Box Office Power Rankings: January 18-21, 2008

These are quite tardy, so I’ll keep this brief.

Cloverfield ended Juno’s three-week reign atop the Box Office Power Rankings over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.

Juno, by the way, is the only one of this year’s crop of Best Picture nominees (so far) to hold sole possession of first place in our esteemed rankings. No Country for Old Men tied for the crown one week. There Will Be Blood might have had the juice this past weekend to get there.

Box Office Power Rankings: January 18-21
(Rank) Movie (last week; box office, per-theater, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic: total)
(1) Cloverfield (-; 10, 10, 8, 7: 35)
(2) Juno (1; 7, 7, 10, 9: 33)
(3) 27 Dresses (-; 9, 9, 5, 5: 28)
(4) The Bucket List (2; 8, 8, 6, 4: 26)
(5) Atonement (3; 1, 5, 9, 10: 25)
(6) First Sunday (4; 5, 6, 1, 6: 18)
(6) I Am Legend (6; 2, 1, 7, 8: 18)
(8) National Treasure: Book of Secrets (5; 6, 3, 4, 2: 15)
(9) Alvin and the Chipmunks (8; 4, 2, 3, 4: 13)
(10) Mad Money (-; 3, 4, 2, 1: 10)

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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