The Queen-inspired film Bohemian Rhapsody film was poorly rated by critics, yet became a big box office hit. Earlier this year, the same thing happened to Hugh Jackman’s The Greatest Show musical film about the life of PT Barnum. Why are critics so out of touch with what real people like? And why do we love the movies that “experts” (who presumably understand film) rate so badly?
As this article suggests, “one thing many critic-proof hits have in common is brand recognition. You know what you’re getting.” While this may be the case, it could also be the simple fact that we are primed to look for different things. While a critic may know more about the cinematography or be able to compare the film to others in its genre – most people are simply looking for great entertainment value.
This insight is useful to consider outside the world of film as well. Are you creating something that only a select few people who know what to look for will love – but the rest won’t understand? Too often it is easy to seek influencer approval instead of bypassing those critical voices and focusing instead on something that that the majority of your audience can love.