Good news for Aussie movie buffs, with the Australian version of Rotten Tomatoes launching today. For those unfamiliar with the brand, Rotten Tomatoes is a US-based website that aggregates critical opinion on movies, along with providing movie trailers, pictures, news/interviews/reviews related to all things cinema.
Their staff search the Internet for as many websites as possible containing reviews of particular films; from the amateur to the professional (for instance, respected cinema guru David Stratton is one of the many reviewers canvassed). They then determine whether reviews are positive (“fresh”, and a red tomato) or negative (“rotten”, and a green splatted tomato). If the positive reviews make up 60% or more, the film is considered “fresh”; less, and the film is “rotten.”
While this may seem like too simplistic a method to rate movies, especially with people having vastly different cinematic tastes, the numbers don’t lie. Across 2007 in the US, films released that scored a “fresh” rating made, on average, $1000 more per screen than films which were scored as “rotten”. It also helps to dispel a common myth that movie critics are elitist, while moviegoers are populist.
Another feature of the site, ‘The Vine’, provides a tool for personal publishing (journals), social networking tools and also access to user forums, adding a community element to the site offering.
Hopefully Rotten Tomatoes helps Australian filmgoers to pick the right movie, and avoid wasting their hard-earned on the latest box-office bomb. A quick analysis of Jessica Alba’s movie career so far, many people will have to agree with the effectiveness of their methodology!