Moviefone

Rotten Tomatoes gets fresh

July 2, 2010: 1:34 PM ET

The Internet's crankiest brand goes mainstream in a bid to turn "fresh/rotten" into the "two thumbs" of film criticism

By John Patrick Pullen

It's a plot for what can only be described as an "unlikely buddy picture." In January 2010, when the upstart movie social network Flixster managed to wrestle film criticism aggregator Rotten Tomatoes away from Fox Interactive Media, the two websites -- formerly competitors -- were suddenly on the same team.

For Shannon Ludovissy, who's been the general manager of Rotten Tomatoes for the past three years, the deal couldn't get inked fast enough. Since its founding in 2005, Flixster had fast become a major player by being the first to market with Facebook and mobile apps. "We were thinking, 'Wow, here's a group of people who are not missing a beat,' " says Ludovissy. "All the portals -- Yahoo!, Moviefone, IMDB, MSN -- we were all weighed down with legacy technology issues that Flixster didn't have to deal with."

But now it's time for Rotten Tomatoes' close-up. In recent months the website -- one of the Internet's longest-tenured brands -- has partnered with several well-known outlets in an effort to extend its reach and gain more notoriety for the 12-year-old Tomatometer, Rotten Tomatoes' proprietary ratings system that evaluates films based on professional critics' reviews. More

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