Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films, widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing rotten tomatoes or vegetables at a poor stage performance. The company has been owned by Flixster, a Warner Bros. company, since May 2011.
Rotten Tomatoes was launched on August 12, 1998, as a spare time project by Senh Duong. His goal in creating Rotten Tomatoes was "to create a site where people can get access to reviews from a variety of critics in the US". His inspiration came when, as a fan of Jackie Chan, Duong started collecting all the reviews of Chan's movies as they were coming out in the United States. The first movie reviewed on Rotten Tomatoes was Your Friends & Neighbors. The website was an immediate success, receiving mentions by Yahoo!, Netscape, and USA Today within the first week of its launch; it attracted "600 – 1000 daily unique visitors" as a result.
Duong teamed up with University of California, Berkeley classmates Patrick Y. Lee and Stephen Wang, his former partners at the Berkeley, California-based web design firm Design Reactor, to pursue Rotten Tomatoes on a full-time basis, officially launching on April 1, 2000.
In June 2004, IGN Entertainment acquired Rottentomatoes.com for an undisclosed sum. In September 2005, IGN was bought by News Corp's Fox Interactive Media. In January 2010, IGN sold the website to Flixster, which produces the most popular movie ratings app for the iPad and other mobile devices. The combined reach of both companies is 30 million unique visitors a month across all different platforms, according to the companies. In May 2011, Flixster was acquired by Warner Bros.