Dolittle’s Audience Score Is Much Higher Than Its Critics Score


Little do Dolittle fans have to say to the critics who’ve scathed the film since its release last Friday. The fantasy adventure reboot currently sits at a pitiful 19% on Rotten Tomatoes, a score that’s possibly played a role in its disappointing opening weekend (more on that later). But there’s better news if you take the Rotten Tomatoes audience score as a reliable metric of how a pic is playing to the public (I confess, I don’t).

At the time of writing, Dolittle has a far perkier 77% in that measure, based on the ratings of 2696 users/bots/paid clickers. However rigorous or not the score is, it’s plausible that audiences haven’t received the film as poorly as critics did, and it wouldn’t be the first time the two camps have had wildly differing reactions to a movie. Yes, I promise not to mention The Last Jedi. It’s been 2 years for crying out loud.

Where were we? Oh yes, the box office. We weren’t in the last paragraph, but I did say we’d pick it back up in the first. And by some distance, the movies’s box office numbers, and more specifically its budget, was the most interesting titbit I noticed here.

Robert Downey Jr.’s Dr. D has grossed $57.3 million as of January 20th, which in itself doesn’t tell you anything. That return would be fine for a film budgeted at $80 million, and maybe even $100 million. But then I noticed that Dolittle’s reported production budget was $175 million. I wonder how much of that was Downey Jr.’s fee?

Rest assured, that insane outlay (which doesn’t account for marketing costs) would sink Dolittle into the box office abyss no matter what critical hoo-hah accompanied it. Honestly, the misjudgments that studio execs make with that kind of money never cease to amaze me.