Box Office Power Rankings: May 9-11, 2008

speedracer.jpgI’m guessing that reading about Speed Racer is a hell of a lot more fun than seeing it, but I’ll never have the movie experience.

You might start your literary adventure at Nathaniel R’s review at the Film Experience blog and follow the first link, where all sorts of fun awaits. Nathaniel also hits on one of my refrains:

“The Brothers Wachowski don’t seem to have any self editing skills ... .”

Oh, if only they were alone with that flaw ... . I call it the George Lucas Problem, in which filmmakers have enough power to insulate themselves from constructive feedback — in particular people who wield the script- and movie-editing equivalents of red pens. The result is bloated movies in the tradition of Titanic, announcing their grandiosity with their running times. Hence: a 135-minute movie for kids called Speed Racer.

Anyway, in this week’s Box Office Power Rankings, Iron Man retained its crown and became the first movie to post a perfect score in consecutive weeks. Speed Racer finished fourth.

Box Office Power Rankings: May 9-11, 2008
(Rank) Movie (previous week; box office, per-theater, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic: total)
(1) Iron Man (1; 10, 10, 10, 10: 40)
(2) Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2; 5, 5, 9, 9: 28)
(3) Baby Mama (2; 6, 6, 6, 6: 25)
(4) Speed Racer (-; 8, 8, 4, 4: 24)
(5) What Happens in Vegas (-; 9, 9, 3, 2: 23)
(6) Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay (4; 4, 4, 6, 8: 22)
(6) The Forbidden Kingdom (5; 3, 3, 8, 8: 22)
(8) Made of Honor (6; 7, 7, 2, 4: 20)
(9) Nim’s Island (7; 2, 2, 5, 6: 15)
(10) Prom Night (9; 1, 1, 1, 1: 4)

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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