Sunday, November 25, 2012

Why ABQ's Most Frequent Feature Request Won't Be Built

Nice people frequently email me with feature requests for A Better Queue. The most frequent request asks to build a filter for Rotten Tomatoes' audience ratings. While I appreciate such a response to the site, this request doesn't fit ABQ's philosophy.

Audiences are smart, but we're not that smart. We miss what critics pick up. Critics watch much more than us and have a wider basis for judgement. Of course critics aren't correct all of the time, but that is the genius behind the Tomatometer. It gives an accurate reading of quality via aggregation, and brings us closer to objectivity.

Audience scores are certainly an indicator of something, but not one of quality. A person corresponding with me recently said that audience scores are good indicators of entertainment value. I think that's pretty accurate. But a movie's ability to entertain can only be part of the rubric. The intelligent and open viewer wants to be challenged by great films, not merely entertained by questionable ones.

I leave these contrasts between audiences and critics for your consideration:

Twilight Saga: New Moon