The film site made the announcement yesterday (February 25) in a blog post, noting that it has seen "an uptick in non-constructive input, sometimes bordering on trolling, which we believe is a disservice to our general readership."
To combat comments from stans and haters alike (that probably haven't even seen the movie), Rotten Tomatoes will only enable comments once films have received theatrical release. Once the film is released, anyone can go nuts with the ratings and comments as usual.
The site has also removed the "Want to See" score from the film pages prior to release, as it claims that the score was often confused with the "Audience Score" rating.
The decision coincides with the nearing release of the Brie Larson-starring Captain Marvel, which seems to have drawn out particularly enthusiastic (read: "misogynistic") trolls. The film's "Want to See" rating was attacked in high numbers (at one point dipping to 53%), with people contributing such insightful comments as:
You could not pay me to see this SJW laden white male hating worthless POS movie. I am sick of this identity politics taking over pop culture. Brie Larson could get hit by a bus and I would not shed a tear.
Said review has since been removed under Rotten Tomatoes' comment policy.
Others continued to berate the film for its progressive "identity politics," and criticized Larson because she demanded the press rooms for the Captain America junket be more inclusive than a room full of white men.
.@RottenTomatoes Captain Marvel is not even released yet and a bunch of recently created accounts w/no profiles are already downvoting it & making alt-right/nazi/KKK arguments. Should really install some vetting process for audience ratings or this will not stop..ever pic.twitter.com/gSvd1Co5mi— camethedawn (@camethedawnxp) February 18, 2019
Captain Marvel marks the first Marvel superhero film with a female lead. It was co-directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. It's due out March 8.