Box Office Power Rankings: June 22-24, 2007

My predictive powers have again proved to be less than stellar. (Anxiety over imminent surgery is my excuse.)

Last week, I predicted that a steady Ocean’s Thirteen would displace Knocked Up at the top of Culture Snob’s Box Office Power Rankings.

Not only did that not happen, but 1408 — an adaptation of a Stephen King story — came out of nowhere to tie Knocked Up for the top spot in this week’s rankings. It placed second to Evan Almighty in box office and per-screen average and was shockingly well-received by critics.

I won’t get burned again. This weekend, I’m taking the easy money and saying that Pixar’s Ratatouille will top our rankings, barring stellar notices for Live Free or Die Hard. See how I hedged?

Box Office Power Rankings: June 22-24
(Rank) Movie (last week; box office, per-screen, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic: total)
(1) 1408 (-; 9, 9, 7, 8: 33)
(1) Knocked Up (1; 6, 7, 10, 10: 33)
(3) Ocean’s Thirteen (2; 7, 6, 6, 6: 25)
(4) A Mighty Heart (-; 1, 5, 9, 9: 24)
(5) Surf’s Up (3; 4, 2, 9, 8: 23)
(6) Evan Almighty (-; 10, 10, 1, 1: 22)
(7) Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (4; 8, 8, 2, 2: 20)
(8) Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (5; 5, 4, 4, 3: 16)
(9) Shrek the Third (7; 3, 3, 3, 5: 14)
(10) Nancy Drew (6; 2, 1, 5, 4: 12)


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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