Does a work that's sold for entertainment or done for money mean that it cannot have artistic merit? That's your claim: "There simply are no objective standards that make sense when determining the worth of aesthetics particularly when rooted in the realm of entertainment." Your claim is contradicted by every artist who has ever sold a work of art or provided entertainment through creating it and making it available to others via display, or sale, or some other means. Artists often have patrons too. Movies have artistic merit. Being entertaining is not necessarily in conflict with having artistic merit. Your reasoning is faulty.
"How else could you explain fanatical devotion to films that most others find repulsive or worthless?" We have already both agreed on the answer to this question. It's that different people have different preferences; they have different rankings of what gives them utility or makes them happy. There are any number of reasons why people have different tastes and can fall in love with toads of art or think that shit smeared on a canvas is admirable art.
However, these differences in what provides satisfaction do not gainsay our capacity to find and discuss grounds for discriminating one work from another.
"Is it Shakespeare or is it Johnny Mack Brown?" You claim there are no grounds to tell them apart or explain why one is better than the other? (And it so happens that I watched a movie last night with Johnny Mack Brown, Rod Cameron and Cathy Downs, and I didn't read any Shakespeare.) Your position is extreme in its skepticism or nihilism.
In response to some negative comments I quoted about a movie, you write "Wanton negativity masquerading as critical rhetoric makes for an unattractive and unenlightened component to the conversation." That's character assassination, that's rhetoric, that's not reasoned argument. Those people put thought into what they wrote, which is easily equivalent or exceeds the thought coming from you in such a reply.
I did not take each comment and point out explicitly what standard that person was invoking. I thought this was obvious. Apparently it's not obvious to you because you assassinate their thoughts with the phrase "wanton negativity." Your claim is that they are making malicious and unprovoked nasty remarks. This is not at all obvious. In fact, they did not simply say that they disliked a movie or that it was shit. They explained what it was that made the movie bad.