Box Office Power Rankings: September 28-30, 2007

Mediocrity rules the Box Office Power Rankings this week, with only two movies in the box-office-gross top 10 getting a Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic score over 56. (Congrats, 3:10 to Yuma and Eastern Promises! You’re the best of a bad lot.)

That bottom-loading of crappy movies meant middling reviews for Peter Berg’s The Kingdom propelled it to a victory over The Game Plan in our rankings. The aforementioned critical favorites tied the Rock vehicle for second place.

And despite showing at only 339 sites and grossing just more than $2 million, Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe nabbed fifth place, with a robust per-theater average and (relatively) positive reviews.

Box Office Power Rankings: September 28-30, 2007
(Rank) Movie (last week; box office, per-theater, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic: total)
(1) The Kingdom (-; 9, 9, 7, 8: 33)
(2) The Game Plan (-; 10, 10, 4, 4: 28)
(2) Eastern Promises (1; 3, 5, 10, 10: 28)
(2) 3:10 to Yuma (3; 6, 4, 9, 9: 28)
(5) Across the Universe (-; 1, 8, 8, 8: 25)
(6) Resident Evil: Extinction (2; 8, 7, 3, 3: 21)
(6) The Brave One (3; 5, 2, 6, 8: 21)
(8) Good Luck Chuck (8; 7, 6, 1, 1: 15)
(9) Sydney White (6; 2, 1, 5, 5: 13)
(10) Mr. Woodcock (9; 4, 3, 2, 2: 11)

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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