Box Office Power Rankings: June 29-July 1, 2007

We have our first perfect score in Culture Snob’s Box Office Power Rankings. Pixar’s and Disney’s Ratatouille (directed and co-written by Brad Bird) was certainly expected to top the rankings, but this is a bit of a surprise.

Why? Because to achieve the maximum score of 40, a movie needs to top the box office (in this case, over Live Free Or Die Hard); perform better per-screen than both its “big” competitors (Live Free Or Die Hard again) and limited-release prestige pictures (Sicko); and score better with critics than everything else in the box-office top ten (particularly Sicko and Knocked Up).

That’s a tall order, but the computer-animated rats were up to the task.

Box Office Power Rankings: June 29-July 1, 2007
(Rank) Movie (last week; box office, per-screen, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic: total)
(1) Ratatouille (-; 10, 10, 10, 10: 40)
(2) Live Free Or Die Hard (-; 9, 8, 7, 7: 31)
(3) Sicko (-; 2, 9, 9, 8: 28)
(4) Knocked Up (1; 5, 4, 9, 9: 27)
(5) 1408 (1; 7, 6, 7, 6: 26)
(6) Evan Almighty (6; 8, 7, 1, 1: 17)
(7) Ocean’s Thirteen (3; 4, 1, 5, 5: 15)
(7) Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (7; 6, 3, 3, 3: 15)
(9) Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (8; 3, 2, 4, 4: 13)
(10) Evening (-; 1, 5, 2, 2: 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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