In late February, Rotten Tomatoes did away with its “Want to See” user reviews feature after trolls abused it to tank Captain Marvel‘s ratings score ahead of its March release. Since then, the company has been promising that some big changes would be coming to its basic user reviews function. On Thursday, they delivered on that promise by unveiling the new “Verified Audience Score” program. Basically, in order to rate or review a film and contribute to the audience score, you have to prove you actually saw it.
The new changes are set to take effect for upcoming new releases, per Rotten Tomatoes:
The first Audience Score you see on a movie page — that’s it next to the popcorn bucket just to the right of the Tomatometer — will be the score made up of Verified Ratings. As with the current Audience Score, when the score is Fresh (that is, above 60%), you’ll see a red popcorn bucket; when it is Rotten (59% and below), the bucket will be green and tipped over… If you want to see a score that incorporates all included ratings — both verified and non-verified — simply click “more info” where you can toggle between the two.
When the new user review program launches, willing participants will be able to verify their ratings via Fandango. The AMC Theaters, Regal Cinemas and Cinemark theater chains have also “signed up to participate,” though Rotten Tomatoes didn’t indicate when the verification program would eventually include them. The website also intends to include other ticket sellers in the near future.
At the moment, this feature will only be available for movies released on or after May 23rd, 2019, and only for users based in the United States. The system will also not be able to accommodate those who purchased physical tickets at a theater. As for streaming titles and television shows, neither will currently be a part of the new verification program, though Rotten Tomatoes is “looking to improve the usefulness of our Audience rating system” and include these options in the near future.
(Via Rotten Tomatoes)