Fandango Buys Rotten Tomatoes. | Gradient

Fandango Buys Rotten Tomatoes.

Today in fairly interesting business deals, online movie ticket powerhouse Fandango has purchased online film review aficionado Rotten Tomatoes. On the surface, this makes sense. It’s easy to see why Fandango would want to have a “purchase tickets” option plastered throughout Rotten Tomatoes’ reviews. But the dorks over at FiveThirtyEight have whipped out their calculators and discovered a fact that is as disappointing as it is unsurprising: Fandango gives out some of the kindest reviews on the Internet.

Via: FiveThirtyEight

This is not altogether surprising. Fandango exists to put butts in theater seats, and that mission isn’t helped by bad reviews. Conversely, Rotten Tomatoes is the toughest reviewer out there, which stands to reason. Or, it did.

In a statement, Fandango President Paul Yanover said: “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.” The operative phrase here—“driving more theatrical ticketing”—is buried. That could look like a lot of things, but Fandango’s current method of reviewing films provides us with some clues. As FiveThirtyEight points out, there are almost no movies reviewed on Fandango with fewer than three stars. As they put it: “For all intents and purposes, Fandango is using a 3 to 5 star scale.”

None of this means that Fandango will necessarily impose rules about just how mean Rotten Tomatoes can be with their sliding scale (currently, a movie has to receive at least 60% positive-to-mostly-positive reviews in order to be considered “fresh”) but, well, think about it. If your company’s goal was to sell as many movie tickets as possible, would you be interested in making movies look bad?

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