Warner Bros. and DC’s attempts to emulate the runaway success of Marvel’s shared cinematic universe have been uneasy, to say the least. The controversy and divisiveness of Man of Steel was only exacerbated by the release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, with fans either loving or despising the efforts of Zack Snyder, very often rallying to battle each other over social media.
Despite this, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. A DC Extended Universe project that boasted an exceptional cast and commanded a brilliant marketing campaign, all fans’ hopes were pinned on Suicide Squad to steady the ship and help fire Warner Bros. and DC into financial competition with their arch-rivals.
So, imagine the frustration and disappointment of fans around the world when Suicide Squad was met with an overwhelmingly negative critical response. However, rather than direct this disgruntlement at Warner Bros. themselves, for releasing another sub-par entry into their cinematic universe, DC fans have focused their anger, through social media, at the critics that lambasted the movie.
One remarkable target of this fury is website Rotten Tomatoes, on which, Suicide Squad currently holds an approval rating of just 27%. In response, a disappointed fan has started a movement to get the review aggregator shutdown, a petition that has garnered over 22,000 supporters, from equally discontent fans.
The petition, started by one Abdullah Coldwater, states that “We need this site to be shut down because It’s Critics always give The DC Extended Universe movies unjust Bad Reviews… and that Affects people’s opinion even if it’s a really great movies.”
Aside from my inner Grammar Nazi clenching his fist, the petition seems to be a serious case of weirdly misplaced anger. For one, Rotten Tomatoes has nothing to do with the content of the reviews and the opinions that populate them, they just note whether the review was positive or negative, and then calculate the percentage of positive reviews, labelled ‘fresh’.
Secondly, as of the commencement of the petition, Suicide Squad hadn’t actually been released to the public. These disappointed fans wouldn’t have had the opportunity to form their own opinions, and decide whether they actually disagree with the critics’ reviews. Not only is this anger misplaced, but it is also laughably premature.
Lastly, and perhaps most sweetly, an embarrassingly little amount of research has revealed that Warner Bros. actually own a minor stake in Rotten Tomatoes. In effect, angry DC fans are petitioning against the company that is heading up the DC Extended Universe that they hold so dear.
Fan boys, the gift that keeps on giving.