Rotten Tomatoes is an American review-aggregation website for film and television. The company was launched in August 1998 by three undergraduate students at the University of California, Berkeley: Senh Duong, Patrick Y. Lee, and Stephen Wang. The name "Rotten Tomatoes" derives from the practice of audiences throwing rotten tomatoes when disapproving of a poor stage performance.
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. They officially launched it on April 1, 2000.
Since January 2010, Rotten Tomatoes has been owned by Flixster, which was in turn acquired by Warner Bros. in 2011. In February 2016, Rotten Tomatoes and its parent site Flixster were sold to Comcast's Fandango. Warner Bros. retained a minority stake in the merged entities, including Fandango.
In February 2016, Fandango acquired Flixster and began migrating Flixster Video users to its competing service called FandangoNow, closing the Flixster Video service. On August 28, 2017, Flixster shut down its digital redemption and streaming video service and directed customers to use Vudu. On December 22, 2017, the company sent an email to customers saying that it would cease all operations in the U.S. as of February 20, 2018. Starting in late January 2018, visitors to Flixster.com were encouraged to download the Flixster app or were redirected to Fandango.com. They were also directed to continue watching videos and redeeming digital codes via Vudu.