Fans of DC Comics films have flocked to a petition to shut down ratings aggregator Rotten Tomatoes over the site’s allegedly poor treatment of films like Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and this weekend’s Suicide Squad.
More than 10,000 people have signed a Change.org petition, started by a fan in Alexandria, Egypt, to shut down the website, which was founded in 1998 and assigns “Fresh” or “Rotten” scores to most Hollywood releases based on reviews collected from around the entertainment media.
“We need this site to be shut down because It’s Critics always give The DC Extended Universe movies unjust Bad Reviews [sic],” wrote Abdullah Coldwater in launching the petition, citing Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad as examples.
Reviews for the Will Smith and Jared Leto-fronted super-villain blockbuster have been harsh, with the Hollywood Reporter calling it “no fun” and IndieWire’s David Ehrlich branding it a “dank sewer of messy action beats.”
As Breitbart News reported Tuesday, the early negative reviews could threaten the long-term box office prospects of the film, which reportedly cost Warner Bros. at least $175 million to make and represents the last blockbuster of the summer in a season that has seen costly tentpoles flop one after the other.
The film is currently projected to clear around $140 million in its opening weekend, which would comfortably break the record for the biggest August opening of all time. But bad word-of-mouth can sink a film early in its theatrical run, as it did when Batman v. Superman blasted off to a $166 million opening weekend in March and then fell almost 70 percent in its second frame.
In an update on Tuesday night, the creator of the Change.org petition conceded that its goal was less about shutting down the site and more about sending a “message to the critics” and “expressing our anger.”
Still, the petition had already gathered 12,013 signatures as of the publication of this post, with more signing on by the second.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum