Box Office Power Rankings: August 31-September 3, 2007

I’ll be brief this week, as we have some renovations happening behind the scenes here at Culture Snob.

Superbad, after spending the past two weeks in our rankings behind The Bourne Ultimatum, finally took the top spot over the Labor Day weekend ... by finishing second in all four of the criteria. Box-office champ Halloween took third place in the Box Office Power Rankings.

Box Office Power Rankings: August 31-September 3, 2007
(Rank) Movie (last week; box office, per-screen, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic: total)
(1) Superbad (2; 9, 9, 9, 9: 36)
(2) The Bourne Ultimatum (1; 7, 6, 10, 10: 33)
(3) Halloween (-; 10, 10, 4, 7: 31)
(4) Mr. Bean’s Holiday (3; 5, 7, 7, 6: 25)
(5) Balls of Fury (-; 8, 8, 5, 2: 23)
(6) Stardust (7; 1, 2, 8, 8: 19)
(7) The Nanny Diaries (7; 4, 3, 6, 5: 18)
(7) Rush Hour 3 (6; 6, 5, 3, 4: 18)
(9) Death Sentence (-; 3, 4, 2, 3: 12)
(10) War (9; 2, 1, 1, 1: 5)

Methodology

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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