The makers of John Travolta’s biopic of New York crime boss John Gotti have hit back at the critics who have panned it, describing them as “trolls”.
Reviews have been so bad that Gotti has a 0% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes – compared with a 77% audience score.
In response, a new trailer on social media said: “Audiences loved Gotti… critics put out the hit.”
The clip ends by asking: “Who would you trust more? Yourself or a troll behind a keyboard?”
Directed by former Entourage star Kevin Connolly, the film charts Gotti’s rise from mob enforcer to head of the Gambino crime family.
Known as both “The Dapper Don” and “The Teflon Don”, Gotti was eventually convicted of murder and extortion and died in prison in 2002.
Response to the viral marketing strategy has been mixed.
Film journalist Jason Bailey tweeted: “Your movie made like $38 last weekend, what ‘audiences’ are you talking about here?”
The film actually earned $1.7m (£1.3m) in North America in its opening weekend, putting it 11th in the box office chart.
Another reviewer, Valerie Complex, added: “This isn’t going to be as effective as you think it is.”
Rotten Tomatoes uses critics’ reviews to give films a score on its “Tomatometer”.
The site also gives films an “audience score” based on the percentage of users who have rated them 3.5 stars or higher. The two scores often reveal significant disparities.