Flixster Acquires Rotten Tomatoes from IGN Entertainment
Separately the film-based websites Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes represent two different sides of movie-lovers: Flixster has created one of the largest user-based film communities online, and Rotten Tomatoes has a more formal, critic-based community. Individually these websites fall short of the top behind the likes of other sites like IMDB, Yahoo! Movies and AOL Moviefone. But indieWIRE announced today that these two forces are combining, and instead of getting Captain Planet, we'll get an unrivaled international community of movie-lovers spanning an estimated 30 million unique monthly visitors. And boom goes the dynamite!
Flixster has already worked with Rotten Tomatoes previously by using their critical rating system on their site as well as their iPhone application, and despite this seeming like a huge merger of sorts, the good news for fans of either site is that each site will still be individually accessible to users. So what's the big deal. Well, Anne Thompson lays out the intimidating statistics and general ideas for us:
The new combine will reach readers across multiple platforms on the Internet (through web-based social networks) and via mobile apps for the iPhone, Blackberry and Android devices. Together, Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes combine half a million reviews from leading critics (complete with Tomatometer scores) with 2.3 billion user ratings and reviews (and their respective Tomatometer and Flixster scores) plus a database of more than 250,000 movies, 20,000 trailers and videos, and local movie showtime information, theater maps, and online ticketing.
Joe Greenstein, Flixster founder/CEO, explains: "The vision is clear: Rotten Tomatoes is the leading brand for critical consensus and reviews while Flixster leads user reviews. We want to bring them together to bring users to a single place to get the inside scoop on what's trending. We want to merge two great players to create an independent company that has a chance of being the number one or two in the category."
But with Flixster having such a huge community (of around 20 million), is there a chance that all the users will overshadow the critics of the smaller-in-size Rotten Tomatoes? Don't be so sure. Greenstein goes on:
"People are looking online to make decisions more than ever on the web, on phones, [and] on social networks. I don’t think people make decisions on a single point of data, they rely on multiple data like friend ratings and reviews. On Flixster people have a single page where they can get all their information in one place, get a real picture to make decisions about what to see. I don’t think critics are going away. Users know how to put together different pieces of information: that’s the power of this combination.”
Sounds like there's some exciting developments for the online film community in the near future, well, that is if you're a big reader of either of these two sites. While the death of the real film critic is something that's been touted since the inception of films blogs like ours, it looks like there will merely be an adaptation to a new medium. It looks like film critics and industry professionals are quicker to accept the changing face of film buzz and reviews than their less fortunate counterparts in the music industry. We're curious to see how this partnership between Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes grows over time. What do you guys think of it?