"Oh my God, it made $80 million at the box office! I have no faith in mass audiences!" So goes the Sunday night / Monday morning refrain across movie websites, Twitter, and podcasts worldwide. It's a saying that's started to make me bristle a bit. Sure, I wince when something like Paul Blart: Mall Cop rakes in an insane amount of money, week after week ... but how can you really blame audiences for putting something like X-Men Origins: Wolverine at the top of the box office?

The obvious answer would be "They should listen to critics, and avoid the film!" But that's a dicey thing when it comes to popcorn fare, because a lot of it doesn't receive stellar reviews from critics, but it's still an enjoyable, pulpy ride. I don't subscribe to the idea of turning one's brain off once you buy your ticket, but there's something to be said for watching a movie like Crank or Punisher: War Zone once in a while.

Audiences also don't know when they should listen to critics -- or who they should listen to. Sure, general audiences should find it in their mouse-fingers to seek out Rotten Tomatoes but a lot of people hear only the soundbites of Ben Lyons (or their local equivalent), or see the blandly 'It's stupid, but you'll probably like it" reviews in their newspapers. I know a lot of otherwise intelligent people who go see a bad summer flick because they'd read a good review in the newspaper or heard it on the radio.
categories Cinematical