Box Office Power Rankings: August 3-5, 2007

The billions of you who neglected to bet against me when I claimed that The Simpsons Movie would spend a second week atop the Box Office Power Rankings look pretty foolish today.

See what I did there? I was wrong wrong wrong in my prediction, and I made you the idiot.

Anyway, The Bourne Ultimatum nailed the second perfect score in the brief history of our ratings, winning with audiences and critics alike, and topping all four of our criteria.

I’m going on vacation, but I’ll leave you with the bold prediction that Bourne will spend a second week in first place. Given that the primary new-release competition includes Daddy Day Camp and Rush Hour 3, I would advise against proposing any wagers, although Stardust might surprise.

Box Office Power Rankings: August 3-5, 2007
(Rank) Movie (last week; box office, per-screen, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic: total)
(1) The Bourne Ultimatum (-; 10, 10, 10, 10: 40)
(2) The Simpsons Movie (1; 9, 9, 8, 8: 34)
(3) Hairspray (2; 5, 5, 9, 9: 28)
(4) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (3; 6, 6, 7, 7: 26)
(5) I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (5; 7, 7, 3, 3: 20)
(5) Underdog (-; 8, 8, 2, 2: 20)
(7) Transformers (7; 3, 2, 6, 6: 17)
(7) No Reservations (6; 4, 3, 5, 5: 17)
(9) Hot Rod (-; 2, 1, 4, 4: 11)
(10) Bratz (-; 1, 4, 1, 1: 7)


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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