Warner Bros. now owns film review site Rotten Tomatoes
Warner Bros. has made a deal to buy Flixster, the mobile app that allows smartphone users to watch the trailer for Something Borrowed, then find a theater showing Something Borrowed, then let their friends know what they thought of Something Borrowed, then add Something Borrowed to their Netflix queue so they can see Something Borrowed again when it comes out. Thanks to this and the ability to do these same things and more with movies that are not Something Borrowed, it’s easily the most popular “movie discovery” app around, so it makes sense that Warner Bros. would be interested in picking its developers’ brains in order to help launch its upcoming Digital Everywhere cloud-based app, which will allow you to access all of your movies and TV shows anywhere.
And that’s all well and good—success attracts success, and branding initiatives and so forth—except for the deal also includes Rotten Tomatoes, the popular film review aggregator site whose staff collects disparate critical opinions, then uses their sometimes-murky internal matrix (a combination of objective mathematics and subjective editorial decisions) to assign the all-important “Fresh” and “Rotten” ratings that let you know whether a film like, say, the new Warner Bros. release Something Borrowed is worth checking out. But of course, Warner Bros. has offered assurances that Rotten Tomatoes will continue to operate completely independently, and that the acquisition of a film review site by a major movie studio is nothing to worry about. After all, hasn't vertical integration always worked out to everyone's benefit?
Anyway, for now you’ll just have to take them at their word, and keep a close eye on Rotten Tomatoes to judge whether its new owners’ influence affects its ability to properly summarize critical consensus, particularly when a film like Something Borrowed receives a collective “meh” that could read either way. Also, should any execs from any other major movie studios be reading this: We're just jealous. Make us an offer.