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A Potential Record Breaker on Rotten Tomatoes

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by Matt Singer
June 11, 2013 11:29 AM
4 Comments
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The Hollywood Reporter reports that with two more reviews, 'Hating Breitbart,' the new documentary about the late conservative publisher Andrew Breitbart, will break a record on the movie review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. That record: Biggest Gap Between Critics and Audience Score.

The audience's current RT score for 'Hating Breitbart:' a whopping 96%.

The critics' current RT score for 'Hating Breitbart:' a reverse-whopping 0%

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Rotten Tomatoes records become official when a movie hits ten reviews; 'Hating Breitbart' currently has eight. Here's what RT editor in chief Matt Atchity told THR about the impending record breaker:

"While interesting, Rotten Tomatoes editor in chief Matt Atchity says not to read too much into the phenomenon, since 'Hating Breitbart' is the kind of film that attracts politicos who are motivated to pump a film not on its merits but because they agree with its message."

THR also lists the current record holder and runners-up in this category -- #1 with is "Broken Bridges," a 2006 film starring Toby Keith about a rift between Jeff and Beau Bridges a washed-up country music star. That movie holds a 5% approval rating with critics and an 87% with audiences. Other films on the list include "The Boondock Saints" (20%/92.9%) and "Diary of a Mad Black Woman" (15%/87.7%). 

I use Rotten Tomatoes at least once or twice a week, but I never really look at the audience scores. Should I? Atchity says in this case the grade is skewed by viewers' politics, but what about for regular Hollywood movies? Is it truer to an audience's reaction than CinemaScore, the de facto reference for theatergoers' opinions about movies? This week, for example, CinemaScore says audiences gave "The Internship" a B+; Rotten Tomatoes' audience score is a 69%. It breaks down similarly for "The Hangover Part III;" B- on CinemaScore, 49% on Rotten Tomatoes. In both cases, the RT audience rating seems closer to the truth (as I see it based on my own highly scientific analysis of asking random people I know who've seen those movies).

This is all moot, I guess, if "Breitbart" doesn't earn any more reviews -- or if it gets two positive reviews, which would put it at a 20% rating, and rank it below "Broken Bridges" on this list. Just how much do people hate Breitbart? That is the question.

Read more of "Andrew Breitbart Doc Nears Rotten Tomatoes Record."

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More: Rotten Tomatoes , Andrew Breitbart

4 Comments

  • Nicholas Girling | June 12, 2013 7:08 AMReply

    One would think that the audience who are likely to watch this film are already predisposed to like it - or at least agree with its message.

    To dismiss the critics opinions as invalid or to suggest they didn't watch it because they gave it poor reviews seems rather myopic.

  • Andrew Marcus | June 11, 2013 12:37 PMReply

    As the Director of this film, I'm curious if Matt Atchity watched Hating Breitbart before commenting on its merits. Interestingly, that's the same question I have for some of the critics who allegedly reviewed the film.

    I don't think the audience is pumping the film. I think they're making their voices heard right next to the critics voices, thanks to the democratizing technology Rotten Tomatoes affords them. Why should Atchity dismiss them for using the very public platform he edits? I have a sneaking suspicion why he would do this but since I've never met that man I'll defer judgment.

  • DAVID KLEIN | June 17, 2013 11:44 AM

    I wish you'd taken less time to devolve your argument into an ad hominem attack, if only so I could stop reading it sooner.

  • Brian Darr | June 11, 2013 11:41 AMReply

    I'd be curious to know the record-holder in the gap going the other direction: a movie beloved by critics but hated by audiences.

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