Movie Review Intelligence will shut down at the end of April. The web site collects reviews from several newspapers, magazines, and web publications. David A. Gross, editor and publisher, said that the reason for the closing down the site was the lack of access to the big networks of web viewers needed to sustain the web site.
Gross is a former marketing executive at 20th Century Fox. He founded Movie Review Intelligence in 2009 when professional film critics were threatened by layoffs and newspaper closings. The site differentiated itself from other movie review aggregation sites with its sophisticated approach to the data. It used graphics to show strengths and weaknesses in movies.
Gross has been a staunch supporter of critics, who he said affect the reception of movies even in this age of social media and mass marketing that oftentimes prevail over judgments about quality. He maintained that reviews are more influential today than ever before.
Gross added that moviegoers read more reviews before a mobile ticket purchase, computer streaming, or a pay-tv download. Better reviewed movies would do better in the box office. And movies with poor reviews would underperform.
Gross founded Movie Review Intelligence as an independent venture but since then he searched for a business partner that would give it the reach of other established web sites such as IMDB.com, which is owned by Amazon. Metacritic, another one of its competitors, is owned by CBS Interactive.
Since June 2009, Movie Review Intelligence analyzed the reviews of around 3,125 movies. It managed to get around 86,000 visitors and 399,000 hits a month. It is ranked 6.8 out of 608 million entries in a Google search for movie reviews. It was ahead of IMDB, Metacritic, and New York Times.
Gross said that he made it a point of collect a broad number of reviews as he could for every movie. He tried to reflect the critics’ feel for the movie, especially for those that fall in the middle ground.