Blog Post

Complete Storyforms Explain the Success of Rotten Tomatoes

Sep 12th, 2017

Nothing can be more pleasing to fans of great storytelling than opening up a movie everyone tells you to watch only to find the Rotten Tomatoes score at 99%. After several years of never being let down by this online rating system, you can trust RT to tell you the truth about the quality of a film.

Hilarious, then, when you consider that Hollywood is blaming Rotten Tomatoes for a horrible summer.

Between the first weekend in May and Labor Day, a sequel-stuffed period that typically accounts for 40 percent of annual ticket sales, box office revenue in North America totaled $3.8 billion, a 15 percent decline from the same span last year. To find a slower summer, you would have to go back 20 years. Business has been so bad that America’s three biggest theater chains have lost roughly $4 billion in market value since May.

As the Boston Globe reports (but won’t let me go any further because of a pay wall) The movie box office this summer was so bad because the movies were [so bad].

The Emoji Movie received a score of 8 because it deserved a rating of 8.

Breaking Structure and an Indication of a Great Story

As I explain in my analysis of Get Out (and podcast), writer/director Jordan Peele decided to change the final sequences of the film to mollify a potential reactive Audience. This choice, while ultimately successful, ran counter to the entire argument set up throughout the rest of the movie.

The concept of the Storymind reigns supreme: the analogy of a complete story working as a model of a single human trying to solve a problem is understood and accepted by every single person in the Audience–whether they know it or not.

The Audience for Get Out expected a Failure ending because the model of the mind setup in the previous 90 minutes set a course for Failure.

This kind of thing has been going on for centuries–it’s just now we have a lexicon and a computer model to help explain it (and Narrative First to help solve both!).

And when you think about it–the concept of Rotten Tomatoes has existed as long, if not longer. The groupmind collectively understands the composition and story points of a satisfying and emotionally fulfilling narrative.

Compare the “Amazingly Fantastic Stories” of my Narrative First Analysis Showcase against Fun, But Broken and Avoid at All Costs. I guarantee those in the first hover above 90% while the latter two land below the median, if not at the bottom.

The problem isn’t Rotten Tomatoes–it’s a system that hangs too small a value on a valid and complete narrative structure. It’s a system that relies on instinct and subjective approaches to story out of deference to a lazy mindset.

We have an objective model of the Storymind and story structure. Dramatica is the way to fight back against Rotten Tomatoes and films like Peele’s Get Out stand out as a prime example of this new reality.

What will the site look like when every film and television show lands a 99% or 100% rating?