More negative MoviePass news? Oh boy.
MoviePass has had a tough week; AMC recently announced a new subscription service that will directly compete with other services like Sinemia and MoviePass. Not to mention, the company also played a part in producing American Animals and Gotti. American Animals was released on the first of June, and has only made $750,000 domestically as of the 17th. Yet, the movie has an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes and an audience score of 91% with only 603 user reviews. Now let’s talk about Gotti‘s numbers.
Screen Junkies film critic, Dan Murrell, noticed something shady with Gotti‘s numbers. “Some party involved with Gotti artificially manipulated the audience scores and they’re now using it as a marketing strategy. The numbers don’t make sense.” Gizmodo also pointed out some information a Reddit user submitted.
I went to take a look at the written reviews on RT, and of the first 58 reviewers with an available profile, 45 had created their account on June 2018;
Out of these 45, 32 have only reviewed Gotti, 10 reviewed Gotti and another movie (7 times it was American Animals [another film owned by MoviePass]) and 3 had more than 3 reviews.
Of the remaining 13 accounts 8 looked normal and 5 had created their account in December (TLJ?) so those were probably legit.
Gotti opened last weekend to a weak $1.7 million. However, unlike American Animals, Gotti currently owns a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes with an audience score of 69%. Now, I will be the first one to say that from time-to-time critic and audience scores differ, but simply because critics are looking to criticize a film on a technical level. However, Travolta’s new film only has made $1 million more than American Animals and yet has more user ratings than something like Oceans 8, which opened with $41 million and only has 4,000 user reviews; there’s no way that Gotti has 7,000 user reviews.
It also should be noted that of the box office numbers, 40% of that revenue came from MoviePass subscribers; MoviePass is essentially paying themselves for a movie they produced. How is this an acceptable business tactic? Whether or not they had anything to do with these red flags has yet to be determined. However, they took the ball and ran with it when they decided to create ads that attacked critics and attempted to create controversy to promote their failing movie.
The marketing for the movie spits toxic rhetoric that claims critics are “trolls behind a keyboard.” I’m not kidding, you can watch the clip here. There’s something shady going on behind the scenes at MoviePass. With each misstep, I start to question their strategy and business plan more. How exactly are they benefiting from creating a rift between critics and general audiences? One thing is clear: once other theatre chains start rolling-out their subscription services, I will be done with MoviePass.