Box Office Power Rankings: October 19-21, 2007

I warned you last week to expect wackiness in this edition of the Box Office Power Rankings, and for once, I don’t disappoint.

There are four genuinely new releases in this week’s rankings — including box-office champ 30 Days of Night and the well-reviewed Gone Baby Gone — so it makes perfect sense that a 14-year-old movie tops the charts this week.

Yes, the 3D re-release of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas used positive (if moldy) reviews and none-better per-theater revenue to edge Michael Clayton, that new vampires-in-Alaska flick, and Ben Affleck’s debut as a director.

On a personal note, I think Burton’s apex was Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, and I didn’t care for Nightmare (which he produced and co-wrote and put his name on) when it first came out. I expect his Sweeney Todd will suck, and I hope to revel in its commercial and critical failure here in the Box Office Power Rankings. And if I’m wrong, I expect to hear it from all you Burton apologists.

Box Office Power Rankings: October 19-21, 2007
(Rank) Movie (last week; box office, per-theater, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic: total)
(1) Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (-; 3, 10, 10, 9: 32)
(2) Michael Clayton (1; 7, 6, 8, 10: 31)
(3) 30 Days of Night (-; 10, 8, 7, 4: 29)
(3) Gone Baby Gone (-; 5, 7, 9, 8: 29)
(5) Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? (1; 9, 9, 5, 5: 28)
(6) We Own the Night (1; 4, 4, 6, 7: 21)
(7) The Game Plan (5; 8, 5, 3, 2: 18)
(8) Rendition (-; 2, 2, 4, 6: 14)
(9) The Comebacks (-; 6, 3, 1, 1: 11)
(10) The Heartbreak Kid (7; 1, 1, 2, 3: 7)

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-theater 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-theater 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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