Rotten Tomatoes Isn’t Actually Responsible For Hollywood’s Woes, a Data Scientist Finds
by Ashley Rodriguez
…But, as it turns out, Rotten Tomatoes may not be the box-office buster some believe it to be.
Yves Bergquist, a data scientist at the University of Southern California’s Entertainment Technology Center, analyzed the critics and audience scores on Rotten Tomatoes for the 150 titles that grossed more than $1 million in 2017, and those since 2000 that grossed more than $2 million worldwide.
He found that Rotten Tomatoes scores have never driven theatrical performances, either positively or negatively, and still do not, he wrote in a Medium post.
…While there was no real connection between Rotten Tomatoes scores and box-office returns, Bergquist did notice an increasing correlation between the way critics scored films on Rotten Tomatoes and the way audiences scored them. Since 2013, audiences and critics have had surprisingly similar opinions on the top-grossing films. Based on the data, they’re getting better at sensing the good and the bad on their own.
“When Hollywood executives complain about Rotten Tomatoes scores,” Bergquist wrote, “they actually complain about their audiences’ tastes, because it’s almost the same thing.”