So I ran a scraper called Outwit Hub on the Rotten Tomatoes site and pulled a bunch of data. It’s not every single movie, but I think it’s a good representative swath. I used a good starting point and branched out one degree from there. I got over 2500 sample movies and the rating of each according to to “Top Critics,” “All Critics,” and the general “Audience.” I’ve graphed those all out relative to one another, and also relative to the reported box office, plus I did a series of them where I marked movies that were tagged with particular genres according to colour.
Most of what’s shown by the data isn’t too surprising: Action movies do good box office. Documentaries, even those rated very well by critics and audience, do not. The general audience is more forgiving to things rated poorly by critics. General audience rating correlates much more strongly with box office than critical rating.
Not all movies had box office data available. On the scatterplots with box office as the vertical axis, the band of dots along the bottom is movies that didn’t have this data available. I left them in because it would have cut my sample size in half.
I may need to do more. For example, see how almost everything is classified as “drama?” There are a bunch that are “horror & drama” or “action & drama.” There’s a Bill Martell article where he argues that “drama” is the default and that any good genre movie is really “drama plus genre” so it might be worth separating those that are classified only as drama and those that are classified only as genre.