Just so we’re straight, no discerning film lover checks Fandango to see if a movie is any good or not. Fandango is a whore site. A far more reliable approach has always been to check both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. But now Rotten Tomatoes is suddenly looking a tad dicey. Six hours ago it was announced that Fandango has bought Rotten Tomatoes and Flixster, which, given the too-positive aggregate ratings Fandango is known for handing out, amounts to a big “uh-oh”.
Hello, Metacritic — our old and only reliable friend. And farewell, Rotten Tomatoes, for the time being. Not finally and absolutely but until it’s been clearly proven that Fandango won’t be applying its happy formula to RT’s aggregate ratings in the wake of the purchase, the smart policy will be to regard RT askance.
Last October FiveThirtyEight’s Walt Hickey posted the results of an exacting study that determined the aggregate ratings on Fandango were happier than those on Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango, which is owned by NBC/Universal, is obviously more interested in selling tickets than passing along the straight dope about whether a movie sucks or not.
Gizmodo’s Matt Novak posted an uh-oh piece a few hours ago.
Novak included the following statement from Fandango president Paul Yanover about the purchase: “Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes are invaluable resources for movie fans, and we look forward to growing these successful properties, driving more theatrical ticketing and super-serving consumers with all their movie needs.”
Excuse me…“driving more theatrical ticketing”? Read Hickey’s analysis and do the math.