Quick disclaimer, no, I didn’t sign any petitions aiming to take down Rotten Tomatoes. I do, however, have some gripes with how their official Tomatometer score is calculated - so I built a Chrome extension to fix it.
Under their current system, the score is, “the percentage of Approved Tomatometer Critics who have given this movie a positive review.” A positive review roughly translates to anything over 6/10, which seems fair until you realize how much this can warp the result. Currently, if one film were to receive 100 reviews of 0/10 and a second film received 100 reviews of 5/10, both films would get a Tomatometer score of 0%, because neither had any “positive” reviews. This seems unfair at best. Personally, I believe both films would be better represented by their average ratings - 0% for the first, and 50% for the second. This is what my Chrome extension, Patched Tomatoes, does.
After using this extension for a few days, I’ve noticed a few interesting things:
- Films never receive a score of 100% - the highest I’ve seen is 94%. I would suggest, though, that this 94% is far more impressive than the original 100%, since this tells me that all critics gave it a rating of around 9.5/10. On the original system, I’d only be able to assume that all critic ratings were over a 6/10, which isn’t nearly as precise.
- DC fans will be happy to know that most recent DC films have a better score while using this extension. That being said, their new scores are still generally not that great.
- Films that get really low or really high scores are generally affected more than those closer to 50-60%.
- Films can flip between fresh and rotten due to this extension. For instance, Man of Steel and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace become fresh, while Bad Moms goes rotten.