Paul Fahri of the Washington Post did a little investigative reporting and answered a question I have wondered about for a long time. Who are these critics who love all these awful movies? It turns out there is considerable affiliate inflation in movie ads, and small- and mid-market TV critics are often listed in ads as representing the views of their networks.
Marc Doyle, co-founder of the Web site Metacritic.com, which tracks critics' opinions, says the studios prefer the more impressive network title, even if it isn't quite accurate, because would-be film patrons might not be very impressed by a blurb from a reviewer from "some outlet they've never heard of."
But Paurich says titles aren't really important. "This might reflect badly on me and everybody else in this business, but unless you're Roger Ebert, people don't necessarily check the name beneath the quote [in the ad]. The quote is going to matter more to [a moviegoer] than the source of the quote."
The real motivation is in Fahri's last line:
As for critics, he says they like to be blurbed: "It's nice to see your name in the New York Times or in a TV commercial. It's flattering. It's still a kick."