Anyone who has spent time reading or writing online comments knows rabid fanbois are quite capable of becoming angry or nasty without any real provocation.
Fans are especially rabid when it comes to bad reviews of their favorite device, as highlighted by the ongoing rivalry between Android and the iPhone (iOS) or Windows PCs versus Apple's Mac.
Similarly, movie fans are often upset when their favorite film or franchise garners bad reviews from other cinema enthusiasts - which is what exactly what happened with the upcoming Dark Knight Rises.
As it stands now, only professional reviewers have been able see the film, with many offering their reviews a week ahead of the official launch. Some negative reviews angered a number of very vocal commenters on RottenTomatoes, prompting site administrators to close all comments related to the caped crusader. Interestingly enough, this is the first time RottenTomatoes has chosen to lock down a movie thread.
"The job of policing the comments became more than my staff could handle for that film, so we stopped the comments altogether,” the site’s editor-in-chief Matt Atchity said in an open letter. "It just got to be too much hate-based on reactions to reviews of movies that people hadn’t even seen."
According to Atchity, the Dark Knight comment section will remain closed for at least a few days. Two reviews, in particular, angered fans of the movie and received negative and threatening remarks from RottenTomatoes readers - those written by Christy Lemire of The Associated Press and Hollywood & Fine’s Marshall Fine.
Fine wrote in his review, "anyone forecasting serious Oscar love for this lumpish, tedious film has been smoking too much of that potent, prescription California weed," while Lemire said "[the film lacked] the spark that gave 2008′s ‘The Dark Knight’ such vibrancy."
Despite the negative reviews, The Dark Knight Rises is expected to be one of the biggest films at the box office this year.