Box Office Power Rankings: November 30-December 2, 2007

Behold the power of the Box Office Power Rankings! Able to turn the Coen brothers’ box-office weakling — No Country for Old Men, 10th in revenue this past weekend — into the maid of honor. (And, yes, I recognize that I’ve crafted a metaphoric non sequitur.) Enchanted still tops our rankings, but No Country was first in three of our four criteria, including per-theater average.

Box Office Power Rankings: November 30-December 2, 2007
(Rank) Movie (last week; box office, per-theater, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic: total)
(1) Enchanted (1; 10, 9, 9, 9: 37)
(2) No Country for Old Men (-; 1, 10, 10, 10: 31)
(3) Beowulf (3; 9, 6, 8, 7: 30)
(4) This Christmas (2; 8, 8, 5, 8: 29)
(5) Stephen King’s The Mist (5; 3, 3, 7, 6: 19)
(6) Awake (-; 6, 7, 2, 1: 16)
(7) Hitman (7; 7, 5, 1, 2: 15)
(7) August Rush (8; 4, 4, 4, 3: 15)
(9) Bee Movie (5; 2, 1, 6, 5: 14)
(9) Fred Claus (9; 5, 2, 3, 4: 14)

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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