Box Office Power Rankings: December 14-16, 2007

I doubt Anton Chigurh (who will be referenced in every Culture Snob entry from this point forward) would appreciate the analogy, but No Country for Old Men looks like a perennial bridesmaid in the Box Office Power Rankings.

In its four weeks on our charts, it has finished in a three-way tie for first (which doesn’t count as being a bride) and thrice ended up second — two times to Enchanted and this past weekend to I Am Legend.

Spun positively, the movie’s Box Office Power Rankings longevity and performance bode well for its Oscar chances, if one accepts the premise that Academy Award respect requires a combination of critical acclaim and audience affection.

Box Office Power Rankings: December 14-16, 2007
(Rank) Movie (last week; box office, per-theater, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic: total)
(1) I Am Legend (-; 10, 10, 7, 7: 34)
(2) No Country for Old Men (2; 6, 6, 10, 10: 32)
(3) Enchanted (1; 7, 5, 9, 8: 29)
(4) Atonement (-; 2, 9, 8, 9: 28)
(5) The Golden Compass (3; 8, 7, 5, 5: 25)
(6) Alvin and the Chipmunks (-; 9, 8, 3, 3: 23)
(7) This Christmas (4; 4, 3, 6, 6: 19)
(8) The Perfect Holiday (-; 5, 4, 1, 1: 11)
(9) Fred Claus (6; 3, 1, 2, 4: 10)
(10) August Rush (7; 1, 2, 4, 2: 9)


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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