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The NYU Cinema Research Institute brings together innovators in film and media finance, production, marketing, and distribution to imagine and realize a new future for artist-entrepreneurs. 

New web apps off Rotten Tomatoes' API

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New web apps off Rotten Tomatoes' API

Michelle Ow

CRI Post #3.5

You and a friend are talking about a movie. It looks great. Rotten Tomatoes says it's fresh. Inevitably, one of you will say, "I really want to see that!" For every time you say that, how many times did you actually buy the ticket? Would you if you knew it was leaving the theater soon? This week, my focus shifted from pricing to the movie consumer's decision process. There are multiple pain points, but for the purposes of this week, the focus was information. It's not effortless to keep track of what movies are still in or not in theaters. Plus, if you aren't sure what movie you want to see, but just want to see something, a quick-and-dirty display might be more effective than a comprehensive, detailed display.

Here are two quick web apps off of the Rotten Tomatoes API that might help. The first is called QuickRT. It's a quick snapshot of current releases and how their scoring, presented in a simple, user-friendly design.

The second web app

is a sand timer for movies. It's the result of my final project for an ITP class. Here's a snapshot:

CRI Post #3.2
CRI Post #3.2

First, it grabs all the in-theater moves from the Rotten tomatoes API and filters out movies greater than 90 days old and rotten movies, leaving only the best and freshest. Then the movies are sorted by how long they've been in theaters. The current display is "90s chic" but it could be redesigned to a user-friendly, visually appealing design. "Almost gone" movies could be displayed in red boxes, "On-its-way" movies in yellow boxes, and "Just in" movies in green boxes. Would knowing a movie is almost gone entice you out of couch inertia? While this feature might not be baked into the final product, it's a start to understand how movie habits might be shifted. The app assumes that most people want to see movies that are "certified fresh." It certainly doesn't account for dissatisfaction with the movie itself. After all:

CRI Post #3.4
CRI Post #3.4