×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Rotten Tomatoes Dismisses Claim ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ User Ratings Were Skewed by Bots

Did an alt-right fanboy group — supposedly unhappy with “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” over its alleged “feminist agenda” — game Rotten Tomatoes’ user ratings to push down the score? The website says the claim is hogwash.

“The Last Jedi” currently has a 92% aggregate critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes, making it “Certified Fresh” — but registers a score of just 54% among users. Out of nearly 135,000 ratings tabulated by the site as of Thursday, the average user rating was 3.2 out of 5. The marked discrepancy between critics and audiences was already apparent when the rankings first were released last week.

Now, someone affiliated with a Facebook group called “Down With Disney’s Treatment of Franchises and its Fanboys” has claimed that he enlisted bots to spam Rotter Tomatoes with negative reviews of “Last Jedi,” according to a report by the Huffington Post. That’s allegedly because he was angry about “Star Wars” producers emasculating characters like Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac).

“I’m sick and tired of men being portrayed as idiots,” the unnamed alt-righter told HuffPost. “There was a time we ruled society and I want to see that again. That is why I voted for Donald Trump.”

But it’s far more likely that thousands of disgruntled “Star Wars” fans are actually responsible for the weak Rotten Tomatoes user score. Asked about the claims outlined in the HuffPost piece, Rotten Tomatoes said the security team tasked with managing the scores hasn’t seen any unusual user activity that would indicate its scores have been successfully tampered with.

“For ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi,’ we have seen an uptick in people posting written user reviews, as fans are very passionate about this movie and the franchise,” a Rotten Tomatoes rep said, but the number of written reviews being posted by fans is comparable to 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

“The authenticity of our critic and user scores is very important to Rotten Tomatoes and as a course of regular business, we have a team of security, network, social and database experts who closely monitor our platforms,” the rep added.

In any case, the low Rotten Tomatoes user rating hasn’t slowed down “The Last Jedi” at the box office: The Disney-Lucasfilm movie was poised to top $600 million worldwide Thursday, after just six days in wide release.

Rotten Tomatoes is part of NBCUniversal’s Fandango, which acquired the movie-ranking site in 2016 from Warner Bros.

More Film

  • Come as You Are review

    SXSW Film Review: 'Come as You Are'

    The rare remake that’s actually a slight improvement on its predecessor, Richard Wong’s “Come as You Are” translates Geoffrey Enthoven’s 2011 Belgian “Hasta la Vista” to middle America. Other changes are less substantial, but this seriocomedy has a less formulaic feel than the original while remaining a crowd-pleasing buddy pic-caper with a soft-pedaled minority empowerment [...]

  • Strange Negotiations review

    SXSW Film Review: 'Strange Negotiations'

    In a era when some mainstream entertainers have transitioned to targeting faith-based audiences, David Bazan is moving in the other direction. The gifted songwriter’s ersatz band Pedro the Lion was perhaps the most successful Christian indie rock act of its time, and the first to significantly cross over to secular fans. Then he ditched that persona (and [...]

  • Bluebird review

    SXSW Film Review: ‘Bluebird’

    As affectionate as a love letter but as substantial as an infomercial, Brian Loschiavo’s “Bluebird” may be of most interest to casual and/or newly converted country music fans who have occasionally wondered about the songwriters behind the songs. There’s a better than even-money chance that anyone who’s a loyal and longtime aficionado of the musical [...]

  • ‘Wonder Park’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad

    ‘Wonder Park’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending for the Fourth Week in a Row

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv, Paramount Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the fourth week in row with “Wonder Park.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.18 million through Sunday for 1,718 national [...]

  • Michael B. Jordan Jordan Vogt-Roberts

    Film News Roundup: Michael B. Jordan, Jordan Vogt-Roberts Team for Monster Movie

    In today’s film news roundup, Michael B. Jordan is producing a creature feature, billiards champ Cisero Murphy is getting a movie, the sixth Terminator movie gets a title, and Graham King receives an honor. PROJECT UNVEILED New Regency and Michael B. Jordan’s Outlier Society are partnering on an untitled monster movie from “Kong: Skull Island” [...]

  • Nicolas Cage

    Nicolas Cage to Star in Martial Arts Actioner 'Jiu Jitsu'

    Nicolas Cage will star in the martial arts actioner “Jiu Jitsu,” based on the comic book of the same name. The cast will also include Alain Moussi, who stars in the “Kickboxer” franchise. Dimitri Logothetis is producing with Martin Barab and directing from a script he wrote with Jim McGrath. Highland Film Group is handling [...]

  • Chinese success of Thai film "Bad

    Chinese, Thai Shingles Pact for Co-Production Fund at FilMart

    A deal to establish a 100 million yuan ($14.9 million) co-production fund between China and Thailand was struck at FilMart on Tuesday to help launch TV and film projects that will appeal to Chinese and Southeast Asian audience. The deal that was struck by China’s Poly Film Investment Co., TW Capital from Thailand and Thai [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content