FandangoNow Creates Playlists for San Diego Comic-Con

With Comic-Con in full swing in San Diego through July 21, FandangoNow, Fandango’s transactional VOD service, is hosting two new playlists devoted to fan favorites and genre films.

Fandango correspondent Alicia Malone, author of the feminist film histories The Female Gaze and Backwards and in Heels, July 19 is moderating a Comic-Con panel entitled “The Future of Film is Female.” The panel on genre films by female filmmakers features Rotten Tomatoes editor Jacqueline Coley, Fast Color director Julia Hart, Terminator producer Gale Anne Hurd and Black Panther cinematographer Rachel Morrison.

Malone has curated a FandangoNow playlist of her favorite female-helmed genre films, including Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, Mary Harron’s American Psycho, Anna Biller’s The Love Witch, Veronika Franz’s Goodnight Mommy, Karyn Kusama’s Jennifer’s Body, Kathryn Bigelow’s Strange Days, Mimi Leder’s Deep Impact and Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time.

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Also in honor of the convention’s 50th anniversary, Rotten Tomatoes has curated a special playlist of 50 Movies that Defined Comic-Con on FandangoNow, featuring such titles as Iron Man, Twilight and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

FandangoNow Celebrates 15th Anniversary of ‘The Notebook’ With Sale

In honor of this week’s 15th anniversary of the theatrical release of The Notebook, FandangoNow is offering the romance for purchase at $7.99 in SD or HD through July 1.

FandangoNow is movie site Fandango’s transactional VOD service.

Fans of the 2004 love story can also find a collection of other movies featuring the film’s stars, Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling, as part of the FandangoNow Flashback anniversary collection at https://www.fandangonow.com/list/flashbacks.

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Also, as part of the celebration, Rotten Tomatoes’ 21 Most Memorable Movie Moments series is featuring a special video devoted to the iconic “Kiss in the Rain” scene in “The Notebook,” narrated by director Nick Cassavetes.

FandangoNow Launches ‘Best LGBTQ Movies of All Time’ List for Pride Month

In celebration of Pride Month, FandangoNow is hosting a “Best LGBTQ Movies of All Time” promotion, featuring a collection of the 200 top-reviewed LGBTQ films, hand-picked by FandangoNow’s sister site, Rotten Tomatoes.

Taking the top spot is Academy Award-winner Moonlight, starring Mahershala Ali. Can You Ever Forgive Me, starring Melissa McCarthy, came in at No. 2, with Call Me By Your Name and The Favourite, at Nos. 3 and 4, respectively. Coming in at No. 5 was Carol, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Booksmart, just released in theaters, took the No. 6 spot.

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Rotten Tomatoes Revises Audience Movie Ratings

Movie rating service Rotten Tomatoes is changing its Audience Rating System to feature verified ratings and reviews.

For eligible movies moving forward, Audience Scores will be made up of ratings from fans who are confirmed to have purchased tickets to those movies. Those fans’ written reviews will also display a “verified” badge.

“We know from our research that fans consult Rotten Tomatoes’ Audience Score along with the Tomatometer, when making decisions on what to watch,” Paul Yanover, Fandango president, said in a statement. “Having an Audience Score and reviews from fans who are confirmed ticket purchasers, will add even more usefulness to our product and increase consumer confidence.”

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Rotten Tomatoes users can opt-in to get their rating and review “verified” if they purchased their movie ticket on Fandango. Exhibitors AMC Theatres, Regal and Cinemark Theatres plan to participate as ticket purchase authenticators later this year. Every visitor to the Rotten Tomatoes site will still be invited to rate and review movies regardless of whether or not they are confirmed ticket purchasers. Reviews (both verified and unverified) will still be listed, with those that are verified marked with a “verified” badge, so that readers will know that the reviewer purchased a ticket to that movie.

On Fandango’s site and mobile apps, Rotten Tomatoes will begin powering Fandango’s fan rating system, replacing its previous five-star fan rating, according to the service. Once their ticket purchases are confirmed through their Fandango user account, Fandango ticket buyers’ ratings and reviews will now count towards the Verified Audience Score displayed on Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes, as well as on other platforms that syndicate Rotten Tomatoes scores.

The service has previously come under fire as users have been able to manipulate the Audience Score for a particular movie through coordinated online campaigns by those who hadn’t even seen the film. In particular, a recent campaign against Captain Marvel, which has a strong female character, drew criticism of the service.

The launch of Verified Ratings and Reviews is part of the Rotten Tomatoes’ overall plan to modernize its Audience Rating System over the next year, “making it even more helpful to fans as they make their entertainment viewing decisions,” according to a press release.

Rotten Tomatoes introduced an earlier product enhancement in February, and reports each change in a Product Update Blog.

In addition to enhancing its Audience Rating System, Rotten Tomatoes has been working over the past 18 months to increase the diversity of the critical voices that make up its Tomatometer, which aggregates the collective opinions of thousands of Tomatometer-approved critics for movies and TV shows, according to the release. Last August, Rotten Tomatoes made an enhancement to its critics community, by debuting revamped Tomatometer critics criteria. With an increased focus on the critic’s individual qualifications versus the publications that they write for, Rotten Tomatoes’ goal is to enable a wider and more diverse pool of critics’ perspectives to be included in the Tomatometer. Since launch, Rotten Tomatoes has added more than 500 new Tomatometer-approved critics and publications, with plans to add even more critics in the future, according to the release.

Additionally, Rotten Tomatoes announced the establishment of a $100,000 grant program to create more opportunities for critics serving underrepresented groups to cover major film festivals and gain access to press screenings. To date, Rotten Tomatoes has donated $25,000 respectively to the press inclusion initiatives at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, 2019 Sundance Film Festival and 2019 SXSW Film Festival and Conference, according to the release.

Moviefone Hires Former Rotten Tomatoes Editor to Reboot Brand

Moviefone, the 1990s-era movie ticket/recommendation telephone service owned by Helios and Matheson Analytics March 28 announced that former Rotten Tomatoes senior editor Grae Drake has assumed the role of “Ms. Moviefone” to serve as the brand’s personality.

The announcement comes as Moviefone launches a new initiative seeking to become a consumer destination for content, reviews and commentary for movies.

Grae Drake

Competition includes online movie ratings platform Rotten Tomatoes, which is owned and operated by NBC Universal subsidiary Fandango.

In a nod to the former “Mr. Moviefone” telephone character, Drake will provide “go-to” commentary on the entertainment industry, in addition to movie recommendations.

Drake will interview filmmakers, celebrities and appear at industry events to provide an inside look at the movies.

She will be responsible for producing and hosting a series of original video content on the Moviefone site. Drake will also oversee the evolution of existing video content, such as the “Unscripted” series, providing Moviefone with the flexibility to continue creating and growing its video library.

Developing dynamic video content will allow viewers to form a bond with Ms. Moviefone and have a more engaging experience with the brand.

“Having a female voice of authority about movies is really important. It’s making the change I want to see regarding representation and gender parity in film media, which is still overwhelmingly male,” Matt Atchity, GM of Moviefone (and former editor-in-chief at Rotten Tomatoes), said in a statement.

Drake is most well-known as a Rotten Tomatoes editor and film critic, which included guest appearances on NBC’s “Today Show”and ABC’s “20/20”and “World News Tonight.”

She is also the recipient of the 2017 Press Award from the International Cinematographers Guild. In this new role, Drake reunites with Atchity and will be working with Drew Taylor, recently promoted to managing editor at Moviefone.

“Ms. Moviefone is the perfect way to connect with moviegoers and strengthen our brand recognition,” said Ted Farnsworth, CEO of Helios and Matheson Analytics. “Moviefone has a bright future ahead, and I know Grae is the perfect person to help make our vision a reality.”

 

FandangoNow Offers Sale on Select Oscar Nominees Before Awards

Ahead of the 91st Academy Awards Feb. 24, FandangoNow, Fandango’s VOD service, is offering Best Picture nominees Green Book and The Favourite, Best Documentary nominee Free Solo, and Best Costumes and Best Makeup nominee Mary Queen of Scots at 30 percent off the listed price.

The flash sale starts Feb. 20 and ends Feb. 21. Consumers can access the discount using the promo code “FNOWOscar” at checkout.

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Fandango is also offering a downloadable 2019 Oscars ballot with Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer scores included.

FandangoNow Unveils Rotten Tomatoes’ Top Rated Romantic Comedies for Valentine’s Day

For Valentine’s Day, FandangoNow, Fandango’s VOD service, has released a list of top-rated romantic comedies ranked by Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer.

Frank Capra’s 1934 classic It Happened One Night is the top pick, while 2017’s The Big Sick came in at No. 2. Two films from 2018 joined the list: Crazy Rich Asians at No. 6 and Love, Simon at No. 25.

“This is a new era for the rom com,” said Rotten Tomatoes editor-in-chief Joel Meares in a statement. “With last year’s Crazy Rich Asians and Love, Simon taking their place among the best of the genre, it’s clear audiences and critics alike are seeking movies that marry fresh, modern-day perspectives with the rom-com conventions we all know and love.”

Rotten Tomatoes’ top 25 best reviewed romantic comedies are, in order:

  1. It Happened One Night (1934)
  2. The Big Sick (2017)
  3. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
  4. Roman Holiday (1953)
  5. My Man Godfrey (1936)
  6. Crazy Rich Asians (2018)
  7. The Lady Eve (1941)
  8. City Lights (1931)
  9. Annie Hall (1977)
  10. His Girl Friday (1940)
  11. Adam’s Rib (1949)
  12. Holiday (1938)
  13. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
  14. The Princess Bride (1987)
  15. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
  16. Some Like It Hot (1959)
  17. Indiscreet (1958)
  18. Desk Set (1957)
  19. The Apartment (1960)
  20. Groundhog Day (1993)
  21. Bull Durham (1988)
  22. Enough Said (2013)
  23. Broadcast News (1987)
  24. Ninotchka (1939)
  25. Love, Simon (2018)

 

Roughly 150 romantic comedies, ranked by the Tomatometer, are available to watch here on FandangoNow.

Report: Netflix Has Highest-Rated Movies

Netflix is known for original TV series such as “House of Cards,” “Stranger Things,” “Orange Is the New Black” and “The Crown.”

While the streaming video pioneer is ramping up original movie production, its portfolio of highly-rated third-party movies tops the renowned feature film repository of HBO Now, in addition to Amazon Prime Video and Hulu, according to new data from Streaming Observer.

Using Rotten Tomatoes’ “Certified Fresh” movies rating system, in addition to a combination of data from streaming service providers and third-party sites RealGood and JustWatch, Streaming Observer found Netflix has more “certified fresh” movies (596) than HBO Now (38), Prime Video (232) and Hulu (223) combined.

The ranking is significant considering Netflix has 3,000 fewer movies available to stream (3,839 through Jan. 20, 2019) than it did in 2018, and its library is 450% smaller than Prime Video’s with 17,461 titles.

Hulu and HBO Now had 2,336 and 815 movies, respectively.

“Netflix remains the best streaming service overall … for the time being,” wrote Chris Brantner, analyst with Streaming Observer. “Of course, as new streaming services from Disney, Apple, and others enter the market, and Netflix loses more of its licensed content, it remains to be seen how long it can hold onto the crown.”

 

 

FandangoNow Unveils 25 ‘Freshest’ Zombie Movies List to Celebrate ‘Living Dead’ Anniversary

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of zombie classic Night of the Living Dead, Fandango’s on-demand video service FandangoNow Oct. 1 launched a list of the 25 “freshest” zombie movies with the George Romero film taking the top spot.

The list was curated by movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes based on the movies’Tomatometer scores. (A movie gets a “Fresh” designation when at least 60% of its critic reviews are positive.)

On Oct. 1 only, fans can rent any (or all) of the zombie movies on the list at a discounted rate of $1 off the regular price when using the promo code LIVINGDEAD50 at checkout.

“Zombies owe their popularity today to a little low-budget film from Pittsburgh released 50 years ago today, and Night of the Living Dead has lost none of its power to shock, stun and terrify,” said Fandango managing editor Erik Davis. “With its stark, in-your-face black-and-white imagery of the dead coming back to flesh-eating life, director George Romero’s film made it clear to 1968 audiences that visceral horror no longer took the shape of Gothic frights like werewolves and vampires. It now looks just like your friends and neighbors, and there is no escape. To celebrate the ‘Dead’s 50th-anniversary FandangoNOW is hosting the top 25 zombie movies that you can view at home today, starting of course with the film that started it all.”

The list with Tomatometer scores is:

Night of Living Dead (1968) 97%
Train To Busan 96%
Dawn of the Dead (1978) 93%
Shaun of the Dead 92%
I Walked with a Zombie 92%
The Cabin in the Woods 91%
Return of the Living Dead 91%
Zombieland 90%
ParaNorman 89%
White Zombie 89%
[Rec] 88%
28 Days Later 87%
Dead Alive 86%
Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead 83%
The Plague of the Zombies 80%
Warm Bodies 80%
Dawn of the Dead (2004) 75%
Planet Terror 74%
Land of The Dead 73%
The Crazies 71%
28 Weeks Later 71%
Dead Snow 68%
Night of the Living Dead (1990) 68%
World War Z 66%
The Serpent and the Rainbow 61%

 

Rotten Tomatoes Expands Pool of Critics

Rotten Tomatoes, the movie and TV show recommendation service, has debuted revamped critics criteria for its popular Tomatometer rating system to include more voices.

The entertainment review aggregator, the Tomatometer reflects the collective opinion of thousands of Tomatometer-approved critics. Each Tomatometer score represents the percentage of positive reviews for a given film or television show.

Rotten Tomatoes’ revamped criteria have an increased focus on the critic’s individual qualifications and body of work, rather than basing Tomatometer approval primarily on their publication or employer. This strategy will allow for a wider and more diverse pool of critics’ perspectives to be included in the Tomatometer, according to the company.

In addition, the criteria have expanded beyond the written review to include newer media platforms. Now individuals and outlets that produce reviews for podcasts and digital video series with a strong social media presence and audience engagement will be considered for the Tomatometer.  Recently, more than 200 new Tomatometer-approved critics have been added with many more to come, according to the company.

The criteria can be found on the Rotten Tomatoes site, along with an application to become a Tomatometer-approved critic.

“Over the past few years, our team has added hundreds of new voices to the Tomatometer on top of the thousands we currently have, with the goal of creating a critics pool that closely reflects the global entertainment audience,” said Jenny Jediny, Rotten Tomatoes critics relations manager, in a statement. “We took another key step today by revamping our critics criteria that both shifts our focus to approving critics individually rather than through publications, and introduces updated guidelines for newer media platforms to be a part of the Tomatometer.”

To help critics gain access to key film festivals, Rotten Tomatoes has established a $100,000 grant program. Over the next year, Rotten Tomatoes will provide grants to non-profit organizations that help critics with costly expenses associated with festival attendance. The first grant of $25,000 will go to the Toronto International Film Festival’s Media Inclusion Initiative, which will help the organization bring almost 200 new journalists serving underrepresented groups to the Festival, running Sept. 6-16.

“Rotten Tomatoes plays an important role in connecting fans with trusted information and recommendations on what to watch in theaters and at home,” said Paul Yanover, president of Fandango, Rotten Tomatoes’ parent company, in a statement. “Advancing inclusion in criticism continues to be a priority for Rotten Tomatoes and we plan to expand our work with media outlets that hire critics, film festivals and other groups, so as an industry we can better serve consumers.”

New critics will be spotlighted on the Tomatometer Critics home page.  Rotten Tomatoes plans to introduce more new product features over the next year, the company announced.