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Rotten Tomatoes Editor-In-Chief Matt Atchity Talks Wonder Woman and Tomatometers!

It’s Saturday night, perhaps date night, or your friends want popcorn and a packed theater. You are deciding which movie you want to see, and you want it to be good. One of the best sites out there to easily check ratings is of course, Rotten Tomatoes.

“A good review is denoted by a fresh red tomato. In order for a movie or TV show to receive an overall rating of Fresh, the reading on the Tomatometer for that movie must be at least 60%. A bad review is denoted by a rotten green tomato splat (59% or less).” says the RT About page.

Wonder Woman currently has a RT score of 93%, which means everyone should be seeing it! It’s safe to say that the Rotten Tomatoes scores are critical to the film industry.

We got to chat with the the main guy who knows everything you can know about movie reviews-the Editor-in-Chief who has been behind Rotten Tomatoes since 2007-Matt Atchity.

Photo: Warner Bros./DC

Shannon: Wonder Woman hit theaters this week and right away got a 96% score, (now 93%) we see DC films hit theaters and even though they are so huge, ratings can go either way. This one though, is on the really high end of the spectrum. What do you think is contributing to its success so far?

Matt: It’s good. I mean really it’s as simple as that right? It’s a great movie.

Shannon: These DC and Marvel films rake in a lot of money each time they hit theaters. Do you think box offices have a good prediction ahead of on how each film will do?

Matt: You know, I think that can be all over the place. I think that going into it, the studios know from tracking advanced ticket sales. I think they have pretty good idea usually. But then again, sometimes they underestimate- sometimes they overestimate. It’s tough for me to zero in on those predictions because we’re more talking about what critics think. Box office critics can be more of an arcade science anyway.

Shannon: Wonder Woman has a rating of 93% on your site, how many critics contributed to that rating?

Matt: We have 258 reviews from professional critics.

Shannon: When movies like this come out, are you ever surprised by them? Out of all the movies you’ve ever reviewed which was the biggest disappointment to you?

Matt: That’s a good question. I’ll go see movie early and have a general idea as to whether or not critics will like it. I was somewhat surprised that Wonder Woman did as high as it did, to be up in the 90s-which I’m really excited to see. Any movie I go into, ultimately, I hope it’s going to be good. I know there are movies I’m the outlier on-the minority.

A lot of critics loved Tree of Life-the Terrence Malick movie and I hated it. Sometimes I go see a movie and I’m disappointed in it. I love every Fast & Furious and some of those don’t have particularly high reviews. Sometimes scores are a little higher and a little lower than I expect but I think I have a pretty decent gauge at least if critics are going to like a movie or not.

Shannon: We cover a lot of Marvel and DC on our site. Do you lean towards one or the other?

Matt: Not withstanding this Wonder Woman, I am typically a Marvel guy. I collected Marvel comics when I was a kid and I love what Marvel has done with their movies recently-the stuff that Kevin Feige is overseeing. Those were the comics I grew up with and that I read. But I’m very excited Wonder Woman did so well. Chris Nolan Batman movies I think are terrific. I would have loved the first 3 entries in the DCU to be better movies.

As much as I’m watching Agents of Shield on TV and the Marvel shows on Netflix, I watched all the DC shows on The CW and they’re killing it. Those shows are so good. Arrow and I’m even liking Legends of Tomorrow. I might be the one person who does. So my heart may be with Marvel, but I love a good story. I don’t think you have to pick one, I like Star Trek and I like Star Wars and Doctor Who. If you’re into something, you’re into something.

How did you get involved with RT?

I have been Editor In Chief since 2007, I believe. I had been covering entertainment on the web for a long time and saw the job opening and knew some mutual people. Covering entertainment in LA-it’s not that huge a scene so you get to know a lot of people. I saw the position and got in touch with some people and said “Hey get me in front of the right people. I think this would be really exciting, and i’d love to have a shot at getting in the running for this position. I came in and I’ve just had a great time. it’s been really a dream job watching movies for a living and getting to do what we do.

RT is an award winning and top 300 site in the US, to what do you attribute its success?

I’ve got a great team here, and it’s a lot of factors. First and foremost, I have to give credit where credit is due-to the critical community who has mostly been really supportive of what we do and we take that really seriously. It’s been in our best interest to send as much traffic as we can to critics because we need them to be successful. Without critics, there is no Rotten Tomatoes.

The audience has really embraced us and I like to think that we are working towards bringing criticism to an audience that may only be reading one critic. I like to think we serve as a good entry point to dig deeper once they see a Tomatometer and learn more about a film. We found something that works and really stuck to it over the years. The filmmaking community looks at what we do too. Every time we talk to a filmmaker or star most are like, “Oh I check you guys all the time!” and then somebody will be like, “Ohh. Rotten Tomatoes. You guys didn’t like my last movie.”

Thanks to Matt for taking the time to share his film rating knowledge with us! Keep Tomato-ing!

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