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Warner Bros. buys Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes? Hmmm

May. 4, 2011by:

I don't think too many of us are fans of corporate mergers and acquisitions in general, giving the behemoths even more power, but there's something in particular about this latest bit of news that just seems a touch...wrong.

Warner Bros. has bought #1 movie app Flixster, and along with it, premiere movie review site RottenTomatoes. The press release is mostly about Flixster, and what Warners plans to do with it.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group will utilize the Flixster brand and technical expertise to launch a number of initiatives designed to grow digital content ownership, including the recently announced consumer application “Digital Everywhere.” This studio-agnostic application will be the ultimate destination for consumers to organize and access their entire digital library from anywhere on the device of their choice, as well as to share recommendations and discover new content. The Flixster acquisition and “Digital Everywhere,” combined with the Studio’s support of the UltraViolet format are all part of an overall strategy to give consumers even more freedom, utility and value for their digital purchases.

But it's the ownership of RottenTomatoes that just seems a little bit....off. It's hard to deny that the site has a pretty significant impact on the box office, with its percentages often making or breaking an upcoming film (albeit, at times it doesn't matter, most notably with TRANSFORMERS movies it seems).

I guess it can be argued that the site is remaining independently operated and individual critics are not owned by Warners, meaning the end score SHOULD be the same if reviews are tallied correctly, but it's just a little disconcerting knowing that an actual studio owns the site many trust to tell them if a particular movie is good or not.

What do you make of this? Non-issue or conflict of interest?

Extra Tidbit: Though once upon a time, IGN owned RT, News Corp owned IGN and also Fox, so I guess it's sort of similar. Another fun fact is that Disney owned Siskel and Ebert's show when it aired.
Source: Deadline

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7:29PM on 05/05/2011
i really dont know what to say about this. I cant tell if im cocrened or not.
i really dont know what to say about this. I cant tell if im cocrened or not.
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12:02PM on 05/05/2011
I see no conflict considering how that site works. ( but I rarely ck out the site,let alone the ratings)
I see no conflict considering how that site works. ( but I rarely ck out the site,let alone the ratings)
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4:15AM on 05/05/2011

Re-writing history

Thats right people there is no longer any crap warner brothers films according to RT
Thats right people there is no longer any crap warner brothers films according to RT
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1:38AM on 05/05/2011
Not that big of a deal I guess but still, no movie studio should own a site like RT, in my opinion anyways.

I guess it explains why Thor as went down from 94% fresh to 88%....haha.
Not that big of a deal I guess but still, no movie studio should own a site like RT, in my opinion anyways.

I guess it explains why Thor as went down from 94% fresh to 88%....haha.
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1:40AM on 05/05/2011
BTW people, go see THOR! It's a solid 9/10 in my book!
BTW people, go see THOR! It's a solid 9/10 in my book!
8:25PM on 05/04/2011
That place isn't any better than than IMDB now anyway. It has went downhill in the last several months and most of the posters that were good left.
That place isn't any better than than IMDB now anyway. It has went downhill in the last several months and most of the posters that were good left.
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5:46PM on 05/04/2011
"Batman and Robin" Tomatometer now at a 100%.
"Batman and Robin" Tomatometer now at a 100%.
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+1
5:04PM on 05/04/2011

grow up

nothing's gonna happen, they're just gonna make money - nothing is gonna change and only a paranoid donkey would think so.
nothing's gonna happen, they're just gonna make money - nothing is gonna change and only a paranoid donkey would think so.
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4:27PM on 05/04/2011

So.....

Warner is gonna go and reverse or remove all the negative reviews of their own movies on top of promoting the shit out of their shit stable of shit movies.
Warner is gonna go and reverse or remove all the negative reviews of their own movies on top of promoting the shit out of their shit stable of shit movies.
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4:33PM on 05/04/2011
Shit, I said shit 3 times in that shitty sentence!
Shit, I said shit 3 times in that shitty sentence!
3:51PM on 05/04/2011

Not concerned.

So....what exactly are we worried about here? That RT will change their formula just for WB movies, and that somehow no one on the fucking INTERNET will notice? It's not like RT makes the reviews themselves.
So....what exactly are we worried about here? That RT will change their formula just for WB movies, and that somehow no one on the fucking INTERNET will notice? It's not like RT makes the reviews themselves.
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3:35PM on 05/04/2011
To those saying that Final Destination 5 will get a great review on Rotten Tomatoes and terrible everywhere else...DON'T COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT. Rotten Tomatoes IS "everywhere else". It's an average score for a movie based on just about every movie review available for any given film. The website generally determines whether a particular review is considered "fresh" or "rotten". This is where a potential conflict of interest could arise. The people that work for Warner
To those saying that Final Destination 5 will get a great review on Rotten Tomatoes and terrible everywhere else...DON'T COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT. Rotten Tomatoes IS "everywhere else". It's an average score for a movie based on just about every movie review available for any given film. The website generally determines whether a particular review is considered "fresh" or "rotten". This is where a potential conflict of interest could arise. The people that work for Warner Bros. would only have the power to decide the interpretation of a movie review as being positive or negative. This is all confusing, but bottom line, YES there is a conflict of interest, but NO the reliability of Rotten Tomatoes scores is not likely to change because it is based of unchangeable criteria.
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4:49PM on 05/04/2011
God, you're boring...
God, you're boring...
3:11PM on 05/04/2011

I loathe RT and sites like it

People depend on that shitty sites reviews like its the word of "God" and it pisses me off. Go see a movie and form your own opinion. Watching movies becomes more about making a complex review rather than enjoying yourself. Fuck that site. It will probably be even worst now.
People depend on that shitty sites reviews like its the word of "God" and it pisses me off. Go see a movie and form your own opinion. Watching movies becomes more about making a complex review rather than enjoying yourself. Fuck that site. It will probably be even worst now.
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3:19PM on 05/04/2011
Even worst that yours grammars?
Even worst that yours grammars?
3:49PM on 05/04/2011
Heaven forbid someone makes an informed purchasing decision. I agree though, we should do away with product reviews as a whole--who cares if they might be shitty and defective, figure it out on your own!
Heaven forbid someone makes an informed purchasing decision. I agree though, we should do away with product reviews as a whole--who cares if they might be shitty and defective, figure it out on your own!
4:31PM on 05/04/2011
That was AWESOME GuerillaOntology! Too bad we can't thumbs up responses.
That was AWESOME GuerillaOntology! Too bad we can't thumbs up responses.
1:33PM on 05/04/2011
Yeah, no conflict of interest there right? It's not just promoting WB films but helping to bash the competition that's where the problem will occur.
Yeah, no conflict of interest there right? It's not just promoting WB films but helping to bash the competition that's where the problem will occur.
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4:29PM on 05/04/2011
Yep!
Yep!
+15
12:27PM on 05/04/2011
So, this is how they're trying to get Green Lantern to get a 99%....
So, this is how they're trying to get Green Lantern to get a 99%....
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12:10PM on 05/04/2011

The real test...

The real test will be when 5nal Destination gets abnormally good reviews on RT but sucky reviews everywhere else...
The real test will be when 5nal Destination gets abnormally good reviews on RT but sucky reviews everywhere else...
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1:49PM on 05/04/2011
Anal Destination? what's that the porn version?
Anal Destination? what's that the porn version?
2:39PM on 05/04/2011
I do believe they dropped the 5nal and went with Final Destination 5.
I do believe they dropped the 5nal and went with Final Destination 5.
3:37PM on 05/04/2011
you don't make sense. the score is an average of all the movie reviews available for a particular movie. you obviously don't have a clue how a Rotten Tomatoes score is calculated.
you don't make sense. the score is an average of all the movie reviews available for a particular movie. you obviously don't have a clue how a Rotten Tomatoes score is calculated.
12:04PM on 05/04/2011
Yeah I don't like this but I'm sure after a few months I'll totally forget and still keep using RT as before.
Yeah I don't like this but I'm sure after a few months I'll totally forget and still keep using RT as before.
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