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Box Office Power Rankings: First and (Almost) Last PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Box Office Power Rankings
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Tuesday, 23 December 2008 04:59
slumdog-millionaire-small.jpgEarlier this month, I noted that no 10th-place-gross movie has ever won the Box Office Power Rankings title.

That’s still true.

But Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire — which expanded to 589 sites this past weekend and landed in eighth place in overall box office — could have finished in last place and still won this week’s crown.

With 31 points (out of a maximum 40) and a three-point edge over The Tale of Despereaux, Slumdog could afford to lose two points — the difference between eighth and 10th place in gross. But it would need to retain all its other points, including for per-theater box office.

Slumdog finished with $5,184.65 in per-theater revenue, while the movie below it in that category (Despereaux again) earned $3,255.05. That gives a window of between $1.92 million (Desperaux’s per-theater revenue multiplied by Slumdog’s sites) and $2.05 million (Quantum of Solace’s 10th-place take) for Boyle’s movie to finish last and first simultaneously. (Eleventh-place Milk earned $1.73 million, so it wouldn't have sneaked in.)

And I officially spend too much time on this crap.

About Box Office Power Rankings

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. I assign equal weight to box office and critical opinion, with each having two components. The measures are: box-office gross, per-theatre 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-theatre 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.

For more Box Office Power Rankings, visit Culture Snob is the Web site of Reader Managing Editor Jeff Ignatius.

Box Office Power Rankings: December 19-21, 2008
Box Office Ranks Critics’ Ranks
Rank Movie Last Week Gross Per Theater Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic Total
1 Slumdog Millionaire - 3 ($3.1M) 8 ($5.2K) 10 (93) 10 (86) 31
2 The Tale of Despereaux - 8 ($10.1M) 7 ($3.3K) 7 (53) 6 (53) 28
3 Yes Man - 10 ($18.3M) 9 ($5.3K) 4 (44) 4 (45) 27
4 Bolt 1 4 ($4.1M) 3 ($1.4K) 9 (85) 9 (68) 25
5 Seven Pounds - 9 ($14.9M) 10 ($5.4K) 3 (28) 1 (36) 23
6 Twilight 3 5 ($5.2M) 4 ($1.7K) 5 (50) 7 (56) 21
7 Quantum Of Solace 4 1 ($2.1M) 2 ($1.1K) 8 (65) 8 (58) 19
8 Australia 6 2 ($2.2M) 1 ($1.0K) 7 (53) 6 (53) 16
8 The Day the Earth Stood Still 5 7 ($9.9M) 6 ($2.8K) 1 (20) 2 (39) 16
8 Four Christmases 6 6 ($7.7M) 5 ($2.2K) 2 (25) 3 (41) 16



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