Box Office Power Rankings: June 1-3, 2007

It was fairly obvious once the reviews started coming in that Knocked Up would top this week’s edition of Culture Snob’s Box Office Power Rankings. What was surprising was that it came within $14 million of a first-ever perfect score.

Judd Apatow’s comedy (the follow-up to The 40-Year-Old Virgin) topped our rankings in per-screen average, Rotten Tomatoes score, and Metacritic score, but it came in second (with $30.7 million) to Pirates of the Caribbean ($44.2 million) in overall box-office receipts.

I predict that Knocked Up will remain atop our power rankings for several more weeks on the strength of its reviews and box-office staying power.

Box Office Power Rankings: June 1-3
(Rank) Movie (last week; box office, per-screen, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic: total)
(1) Knocked Up (-; 9, 10, 10, 10: 39)
(2) Waitress (1; 5, 6, 9, 8: 28)
(3) Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2; 10, 9, 2, 2: 23)
(4) Spider-Man 3 (4; 6, 5, 6, 5: 22)
(4) 28 Weeks Later (2; 2, 3, 8, 9: 22)
(6) Shrek the Third (5; 8, 8, 1, 4: 21)
(7) Mr. Brooks (-; 7, 7, 3, 1: 18)
(8) Disturbia (8; 1, 2, 7, 7: 17)
(9) Gracie (-; 4, 4, 5, 3: 16)
(10) Bug (6; 3, 1, 4, 7: 15)


Culture Snob’s Box Office Power Rankings balance box office and critical reception to create a better measure of a movie’s overall performance against its peers.

The weekly rankings cover the 10 top-grossing movies in the United States for the previous weekend. We assign equal weight to box office and critical opinion, with each having two components. The measures are: box-office gross, per-screen average, Rotten Tomatoes score, and Metacritic score.

Why those four? Box-office gross basically measures the number of people who saw a movie in a given weekend. Per-screen average corrects for blockbuster-wannabes that flood the market with prints, and gives limited-release movies a fighting chance. Rotten Tomatoes measures critical opinion in a binary way. And Metacritic gives a better sense of critics’ enthusiasm (or bile) for a movie.

For each of the four measures, the movies are ranked and assigned points (10 for the best performer, one for the worst). Finally, those points are added up, with a maximum score of 40 and a minimum score of four.

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