Box Office Power Rankings: July 13-15, 2007

There are no surprises in the rankings for this past weekend, save one absence: Captivity. Opening on 1,061 screens (one quarter as many as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), Roland Joffe’s thriller grossed less than $1.5 million — good for 12th place and therefore ineligible for this week’s Box Office Power Rankings.

With no serious new-release competition, Harry Potter’s box office and generally positive reviews propelled it to second place in the rankings. Ratatouille, buoyed by stellar notices and continued strength at the box office, took the top spot for the third week in a row.

And with no more anticipated blockbusters on the summer release calendar, Pixar’s latest is threatening to stay atop the rankings for several more weeks.

Box Office Power Rankings: July 13-15, 2007
(Rank) Movie (last week; box office, per-screen, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic: total)
(1) Ratatouille (1; 8, 8, 10, 10: 36)
(2) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (-; 10, 10, 6, 7: 33)
(3) Live Free Or Die Hard (2; 7, 7, 7, 6: 27)
(4) Sicko (4; 2, 6, 9, 8: 25)
(5) Transfomers (3; 9, 9, 3, 3: 24)
(5) Knocked Up (4; 3, 3, 9, 9: 24)
(7) 1408 (6; 5, 4, 5, 5: 19)
(8) License to Wed (7; 6, 5, 1, 1: 13)
(9) Evan Almighty (8; 4, 2, 2, 2: 10)
(9) Ocean’s Thirteen (9; 1, 1, 4, 4: 10)


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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