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Film fan exposes how Rotten Tomatoes actually works out its percentage scores

Film fan exposes how Rotten Tomatoes actually works out its percentage scores

It turns out there are a lot of people who don't really know how Rotten Tomatoes works

Whenever a movie comes out there's a lot of people who will check out what kind of scores it's getting on Rotten Tomatoes to get a feeling for whether it seems good or not.

However, there are few review sites which get kicked around in the same way that Rotten Tomatoes does, with plenty of screeching rage over this movie or that getting a good score.

It's one of the most misunderstood sites on the internet as a lot of people either assume that Rotten Tomatoes is handing out review scores or that the figure you see is an aggregate of the review scores people gave a movie.

That ain't the case as what the site actually does is give you a figure of how many critics or how much of the audience liked the movie, not how much they liked it.

While sites like Metacritic try to crunch together all the review scores and give you a number which tells you the movie's average review score, Rotten Tomatoes tells you how many gave the thing a good review.

Some people get unreasonably angry about Rotten Tomatoes scores, so here's a TikToker to explain how it works.

Still with us? If not then TikToker Average Joe has got you covered, as he's done the math behind how they calculate their scores to show how a movie with better reviews can end up with a lower score than another.

Explaining how the site gets their 'Audience Score' figures, he found that Rotten Tomatoes considers user reviews of 3.5 stars or more (essentially a seven out of 10) to have meant that they liked the film.

And that percentage score you see for movies is how many people who saw it gave it 3.5 stars or more, it's as simple as that.

However, it can get slightly more complicated depending on the quality of the movie, as a load of five star reviews count the same as a bunch of 3.5 star ones but you wouldn't say they liked the movies just as much as each other.

The TikToker explained that with this method, a film with lots of great reviews and a handful of not so great ones could end up with a lower audience score than a movie with a bunch of decent audience reviews even if they loved it more.

He did the math.

It does tend to bode well for a movie if it performs well on Rotten Tomatoes, as both Oppenheimer and Barbie can attest.

It's always better for a movie if it can point to a high proportion of people loving it and it's definitely better than the alternative of being almost universally disliked.

The controversy kicks in when critics and audiences appear to be on different pages about how good a movie is as sometimes there's a big disparity between the critic score and audience score.

Still, Rotten Tomatoes is really handy to have as a guide on the general vibe of a movie, if it's scoring high on both critic and audience scores then it's probably worth a trip to the cinema.

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/ @average_joe_mcc

Topics: Film and TV