Biggest disparity between critics reviews and box office: TF movies?

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by Blot, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. Blot

    Blot Terrorcon Foot Soldier

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    As we know, the TF movies, especially the last two, tend to get very low reviews from the critics, but do very well at the box office. I'm wondering how this ratio compares to that of other movies.

    I'm not sure what the best metric for it would be, but one might be box office gross per rotten tomatoes percentage point.

    For example, DotM and Iron Man 3 had about the same box office take, but Iron Man 3 got a 78% while DotM got 36% on rotten tomatoes.

    So in terms of dollars per percentage point, DotM blows Iron Man 3 away:

    Iron Man 3: $15.6 million per rotten tomato percentage point.
    DotM: $31.2 million per rotten tomato percentage point.

    Some more examples (I threw in some random low rated ones for comparison):

    Revenge of the fallen: $44.0 million per percentage point
    Avatar: $33.5 million per percentage point
    Avengers: $16.5 million per percentage point
    Are We There Yet: $7.5 million per percentage point
    Alone in the Dark: $5.2 million per percentage point

    Avatar had a high rating and made tons of money, so while the dollars per point is high, the disparity has a different context than the last two TF films.

    Any thoughts on this? Does this show a bias or a disconnect between critics and the movie going audiences, especially with regard to TF films?
     
  2. Ironhide1234

    Ironhide1234 Here.

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    I didn't see what the hype for Avatar was all about?
     
  3. Haloid1177

    Haloid1177 Hey, That's Pretty Good

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    Obviously.

    It was critically acclaimed (for some reason) but mostly for the groundbreaking visual effects.
     
  4. Scorpio

    Scorpio Well-Known Member

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    Money doesn't attribute to quality of film. I personally thought that Shaun Of The Dead and Scott Pilgrim were really good quality movies with a massive amount of attention to detail. However, Shaun Of The Dead only made about $30M and Scott Pilgirm underperformed at the box office. Both film is rated highly by critics though because they are good movies.

    The rating comes from the quality of the film - not how much money the movie makes. The system you've turned it into doesn't make sense either - as you are combining a ratings with earnings as if they actually fit together - and they don't.
     
  5. Haloid1177

    Haloid1177 Hey, That's Pretty Good

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    That isn't remotely what the OP was saying, maybe you should take of the Bayformers hate goggles and read it again. He's simply asking if TF is the most review proof franchise on the market today, and it obviously is.
     
  6. JonLeung

    JonLeung Member

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    I think one reason could be because of the human and Transformer storylines. If you're not familiar with Transformers you probably relate to the humans. If you're a Transformers fan you probably want to relate to the Autobots. And then while you're seeing the same movie your perspective is different. Or maybe it's because of different expectations between those familiar with the source material and those who aren't, despite the fact that it's essentially a different series anyway...I think the Resident Evil films and games are a similarly weird case of that too.

    It's wearying that some critics still go in like every movie has to be a cinematic yet Shakespearean masterpiece. Expectations play a big role in how you see a movie, I've been pretty hard on DotM because I wanted it to be so much better than it was.
     
  7. Deathpool

    Deathpool EREDEAN WINCHAEGER

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    Maybe because people like to have fun at the theaters and watch popcorn movies while a critic's job is to judge every movie from a critical standpoint?
     
  8. Deathpool

    Deathpool EREDEAN WINCHAEGER

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    Meanwhile Transformers (2007) loses the best Special Effects award to a fucking talking polar bear
     
  9. Ephland

    Ephland Let's Go Rangers

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    I think it's more than that. I think movie critics feel it's their place to "uphold the sanctity" of movies. When, it's really not. It's no different than the BBWAA. They feel it's their duty to protect the game of baseball and have understood codes they abide by, such as refusing to allow someone to go into the HOF with 100% of the vote, just because they feel no one deserves it. But they are just baseball writers who have given themselves responsibility.
     
  10. Ash from Carolina

    Ash from Carolina Junior Smeghead

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    Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides got a Tomato Meter of 33% with a domestic box office of $241,071,802 and a foreign box office of $804,642,000 for a combined $1,045,713,802. So there aren't any hard fast rules that critical reception will sway your box office if you have good enough of a marketing team behind your movie.

    Although there are times when even marketing can only do so much. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Tomato score 53%, domestic box office $199,695,402, foreign box office $503,481,064, for a total of $703,176,466.

    While studios have cut risks to the point where big movies are kind of bland and boring now there still aren't any hard fast rules that if a studio does X, Y, and Z that it will result in the desired box office. The general public is a fickle thing so studios still get surprised when films make more or make less than everyone was predicting.
     
  11. Blot

    Blot Terrorcon Foot Soldier

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    This, but also why that is the case. Why such a disparity? While a disparity certainly exists in general between critics and the movie going public in general when it comes to movies, it seems much more pronounced when it comes to the TF movies. What makes critics value them so disproportionately negative to how viewers value them (measured by the dollars they spend)?

    As Scorpio's post implies, I think in general professional critics value some aspects of a film relative to other aspects of a film much differently than the general public. The overall value of a film as judged by the professional critics and the box office take don't lineup, but the value of the film as judged by the consumer certainly lines up with the box office. Why does "good" in the critics' view not equal "good" in the general public's view less disparately.

    I think the TF films might bring this disparity to the forefront so radically because of the disparity between those aspects in the film: things like the visual effects are generally the best of the best while the dialogue or characterization are much lower quality. Movie goers appear to place more value on the former, while critics place more value on the latter--thus the radically different evaluation of the same move.

    Is a movie critic's goal to inform the reader's decision whether or not to spend money to see a particular film, or is it to provide an academic assessment of the work according to a set of established academic criteria? If the former, I think his rating should better proportionally reflect the values of his audience, otherwise, it's irrelevant (and audiences certainly seem to treat critical reviews as irrelevant). I'm not talking about differences in opinion as to, for example, whether the dialogue is good or bad, but with how much weight the dialogue should be given in the overall rating of a particular movie.
     
  12. ironguymanpie

    ironguymanpie Well-Known Member

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    I guess that's why critics hate these movies so much, no matter how many bad things they say about the movie, people still go and see it
     
  13. Haloid1177

    Haloid1177 Hey, That's Pretty Good

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    I think you're a little off base. Critics aren't upset that their opinions are being ignored, they're just upset that a shitty movie is making money. I don't think the majority of them take it personally that these do well at the box office.
     
  14. Bodrum

    Bodrum Active Member

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    I like the OPs thought process but there are some clear issues comparing revenue take to RT scores. As pointed out, critics review films films from a technical/script/plot/story telling pov. Bad films can still be entertaining. Critics often give bad scores but still recommend the film (see Kermode, Red Letter Media etc).

    I don't think using movie earnings is a fair metric, for the following reasons:

    1. Some movies aren't available in 3D, which is more expensive ticket-wise.
    2. In some theaters certain movies are only available in 3D (pointed out on these boards were a user stated that he can only see AoE in 3D).
    3. Some films don't have a wide release (indie type affairs)
    3. Advertising- Transformers is heavily advertised compared to movies such as Scott Pilgrim.
    4. Movie costs. In part associated with the above point- the more expensive a movie is to make the more likely it is that the studio is going to heavily push it.

    On the money front it would be fairer to take costs into account and use net earnings. It would probably change the ratio of some of the films you've mentioned. I imagine TF would still have a high 'money per review' score regardless.
     
  15. Ash from Carolina

    Ash from Carolina Junior Smeghead

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    Films target different demographics because everyone doesn't go to watch films in a movie theater and out of the somewhat small percentage of people who do watch films in a movie theater they will not watch every film that hits theaters.

    So sometimes critical response can sway the box office for a film because the target demographic for that film is the sort of people who tend to read a film review before watching a film. But other films might target a demographic that only makes a decision to watch or not watch a movie on if marketing made it seem like a must watch film if you want to stay socially relevant among your peer group.

    Some demographics are also more likely to be put off by a bad film than other demographics are. For some going to the movie theater is simply about seeing the film. For others going to the movie theater is more of a social function and the quality of the film is less important than did you enjoy time with your friends. Some demographics feel a need to spend their money wisely while other demographics are more free with their money so a bad movie doesn't feel like wasting money.

    When you divide the average ticket price by the box office and look at the population size of the US then general public almost doesn't seem to fit. It really seems like certain demographics instead of general public.
     
  16. Blot

    Blot Terrorcon Foot Soldier

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    I think you make a good point about demographics, and it does make it difficult to make a one size fits all review of a movie.

    But TF movies are usually one of, if not the, highest grossing movie the year they come out, and some of the top grossing movies of all time, the demographic for them among the movie goers therefore is one of the largest out there--large enough to be taken into account by critics, I think. I think critics could do a better job of addressing the points that most of those who would consider seeing such a move would value most.

    I'm going to try and use a non-movie example. Say I go to an expensive French restaurant and my review went like this: "This place sucks--even though admittedly the food tasted good, I had to actually wait 20 minutes for my food, they wouldn't let me in without long pants, the menu had a bunch of stuff on it I've never heard of, since there was no combo or dollar menu my meal cost 30 bucks (just for me!) even though the portion was small (at least it looked pretty), there was only one location in town so I had to drive a half hour to get there, oh, and there was no wifi at all! --Final score 3/10."

    This review would be pretty meaningless to someone interested in dining at an expensive French restaurant, since those aren't things people who are going to such restaurants care about. Now, read the same review as if I was talking about a chain fast-food restaurant and it becomes much more relevant--it actually addresses things people care about when choosing a fast-food place: speed, convenience, low-cost, etc.

    The best reviews of AoE I have read acknowledge why so many people go to see the TF movies, and address primarily how the movie exceeds, meets, or falls short of those expectations , and secondarily address the other aspects. They're broad enough where someone in any demographic can get a general impression of the film, while being relevant to those most likely to consider seeing it. Most of the reviews I have read, however, invert this, which leads to a mostly irrelevant review--as demonstrated by the low review score, but high turnout.
     
  17. Shepard Prime

    Shepard Prime 1st Cybertronian Spectre of the Galactic Council

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    The role of the critic IMO is to enforce the status quo, always has been, always will be. Art is both subjective and objective and while there's certainly a correct way of doing things, there's also a way to do art that's technically wrong but still work brilliantly. All critics do is empower the elite who seek to keep people they don't care for out of their inner circle.
     
  18. Scorpio

    Scorpio Well-Known Member

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    You whine and complain about me being a Bay-hater then you say stuff like that about Bay, hoping for him to be replaced.

    :stick: 

    I really hope that you grow up at some point and realise that I am not a Bay-Hater anymore than you are. Hopefully you also realise that trying to pass me off as a movie hater is not working. Also that by re-read his point below you will realise I was right in my point as he is using a system to judge the quality of the movies that doesn't work by combining profit with rating to determine the quality of films.

    An example of why this doesn't work can be summed up in Scott Pilgrim, Hot Fuzz, Shaun Of The Dead, etc... high rating but low-to-minimal profit.