- The Rotten Tomatoes critic and audience scores for “Gotti” are drastically different – the film has a 0% critic score but a 71% audience score.
- Many of the user accounts that positively reviewed the film were created this month and have only reviewed “Gotti,” leading to suspicions that the audience score could be manufactured.
- The film also has almost as many user ratings as “Incredibles 2,” which is hard to believe considering the two films’ box office performances over the weekend.
- The marketing strategy for the movie is now calling out critics and saying that audiences “love” the movie.
The new John Travolta film “Gotti,” which movie-theater subscription service MoviePass invested in, may have a 0% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes, but audiences seem to “love” it – at least according to the film’s Rotten Tomatoes audience score and a new marketing strategy for the movie.
But it appears those latter two things could be connected in a devious way.
“Gotti” currently has a 71% Rotten Tomatoes audience score as of Tuesday afternoon. It’s not uncommon for audiences to enjoy a movie more than critics, but it comes as a surprise for the two scores to be so drastically different, especially considering the film’s low box-office performance over the weekend (it took in $1.67 million).
Screen Junkies film critic Dan Murrell first pointed out some inconsistencies on Twitter.
If you didn’t see my earlier thread - Gotti’s user ratings on Rotten Tomatoes were extremely abnormal for any film of its size. This is now obviously part of a concerted marketing strategy to discredit its abysmal reviews and paint critics as out of touch. That’s really pathetic.
— Dan Murrell (@MurrellDan) June 19, 2018
What makes the audience score so suspicious is that it's based on nearly 7,000 user ratings. By comparison, "Incredibles 2" has just over 7,600 user ratings. It's hard to believe the two movies would have almost the same amount of user ratings since many more people saw "Incredibles 2" (the movie made a record-breaking $180 million over the weekend).
Furthermore, "Gotti" marketing strategy is now to go all-in on the idea that audiences like the movie and critics hate it. The movie's official Twitter called out critics in a tweet Monday night, tweeting "audiences loved Gotti but critics don't want you to see it… The question is why??? Trust the people and see it for yourself!"
Then, on Tuesday, MoviePass sent a notification through its app that said, "Audiences love GOTTI but critics think otherwise. Who do you trust? See it today." MoviePass invested in the movie through its MoviePass Ventures subsidiary.
This all leads to the suspicion that someone, perhaps the team behind "Gotti," is manufacturing the film's Rotten Tomatoes audience score. If that sounds far-fetched, consider this: most of the user accounts that have positively reviewed the movie on Rotten Tomatoes were created this month, and many of those have only reviewed one movie: "Gotti" (like this one, for instance, in which the review is simply "I will use Movi Pass").
There were even a couple of accounts that had only reviewed two movies: "Gotti" and "American Animals," another (better reviewed) MoviePass-funded film.
A Reddit user broke down the the user accounts based on how many of them had only reviewed "Gotti" and were created this month in this thread.
My own calculations were a bit different, but the conclusion is still the same: there's an unusual amount of accounts that were created in June and have only reviewed "Gotti." Maybe the film just has a passionate fanbase, as Murrell points out, but it's more likely that the movie has a somewhat doctored audience score.
When reached for comment, Rotten Tomatoes said, "We closely monitor our platforms and haven't determined there to be any problems. All of the reviews were left by active accounts." But while the accounts may be active, that doesn't mean they weren't created with a specific agenda in mind.
It's worth noting that the audience score dropped throughout the day on Tuesday, but that doesn't change the inconsistencies.
It wouldn't be unheard of for a movie's Rotten Tomatoes audience score to be the topic of confusion. For instance, the audience score for "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" has a 46% audience score compared to its positive 91% critic score. This was reportedly due to a group of online trolls angry about the movie which claimed to manipulate the audience score.
Whatever the case, there's no denying that the difference between the "Gotti" scores is a bit out of whack. Who do you trust?
MoviePass did not return a request for comment.