– by Joseph Jammer Medina

When Star Wars: The Last Jedi first started getting reactions from critics, it seemed like another slam dunk for Lucasfilm. However, as soon as audiences got their eyes on it, they were incredibly vocal about their displeasure for the film. Very quickly, it became a big story that audiences and critics didn’t necessarily agree on whether or not it was a good movie.

RELATED – Why Hardcore Fans Are Wrong About Star Wars: The Last Jedi

RELATED – Why Critics Are Wrong About Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Many point to the disparity on Rotten Tomatoes. While critical reception is at a high 93 percent, the audience rating is currently at a low 54 percent. Since it became clear that there’d be a disparity on the site, someone online took claim for creating bots and lowering the score. However, Rotten Tomatoes themselves stand by their audience rating system, saying to TheWrap:

“The authenticity of our critic and user scores is very important to Rotten Tomatoes and as a course of regular business, we have a team of security, network, social and database experts who closely monitor our platforms. They haven’t determined that there are any problems.”

This isn’t all that surprising. Given how passionate fans on our site alone have rallied against Star Wars: The Last Jedi, it’s not hard to believe they’d mobilize to express their disappointment. That being said, it’s still up in the air as to whether or not this is a sentiment felt by the mainstream, or something restricted only to the most passionate of fans.

One evidence against this being a widespread issue is the A CinemaScore, which is the number one metric in figuring out whether or not general audiences are pleased with the film. While not perfect, in the past, it’s been a pretty good indicator of what most folks think, and what we can expect in weeks to come from the box office.

Have you gone to rate the film on Rotten Tomatoes? Let us know down below!

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  • Rolta

    The only dodgy thing is how the hell that film got such high scores in the media. If there was a con$piracy I’d follow Di$ney’$ money!

    • Joseph Jammer Medina


      • Kindofabigdeal

        Well obviously your check has cleared.
        I kid.

        • Joseph Jammer Medina

          I applied it to Christmas gifts this year 😉

      • Rad4Cap

        Exactly. The reason why the critics liked it was because of its philosophy (not politics mind you, though I’m certain that didn’t hurt) in story and in form.

  • Johhny

    Movie was very bad.
    Luke would not try to kill his nephew because hes afraid of him turning.
    He wouldnt kill his dad and his dad murdered people and he still had hope.
    How could he lose hope in his nephew so easy ?
    Horrible Script.
    Just as bad as the prequals its trash.

  • Unc Sam

    After 5 days TLJ is tracking poorly against TFA, barely managing 50% on the last couple of days. Will Disney ignore these kind of disappointing numbers (as well as the generally poor fan reaction as evidenced by RT)?

    Day 1 TFA 119M TLJ 104M (87%)
    Day 2 TFA 68M TLJ 63M (92%)
    Day 3 TFA 60M TLJ 51M (85%)
    Day 4 TFA 40M TLJ 21M (52%)
    Day 5 TFA 37M TLJ 20M (54%)

    • TheOct8pus

      I don’t think Disney gives a shit about these numbers. They’ve already hit $500 million plus….

      • Unc Sam

        Possibly…then again if it comes up 7 or 800 million short of TFA along with a damaged fanbase they might feel a change at Lucasfilm is in order.

        • Mowskwoz

          I don’t know how those numbers are pulled but would the fact that TLJ is about a half hour longer than TFA have any affect on the difference in the numbers? That extra half hour on TLJ adds up to at least 1-2 less showings per screen per day than TFA would have been able to get in.

          • Rad4Cap

            As a counter-note, I noticed opening weekend that there was no problem getting good seats at ANY time it was showing. And hardly any times were sold out. I also talked to friends on the opposite coast and they said the same thing.

        • Aaron James

          I think the fanbase was already damaged, based on how they’re coping with TLJ.

    • Moby85

      I think they’ll notice. Thanks for sharing that, those are interesting numbers!

    • Joseph Jammer Medina

      Sadly, comparing ot TFA isn’t the best comparison. That movie cracked 2 billion since it was the first Star Wars film in a decade and the first good one in decades. there was a lot of pent-up enthusiasm. Even though this was a sequel, there’s no way any reasonable person would expect TLJ to even break $1.5 billion, which it could be on track to make.

      • Unc Sam

        Hey JJM.

        I’m not sure your argument has much substance. First off, given that SW is its own genre comparing to TFA is pretty much the only comparison you can reasonably make. Secondly, the movie had the following advantages:

        The goodwill to the brand & returning cast
        Great marketing
        Huge fanbase
        Increased tickets prices
        Inflated critical response
        Lack of seasonal competition

        On the pessimistic side an 80% take vs TFA would be reasonable…the fact that it’s dropped to 50% so fast is a worry.

        It’ll still take a tonne of money of course however it remains to be seen whether Disney like the numbers enough to remain patient with current Lucasfilm management & talent.

    • TheFrank

      As I wrote elsewhere, Attack of the Clones did 70% domestic business compared to Phantom Menace. 70% of The Force Awakens domestic is roughly $655m (not accounting for inflation) so that’s a baseline to look at. TLJ already has $261m but TFA did a 1/3rd of it’s domestic in the first 5 days. If TLJ does the same, that’s roughly $783m. So it’s still possible for TLJ to claim to be a hit.

      If TLJ can’t even manage $655m, though… Well, imagine the firestorm inside of Disney HQ when they can’t get a better percentage out of it’s sequel than Attack of the Clones.

      Can’t help but notice that the petition is almost to 50K signatures already.

    • Rad4Cap

      “Will Disney ignore these kind of disappointing numbers”

      What exactly are you afraid they will ignore? The movie is over and done with. There’s nothing to do about it one way or the other.

      • Unc Sam

        “There’s nothing to do about it one way or the other.”

        I’d imagine a cash orientated business might assess why their customer base aren’t as enthused about their latest product and modify their direction accordingly. In other words, this is about salvaging Ep 9 as opposed to anything else.

        • Rad4Cap

          What do you consider the ‘right’ direction they should go (especially since they have to follow up directly from this train wreck)?

          Given that this is the end of a trilogy (and the end of the Skywalker saga) – as well as the end of the Rey story (since she indicates she doesn’t want to continue after this next one) – this episode is taking them in the ‘necessary’ direction, isn’t it? Perhaps they are taking the long view of Star Wars. Perhaps they consider this to simply be the swift ripping off of the band-aid, leading to the new era of Star Wars sans Luke, Leia, and Han? They know that people will be upset, but now the worst is over and they are headed toward a clean slate.

          So, again, what “direction” do you believe they should be headed? Given the ‘market conditions’ that the Skywalker saga HAD to end – and now has – what actions should they be taking to ‘enthuse’ “their customer base”?

  • Kindofabigdeal

    So this is how a franchise ends. With thunderous critical applause.

    • Seth McDonald

      Brilliant. Well done sir.

    • Moby85

      I like the joke but Star Wars as a “franchise” is hardly dead. At worst, we have a not-fantastic, one-off film that JJ can hopefully salvage the trilogy with.

      • Rad4Cap

        No. They just killed (literally and figuratively) the ‘heart’ of that franchise – Luke. You don’t get a do over on that.

  • Deathstroke936

    “Sentiment felt by the mainstream” … Does it really matter, isn’t this a moot point. If there are criticisms (RT or Metacritic), unless they vote with their wallets… it makes no difference. Let’s see what kind of repeat viewings TLJ gets… I’m sure they already made their money back (gross, merchandising).

    If by week 3 or 4, people stop re-watching this… it won’t get the usual SW domestic numbers… Then we’ll see if Star Wars has a DC type problem… (with fans…not critics…)

  • Aaron James

    It’s important to remember that the user scores on RottenTomatoes and Metacritic are from a self-selecting subset of viewers. That means that only people who are motivated to leave a review do so (this is why more weight is given to CinemaScore – the user reviews used by CinemaScore are not from a self-selected subset, they’re from a statistically representative sample of the general audience). So, only people who really loved the movie, people who really hated the movie, or people with an axe to grind are going to be leaving reviews on Metacritic and Rottentomatoes. You’re only hearing from the extremes.

    Basically, RT and Metacritic’s use scores are not representative of what the general audience thinks of the movie.

  • Unc Sam

    Just to update from my post earlier, the box office for Wednesday is now is now in, it makes for grim reading:

    Day 1 TFA 119M TLJ 104M (87%) <=== Great
    Day 2 TFA 68M TLJ 63M (92%) <=== Great
    Day 3 TFA 60M TLJ 51M (85%) <=== Great
    Day 4 TFA 40M TLJ 21M (52%) <=== Not good
    Day 5 TFA 37M TLJ 20M (54%) <=== Not good
    Day 6 TFA 38M TLJ 16.8M (44%) <=== Ouch

    TLJ is losing box office momentum far faster than either TFA or non-saga Rogue One.

  • surethom

    I finally seen the film & jj abrams & the current story writers are ruining the Star Wars franchise, the Last Jedi was only 5/10 the first Hour & Half was so slow & boring apart from a couple of scenes, they could easily cut out 25 minutes to make it flow better.

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.