Box Office Power Rankings: May 29-July 5, 2009

hangover.jpgYou have to feel a little sorry for the poor bastards of The Hangover. With all the trials they endured, in our Box Office Power Rankings they end up sniffing the ass of an old man. For a month. And when they finally get their shot at Culture Snob glory, Public Enemies sneaks in with numbers that are only across-the-board good — third place in each of our four categories.

Up was released on May 29, and The Hangover followed on June 5. Even though The Hangover has beaten the Pixar flick in every week of its release in terms of gross and per-theater average, in the Box Office Power Rankings it could never overcome its negligible critical-reception deficit. Todd Phillips’ comedy had excellent Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic scores of 78 and 73, respectively, but with Up (97/88) and Star Trek (95/83) garnering stratospheric reviews and having legs at the box office, The Hangover was doomed from the outset.

Well, as doomed as any movie that has made more than $200 million domestically could be with a production budget of $35 million.

Up becomes the first movie to ever win the outright Box Office Power Rankings title for five consecutive weeks. Iron Man won for five straight weeks last summer, but it shared the crown once.

And I’m proud to say that the Transformers sequel hasn’t been able to even see the top of the Box Office Power Rankings. When I devised this system two years ago, my aim was to counter the cultural box-office obsession by taking into account the fact that some very popular movies suck.

land-lost.jpgAnd speaking of sucking, how does Land of the Lost stack up to last year’s biggest summer bomb, Speed Racer? One ill-conceived adaptation of a long-ago television show cost $100 million to make; had grossed $48 million domestically and had pretty much disappeared after five weeks; and had Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic scores of 28 and 32, respectively. The other had a production budget of $120 million; had grossed $42 million and had pretty much disappeared after five weeks; and had a score of 37 at both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. The first is Land of the Lost, which in financial terms ends up looking slightly less embarrassing.

Box Office Power Rankings: May 29-31, 2009
Box Office RanksCritics’ Ranks
RankMovieLast WeekGrossPer TheaterRotten TomatoesMetacriticTotal
1Up-10 ($68.1M)10 ($18.1K)10 (97)10 (88)40
2Drag Me to Hell-7 ($15.8M)9 ($6.3K)8 (93)9 (83)33
3Star Trek16 ($12.6M)6 ($3.6K)9 (95)9 (83)30
4Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian29 ($24.4M)8 ($5.9K)7 (44)4 (42)28
5Terminator Salvation38 ($16.4M)7 ($4.6K)4 (32)7 (52)26
6Angels and Demons45 ($11.4M)5 ($3.3K)6 (37)6 (48)22
7X-Men Origins: Wolverine63 ($3.9M)3 ($1.7K)5 (36)5 (43)16
8Dance Flick74 ($4.7M)4 ($1.9K)2 (27)3 (40)13
9Ghosts of Girlfriends Past92 ($1.9M)2 ($1.3K)3 (28)2 (34)9
10Obsessed101 ($0.7M)1 ($1.0K)1 (18)1 (25)4
Box Office Power Rankings: June 5-7, 2009
Box Office RanksCritics’ Ranks
RankMovieLast WeekGrossPer TheaterRotten TomatoesMetacriticTotal
1Up19 ($44.1M)9 ($11.6K)10 (97)10 (88)38
2The Hangover-10 ($45.0M)10 ($13.8K)7 (78)7 (73)34
3Star Trek36 ($8.3M)4 ($2.6K)9 (95)9 (83)28
4Drag Me to Hell24 ($7.0M)6 ($2.8K)8 (93)9 (83)27
5Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian47 ($14.6M)7 ($3.8K)6 (44)4 (42)24
6Land of the Lost-8 ($18.8M)8 ($5.4K)3 (28)1 (32)20
7Terminator Salvation55 ($8.2M)3 ($2.5K)4 (32)6 (52)18
8Angels and Demons63 ($6.6M)2 ($2.2K)5 (37)5 (48)15
9My Life in Ruins-2 ($3.2M)5 ($2.8K)1 (12)2 (34)10
10Dance Flick81 ($2.0M)1 ($1.1K)2 (27)3 (40)7
Box Office Power Rankings: June 12-14, 2009
Box Office RanksCritics’ Ranks
RankMovieLast WeekGrossPer TheaterRotten TomatoesMetacriticTotal
1Up19 ($30.8M)9 ($7.9K)10 (97)10 (88)38
2The Hangover210 ($32.8M)10 ($9.8K)7 (78)7 (73)34
3The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3-8 ($23.4M)8 ($7.6K)6 (50)6 (55)28
4Star Trek34 ($5.5M)5 ($2.1K)9 (95)9 (83)27
5Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian57 ($9.6M)7 ($2.9K)5 (44)2 (42)21
6Drag Me to Hell41 ($3.9M)2 ($1.7K)8 (93)9 (83)20
7Imagine That-5 ($5.5M)4 ($1.8K)4 (43)5 (54)18
8Land of the Lost66 ($9.0M)6 ($2.5K)1 (28)1 (32)14
9Terminator Salvation73 ($4.8M)3 ($1.8K)2 (32)4 (52)12
10Angels and Demons82 ($4.1M)1 ($1.7K)3 (37)3 (48)9
Box Office Power Rankings: June 19-21, 2009
Box Office RanksCritics’ Ranks
RankMovieLast WeekGrossPer TheaterRotten TomatoesMetacriticTotal
1Up18 ($23.5M)7 ($6.1K)10 (97)10 (88)35
2The Hangover29 ($26.8M)9 ($7.5K)8 (78)8 (73)34
3The Proposal-10 ($33.6M)10 ($11.0K)6 (46)4 (48)30
4Star Trek44 ($5.5M)4 ($2.4K)9 (95)9 (83)26
4The Taking of Pelham 1 2 336 ($12.0M)6 ($3.9K)7 (50)7 (55)26
6Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian55 ($7.8M)5 ($2.6K)5 (44)3 (42)18
6Year One-7 ($19.6M)8 ($6.5K)1 (17)2 (34)18
8Imagine That72 ($3.3M)1 ($1.1K)4 (43)6 (54)13
9Terminator Salvation91 ($3.3M)3 ($1.7K)3 (32)5 (52)12
10Land of the Lost83 ($4.4M)2 ($1.5K)2 (28)1 (32)8
Box Office Power Rankings: June 26-28, 2009
Box Office RanksCritics’ Ranks
RankMovieLast WeekGrossPer TheaterRotten TomatoesMetacriticTotal
1Up17 ($13.1M)6 ($3.7K)10 (97)10 (88)33
2The Hangover28 ($17.0M)8 ($4.8K)8 (78)8 (73)32
3The Proposal39 ($18.6M)9 ($6.1K)5 (46)4 (48)27
4Star Trek43 ($3.7M)4 ($2.0K)9 (95)9 (83)25
5Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen-10 ($109.0M)10 ($25.7K)2 (19)2 (35)24
6My Sister’s Keeper-6 ($12.4M)7 ($4.8K)4 (44)5 (51)22
7Away We Go-1 ($1.7M)5 ($3.5K)7 (66)7 (57)20
8The Taking of Pelham 1 2 344 ($5.5M)2 ($1.8K)6 (50)6 (55)18
9Year One65 ($6.0M)3 ($2.0K)1 (17)1 (34)10
9Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian62 ($3.6M)1 ($1.6K)4 (44)3 (42)10
Box Office Power Rankings: July 3-5, 2009
Box Office RanksCritics’ Ranks
RankMovieLast WeekGrossPer TheaterRotten TomatoesMetacriticTotal
1Public Enemies-8 ($25.3M)8 ($7.6K)8 (65)8 (70)32
2Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs-9 ($41.7M)10 ($10.2K)5 (45)6 (51)30
2Up15 ($6.5M)5 ($2.5K)10 (97)10 (88)30
2The Hangover26 ($11.3M)6 ($3.7K)9 (78)9 (73)30
5The Proposal37 ($12.9M)7 ($4.1K)6 (46)4 (48)24
6Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen510 ($42.3M)9 ($10.0K)2 (19)2 (35)23
7The Taking of Pelham 1 2 383 ($2.5M)2 ($1.3K)7 (50)7 (55)19
8My Sister’s Keeper64 ($5.8M)4 ($2.2K)4 (44)6 (51)18
9Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian91 ($2.0M)3 ($1.4K)4 (44)3 (42)11
10Year One92 ($2.3M)1 ($1.0K)1 (17)1 (34)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 than gross receipts alone.

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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