Box Office Power Rankings: December 7-9, 2007

In its opening weekend, The Golden Compass made more than twice as much money as any of its competitors, yet in the great equalizer that is the Box Office Power Rankings, it still ended up in third place, and barely beat out This Christmas.

Enchanted extended its reign atop the rankings to three weeks, but it was nearly unseated by the Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men. I doubt either has anything to fear from Alvin and the Chipmunks this weekend, but I Am Legend might be another story ... .

Box Office Power Rankings: December 7-9, 2007
(Rank) Movie (last week; box office, per-theater, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic: total)
(1) Enchanted (1; 9, 8, 9, 9: 35)
(2) No Country for Old Men (2; 5, 9, 10, 10: 34)
(3) The Golden Compass (-; 10, 10, 5, 5: 30)
(4) This Christmas (4; 8, 7, 6, 8: 29)
(5) Beowulf (3; 6, 5, 8, 7: 26)
(6) Fred Claus (9; 7, 3, 3, 4: 17)
(7) August Rush (7; 4, 4, 4, 3: 15)
(7) Stephen King’s The Mist (5; 1, 1, 7, 6: 15)
(9) Awake (6; 2, 6, 2, 1: 11)
(10) Hitman (7; 3, 2, 1, 2: 8)

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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