Box Office Power Rankings: March 7-9, 2008

foolsgold.jpgThe Bank Job won this week’s Box Office Power Rankings title, but I’d prefer to talk about Fool’s Gold, which has the distinction of being the first three-time 10th-place finisher in the history of our calculations.

It’s not as easy as it sounds. You have to really suck — Fool’s Gold has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 10, and a Metacritic score of 29 — but you can’t suck so badly that nobody wants to see you. You must hang around in the box-office top 10.

So congratulations, Matthew and Kate! You’re actually quite accomplished at not being particularly accomplished.

Box Office Power Rankings: March 7-9, 2008
(Rank) Movie (last week; box office, per-theater, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic: total)
(1) The Bank Job (-; 7, 8, 9, 10: 34)
(2) The Spiderwick Chronicles (1; 5, 4, 10, 9: 28)
(3) The Other Boleyn Girl (2; 4, 7, 8, 8: 27)
(4) Vantage Point (5; 8, 6, 7, 5: 26)
(5) College Road Trip (-; 9, 9, 3, 3: 24)
(6) 10,000 B.C. (-; 10, 10, 1, 2: 23)
(7) Semi-Pro (3; 6, 5, 5, 6: 22)
(8) Step Up 2 the Streets (7; 2, 2, 6, 8: 18)
(9) Jumper (9; 3, 3, 4, 4: 14)
(10) Fool’s Gold (10; 1, 1, 2, 1: 5)

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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