Film fan identifies huge problem with Rotten Tomatoes after working out real meaning of scores
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When it comes to getting a feel of how good a movie is, a lot of people use Rotten Tomatoes as their means of carrying out a vibe check.
However, there's a bit of a problem with Rotten Tomatoes scores being held up as the ultimate metric for how good or bad something is.
While getting consistently high scores and even the coveted 'Certified Fresh' ranking is good news, when you dig down into how those scores are calculated it can produce some surprising results.
Digging down into what the movie score actually means he took a look at Barbie's score of 90 percent audience score.
While some people might think that means the average of audience reviews comes up to nine out of 10, instead it indicates that 90 percent of people who gave it a score rated Barbie at least three-and-a-half stars out of five.
The Rotten Tomatoes score doesn't tell you the average of a movie's review scores and instead says how many people who left a rating gave it a big enough thumbs up.
Rotten Tomatoes counts people leaving a movie a review of three-and-a-half stars out of five or more to be a good review (that's basically a seven out of 10) and the audience score you see on site is just how many gave it that score or higher.
However, the TikToker pointed out that this doesn't really tell you how good a movie actually is, as everyone could think a film was pretty good and all give it just enough to get the thumbs up.
That'd give the film a 100 percent rating when a movie which got higher actual review scores but had a couple of low scores chucked in would appear worse.
He explained that a movie that was 'a little mid' but generally a decent crowd-pleaser could come out ahead of something people were leaving rave reviews for.
Lots of people have made it this far without knowing what the Rotten Tomatoes scores actually mean and the site itself sometimes comes in for some flak from people who think it's assigning things a review score rather than just telling you how many other people said they liked it.
The TikToker also dug into the idea that a movie with a lower Rotten Tomatoes score might actually have better reviews than one with a bigger rating.
He found (from an admittedly small sample size) that in four out of 10 cases the movie with the lower audience score actually had better review scores on average, it was just that not everyone agreed.
So now you know how Rotten Tomatoes scores work, and apparently knowing is half the battle.