Is Disney Paying Off Movie Critics For Good Reviews?
“Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” hit theaters and got awful reviews… this site may have mentioned something about it once or twice before.
“Captain America: Civil War” was released and got a stellar response. Back in the old days that would be the end of this non story, but in the age of the internet it rarely is. In a case like this there was always going to be a winner and loser. One of these films HAD to make less money than the other and one HAD to be better critically received than the other. Even if it had somehow come out even the fans of either side would have found reasons that made it OK i.e. the release months or something. In this case, it’s lead to a conspiracy theory that the ONLY explanation for “Captain America: Civil War” getting better reviews than “Batman V Superman” MUST be that Disney is paying off critics. There is even a petition on change.org to try to stop Disney from doing this.
The theory goes as follows, Disney is bribing film critics to give good reviews to Disney owned properties (like the Marvel Cinematic Universe aka MCU) while also trashing any films by their competitors aka DC. It is so hard to know where to start with this one. If Disney really was paying off critics then that’s a lot to pay off. I know Disney is making a lot of money now but no way could they have that much. And also SOMEONE would have talked by now. If this was true there would have been some sort of news of some sort of critic who was “claiming Disney has been offering me a ton of money to bash DC films.” And there is NOTHING like that online. Seriously, even if you’re going along with the idea that Disney must be paying them so much money that they can’t refuse it, there would have to be some critic out there who couldn’t be paid off. Many take their jobs seriously even in this world where some would argue that they are becoming irrelevant. And while yes some would take the money quietly because the money was just too good, for many critics that figure would have to HUGE and again Disney does not have that kind of money to do that for all the critics and make their own films. I mean the idea is so ridiculous that some internet critics have put up their own counter petition asking Disney to actually pay them for the good reviews because hey, they’d like some extra money.
So where did this whole nonsense get started? I mean besides where all conspiracy theories come from. For certain people the idea that the world is random, unfair, and unfeeling is too frightening to comprehend. And for those same people the idea that an unseen force, even a malicious one, is preferable. The same basic idea of it’s better to know your enemy than face the unknown. While that is most certainly what is at the heart of this, how specifically does it tie into this situation? Well we’ve been watching Marvel succeed film after film, but despite all of that they of course aren’t for everyone. For one reason or another they may not speak to someone. Some of those people have been eagerly awaiting a champion they could stand behind. For some fans I’m sure they just want to see their preferred comic characters get the same love and mainstream recognition than Marvel has been getting. There’s nothing in the world wrong with that and don’t think that I’m saying otherwise. So they finally get their big moment with Batman and Superman and Wonder Woman together on the big screen and… the critics tore it a new one. Now personally while I did like the film (mainly only on a technical level) there’s no doubt some critics were unnecessarily harsh on the film. But there were your favorite comic characters trashed on-screen and the looming release of “Captain America: Civil War” on the horizon which will probably get great reviews (and has) like the last couple of Marvel films. Well in that scenario is it that hard to believe some would want this conspiracy to be true. No it’s not that Snyder messed up the characters or couldn’t make audiences connect with the story, it must be Disney doing something sinister.
Now I’m not saying everyone who liked “Batman V Superman” is like this. Most of my friends enjoyed both (to different degrees) and find the idea of this conspiracy as ludicrous as myself. I’ll also leave you this bit of truth, guess who’s the person who first postulated this little theory (not the person who started the petition, just the person who is considered the first person to make the claim). Grace Randolph who is an internet film critic. Now take a guess what else she’s famous for. She was also the same person who launched the petition for a PG-13 cut of “Deadpool”. Also, she gave “Fantastic Four” (2015) a good review. Just let that sit in your brain before you sign that petition to stop Disney from paying off film critics for good reviews.