“The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes,” Ratner said at the Sun Valley Film Festival last week, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. “I think it’s the destruction of our business. I have such respect and admiration for film criticism. When I was growing up film criticism was a real art. And there was intellect that went into that. And you would read Pauline Kael’s reviews, or some others, and that doesn’t exist anymore. Now it’s about a number. A compounded number of how many positives vs. negatives. Now it’s about, ‘What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?’ And that’s sad, because the Rotten Tomatoes score was so low on ‘Batman v Superman’ I think it put a cloud over a movie that was incredibly successful.” Ratner’s company RatPac Entertainment co-financed “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
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“People don’t realize what goes into making a movie like that,” Ratner continued. “It’s mind-blowing. It’s just insane, it’s hurting the business, it’s getting people to not see a movie. In Middle America it’s, ‘Oh, it’s a low Rotten Tomatoes score so I’m not going to go see it because it must suck.’ But that number is an aggregate and one that nobody can figure out exactly what it means, and it’s not always correct. I’ve seen some great movies with really abysmal Rotten Tomatoes scores. What’s sad is film criticism has disappeared. It’s really sad.”
In a statement to EW, Rotten Tomatoes’ Jeff Voris said, “At Rotten Tomatoes, we completely agree that film criticism is valuable and important, and we’re making it easier than it has ever been for fans to access potentially hundreds of professional reviews for a given film or TV show in one place. The Tomatometer score, which is the percentage of positive reviews published by professional critics, has become a useful decision-making tool for fans, but we believe it’s just a starting point for them to begin discussing, debating and sharing their own opinions.”
Ratner also revealed that a fourth installment of his “Rush Hour” franchise might be in the works. “I think it will happen; we’re talking to writers,” he said. “We could call it ‘Grumpy Old Rush Hour.'” The first film of the trilogy, which stars Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, was released in 1998 and grossed $244 million worldwide.