Despite positive attention from audiences and critics, Disney’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” was apparently ripped in IMDB reviews, leading the site to change how the film’s rating is calculated.
The film has nearly 40,000 ratings on the site, with 15,000 calling the movie a 1-star flop. The site feels that the influx of heavily negative ratings is a clear indication of review bombing.
The company said that to preserve the reliability of the rating system, an “alternate weighting calculation” has been used on “The Little Mermaid.” The film has a 7/10 rating on IMDB after the new weighting calculation took over. The site did not specify how exactly the new review score is calculated.
The film has been subject to intense criticism since it was announced that the lead role of Ariel would be played by African American actress Halle Bailey. While many focus their criticism of the film on the fact that it is yet another remake of a classic Disney film, many others are angry that a previous White character is now played by a Black actor.
Review bombing has become commonplace in the digital age. Several review outlets from Metacritic to Rotten Tomatoes had to shut down audience reviews after discovering a suspicious quantity of negative reviews. Many times, review bombing efforts are driven by malicious users who use bots to drive down review scores.
Despite the outrage online, the film dominated the box office when it opened Memorial Day weekend. The film collected nearly $100 million the first weekend, making it the fifth biggest Memorial Day weekend movie on record.