Box Office Power Rankings: March 14-23, 2008

Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who dominated the Box Office Power Rankings the past two weekends, but it was Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns that taught us an important lesson: It’s good to not suck as much as everybody else.

Perry’s latest scored 29 on Rotten Tomatoes and 47 on Metacritic, and it’s still an upper-division finisher in both criteria in this week’s rankings — helping it to second place overall. The Rotten Tomatoes scores for some of its competition: 8 (Shutter), 9 (10,000 B.C.), 14 (College Road Trip), 24 (Drillbit Taylor), and 25 (Never Back Down). That’s fully half of this week’s box-office top 10 that received a favorable review from a quarter or less of surveyed critics.

Box Office Power Rankings: March 14-16, 2008
(Rank) Movie (previous week; box office, per-theater, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic: total)
(1) Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who (-; 10, 10, 9, 10: 39)
(2) The Bank Job (1; 5, 7, 8, 9: 29)
(3) Never Back Down (-; 8, 8, 4, 3: 23)
(4) Doomsday (-; 4, 5, 6, 7: 22)
(5) 10,000 B.C. (6; 9, 9, 1, 2: 21)
(6) The Spiderwick Chronicles (2; 1, 1, 10, 8: 20)
(7) The Other Boleyn Girl (3; 2, 4, 7, 6: 19)
(7) Vantage Point (4; 6, 3, 6, 4: 19)
(9) College Road Trip (5; 7, 6, 2, 2: 17)
(10) Semi-Pro (7; 3, 2, 3, 5: 13)

Box Office Power Rankings: March 21-23, 2008
(Rank) Movie (previous week; box office, per-theater, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic: total)
(1) Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who (1; 10, 8, 10, 10: 38)
(2) Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns (-; 9, 9, 6, 7: 31)
(3) Under the Same Moon (-; 1, 10, 8, 8: 27)
(4) The Bank Job (2; 3, 5, 9, 9: 26)
(5) Drillbit Taylor (-; 7, 6, 4, 6: 23)
(6) Shutter (-; 8, 7, 1, 6: 22)
(7) Vantage Point (7; 2, 2, 7, 4: 15)
(8) Never Back Down (3; 5, 1, 5, 3: 14)
(9) 10,000 B.C. (5; 6, 4, 2, 1: 13)
(10) College Road Trip (9; 4, 3, 3, 2: 12)

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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