Proof that movie critics matter

You read the familiar lament when critics review a surefire blockbuster: "It doesn't matter what I write; people will go see it anyway."

That's mostly true for Hollywood's big-budget releases, but as Erik Lundegaard points out in making the case that we need movie critics, these arbiters of taste have a measurable effect on box-office receipts.

Using basic math and the compendium of critical reviews from Rottentomatoes, Lundegaard shows that across the board — from art-house flicks to major studio releases — better-reviewed films earn more on a per-screen average than movies that are panned. Of 234 films released in 2007 and reviewed on Rottentomatoes, Lundegaard discovers:

While there were fewer "fresh" films (i.e., movies that critics liked) and they showed on fewer screens and took in less overall box office, they tended to make almost $1,000 more per screen than "rotten" movies (i.e., movies critics didn't like). So, on a per-screen-basis, more people are following critics into theaters than not.

With that in mind, here's a link to my review for Hancock.

WE LOVE OUR READERS!

Since 1988, CL Tampa Bay has served as the free, independent voice of Tampa Bay, and we want to keep it that way.

Becoming a CL Tampa Bay Supporter for as little as $5 a month allows us to continue offering readers access to our coverage of local news, food, nightlife, events, and culture with no paywalls.

Join today because you love us, too.

Scroll to read more Events & Film articles

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.