John Travolta’s Gotti scores rare 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, and he’s livid

John Travolta’s new film, Gotti, has scored a rare 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but in a twist, the film’s marketing is using the rating to its advantage, and hinting at a larger conspiracy.
This image released by Vertical Entertainment shows John Travolta in a scene from Gotti.(AP)
This image released by Vertical Entertainment shows John Travolta in a scene from Gotti.(AP)
Updated on Jun 20, 2018 04:15 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByHT Correspondent

John Travolta was expecting an Oscar nomination for his performance in Gotti, but then the movie scored a rare 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But in a twist, the film’s producers are now weaponising this critical drubbing in their marketing campaign, hinting at a conspiracy by critics to kill the movie.

“Audiences loved Gotti but critics don’t want you to see it… The question is why???” the social media accounts for the gangster drama proclaimed over the weekend. “Trust the people and see it for yourself!”

Another tweet, which included a video of audience members praising the film, demanded that you “Hear it from the PEOPLE! Who do you trust??..The actual people who saw the movie or some TROLLS behind a keyboard?”

A Hollywood Reporter story provided an in-depth picture of the confidence Travolta had in the film during its troubled production, even when everything around him suggested that few others had faith in the project. Money was tight, the advertising budget was even slimmer, and even though Travolta - with great difficulty - negotiated a screening at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, little was written about the film other than scathing reviews.

But Travolta had intended for this to be his grand return to dramatic territory after years of under-the-radar performances. “Travolta became incensed last December when stories broke saying that Liongate Premiere was pulling the $10 million film from a dual release in theaters and on VOD, implying that Lionsgate didn’t have faith in the biopic,” the report says, adding that he even tried to extricate the film from Lionsgate’s hands.

He wanted a full-fledged awards campaign, but for that, the film would require a full-fledged release, which it didn’t get. In its opening weekend, it placed number 11 in the US, just ahead of Salman Khan’s Race 3, which played in approximately 200 theatres fewer.

There is a disconnect.
There is a disconnect.

Questions have also been raised about Gotti’s ‘suspiciously high’ 68% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, which is higher than this week’s Ocean’s 8 by a significant margin. The female-fronted heist comedy scored a 49% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The review aggregator site, for its part, denies any foul play behind-the-scenes - bot accounts are known to have been created to tamper films’ ratings previously. “We closely monitor our platforms and haven’t determined there to be any problems,” the company said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly. “All of the reviews were left by active accounts.”

Gotti is biopic on the life of notorious gangster John Gotti. It is directed by Kevin Connolly, most famous for playing E on the HBO series, Entourage. The film also stars Travolta’s wife, Kelly Preston.

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