)  83%  88%  $147M
It  B+ (77)  85%  85%  $123M
Moana  A (92)  96%  89%  $57M
American Assassin  B+ (77)  34%  63%  $15M
The Mummy  B- (62)  16%  36%  $32M
Valerian and the City of…  B- (62)  49%  55%  $17M

The first obvious anomaly is the Rotten Tomatoes audience score for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Why is it so low? Actual audiences gave the film an A, critics loved it, and it had a huge first weekend box office (the second largest in history). So why do Rotten Tomatoes users give it a score of only 53%? The site claims there is no evidence that the number is being manipulated with bots. Why are users intentionally voting down what is clearly a good film?

Next, Justice League was given a solid B+ rating by audiences and Rotten Tomatoes users gave it a similar (78%) score, but critics hated it. This seemed to be reflected in the box office, with lower than expected opening weekend for a block buster.

One of the biggest surprises was Blade Runner 2049. Audiences, critics and Rotten Tomatoes users all loved the film, but it did terribly at the box office, pulling in a mere $33M, about the same as The Mummy, which audiences found mediocre and critics hated.

About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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