Rotten Tomatoes’ audience score has more impact on movie performance than reviews

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Rotten Tomatoes’ data from the biggest movies of 2021 reveals that the most important factor in a movie’s performance isn’t actually the Tomatometer.

While Rotten Tomatoes ‘scores can have a big influence on a film’s performance, there is only one thing in common with Rotten Tomatoes’ scores from the biggest films of 2021. 2021 has been chaotic so as the world continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, so some films have seen hybrid theatrical and streaming releases, while others have seen exclusive theatrical or streaming releases, but all the best at the box- office and streaming had a common factor in their Rotten Tomatoes scores.

Rotten Tomatoes scores are considered an important part of movie marketing and can even impact box office performance. Rotten Tomatoes claims that high-scoring movies tend to perform better and lower-scoring movies tend to perform worse, and that may be true in general, but with several of the biggest movies of 2021 getting rotten scores. , this is clearly not a hard rule. To take a closer look at how those scores stack up, we took a look at the Rotten Tomatoes scores of 17 of the top performing movies this year. The list is unrated and may not be complete due to lack of complete streaming data, it simply includes the world’s top box office hits for 2021 as well as the top performing Netflix Originals according to Netflix data, best HBO Max performance based on third party Samba TV data and best performing Amazon Prime and Disney + data from Nielsen. The list includes Red Notice, Army of the Dead, Fatherhood, Zack Snyder’s Justice League, The Suicide Squad, No Time to Die, F9, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Godzilla vs. Kong, Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, Dune, Black Widow, Free Guy, Mortal Kombat, The War of Tomorrow, and Luca.

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Related: How Eternals’ Low Rotten Tomatoes Score Could Impact Future MCU Movies

When it comes to the Tomatometer, most of the movies are fresh, with an average score of 70 percent, but surprisingly six of the seventeen movies are rotten. As far as the Top Critics score goes, it’s a bit tighter as eight of the 17 are rotten, even though they’re still fresh overall with an average of 63%. The number that really stands out, however, is the audience scores, with 100 percent of our selected films earning a fresh score. Not only is it significant that the score is fresh across the board, but the 84% average is also very high, suggesting that the most important factor in theatrical or streaming performance is ultimately the audience score.


By taking a closer look at the audience score data, Shang Chi and the legend of the ten rings and Zack Snyder Justice League share the highest audience score of the selected films at 94%, while Paternity has the lowest audience score at 70 percent. Relatively, The suicide squad, Shang Chi and the legend of the ten rings, and Luca share the highest score at 91 percent while Red Notice has the lowest score at 36 percent. The suicide squad is an interesting case because it was a hybrid release that posted big numbers on HBO Max, but was also bombed at the box office. The high audience score doesn’t necessarily mean it would have been one of the best box office movies of the year without the hybrid release, as there were plenty of 2021 movies with high audience scores. who haven’t made it to one of the biggest films of the year; However, based on that data, Rotten Tomatoes’ score of 88% meant it had the most important component in place, it’s just that its performance came from streaming instead, perhaps to the detriment of the box office. Mortal combat is a similar story, although both critical scores are rotten and only an audience score of 73 percent, it arguably has the right corollaries to films with strong box office performances.


Studios have traditionally coveted critical scores and touted marketing scores if they’re good, but based on that data, Audience Score means studios shouldn’t have to worry about responding to critics everything. In fact, the lesson that may become more common over time as movies like Ghostbusters: the afterlife choose to highlight the movie audience score. Studios certainly shouldn’t just focus on audience score like the Tomatometer, but it shouldn’t come as a shock that the most important metric for audience engagement is making a movie that audiences really love.

Next: How The 2021 Box Office Was Affected By Concurrent Streaming Releases



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