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Box Office Power Rankings: Always a Groomsman PDF Print E-mail
Movies - Box Office Power Rankings
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 09 July 2009 15:33

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.

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 (RottenTomatoes.com) score, and Metacritic (Metacritic.com) 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 CultureSnob.net/bopr. Culture Snob is the Web site of Reader Managing Editor Jeff Ignatius.

Box Office Power Rankings: May 29-31, 2009

Box Office Ranks Critics’ Ranks
Rank Movie Last Week Gross Per Theater Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic Total
1 Up - 10 ($68.1M) 10 ($18.1K) 10 (97) 10 (88) 40
2 Drag Me to Hell - 7 ($15.8M) 9 ($6.3K) 8 (93) 9 (83) 33
3 Star Trek 1 6 ($12.6M) 6 ($3.6K) 9 (95) 9 (83) 30
4 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian 2 9 ($24.4M) 8 ($5.9K) 7 (44) 4 (42) 28
5 Terminator Salvation 3 8 ($16.4M) 7 ($4.6K) 4 (32) 7 (52) 26
6 Angels and Demons 4 5 ($11.4M) 5 ($3.3K) 6 (37) 6 (48) 22
7 X-Men Origins: Wolverine 6 3 ($3.9M) 3 ($1.7K) 5 (36) 5 (43) 16
8 Dance Flick 7 4 ($4.7M) 4 ($1.9K) 2 (27) 3 (40) 13
9 Ghosts of Girlfriends Past 9 2 ($1.9M) 2 ($1.3K) 3 (28) 2 (34) 9
10 Obsessed 10 1 ($0.7M) 1 ($1.0K) 1 (18) 1 (25) 4

Box Office Power Rankings: June 5-7, 2009

Box Office Ranks Critics’ Ranks
Rank Movie Last Week Gross Per Theater Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic Total
1 Up 1 9 ($44.1M) 9 ($11.6K) 10 (97) 10 (88) 38
2 The Hangover - 10 ($45.0M) 10 ($13.8K) 7 (78) 7 (73) 34
3 Star Trek 3 6 ($8.3M) 4 ($2.6K) 9 (95) 9 (83) 28
4 Drag Me to Hell 2 4 ($7.0M) 6 ($2.8K) 8 (93) 9 (83) 27
5 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian 4 7 ($14.6M) 7 ($3.8K) 6 (44) 4 (42) 24
6 Land of the Lost - 8 ($18.8M) 8 ($5.4K) 3 (28) 1 (32) 20
7 Terminator Salvation 5 5 ($8.2M) 3 ($2.5K) 4 (32) 6 (52) 18
8 Angels and Demons 6 3 ($6.6M) 2 ($2.2K) 5 (37) 5 (48) 15
9 My Life in Ruins - 2 ($3.2M) 5 ($2.8K) 1 (12) 2 (34) 10
10 Dance Flick 8 1 ($2.0M) 1 ($1.1K) 2 (27) 3 (40) 7

Box Office Power Rankings: June 12-14, 2009

Box Office Ranks Critics’ Ranks
Rank Movie Last Week Gross Per Theater Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic Total
1 Up 1 9 ($30.8M) 9 ($7.9K) 10 (97) 10 (88) 38
2 The Hangover 2 10 ($32.8M) 10 ($9.8K) 7 (78) 7 (73) 34
3 The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 - 8 ($23.4M) 8 ($7.6K) 6 (50) 6 (55) 28
4 Star Trek 3 4 ($5.5M) 5 ($2.1K) 9 (95) 9 (83) 27
5 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian 5 7 ($9.6M) 7 ($2.9K) 5 (44) 2 (42) 21
6 Drag Me to Hell 4 1 ($3.9M) 2 ($1.7K) 8 (93) 9 (83) 20
7 Imagine That - 5 ($5.5M) 4 ($1.8K) 4 (43) 5 (54) 18
8 Land of the Lost 6 6 ($9.0M) 6 ($2.5K) 1 (28) 1 (32) 14
9 Terminator Salvation 7 3 ($4.8M) 3 ($1.8K) 2 (32) 4 (52) 12
10 Angels and Demons 8 2 ($4.1M) 1 ($1.7K) 3 (37) 3 (48) 9

Box Office Power Rankings: June 19-21, 2009

Box Office Ranks Critics’ Ranks
Rank Movie Last Week Gross Per Theater Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic Total
1 Up 1 8 ($23.5M) 7 ($6.1K) 10 (97) 10 (88) 35
2 The Hangover 2 9 ($26.8M) 9 ($7.5K) 8 (78) 8 (73) 34
3 The Proposal - 10 ($33.6M) 10 ($11.0K) 6 (46) 4 (48) 30
4 Star Trek 4 4 ($5.5M) 4 ($2.4K) 9 (95) 9 (83) 26
4 The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 3 6 ($12.0M) 6 ($3.9K) 7 (50) 7 (55) 26
6 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian 5 5 ($7.8M) 5 ($2.6K) 5 (44) 3 (42) 18
6 Year One - 7 ($19.6M) 8 ($6.5K) 1 (17) 2 (34) 18
8 Imagine That 7 2 ($3.3M) 1 ($1.1K) 4 (43) 6 (54) 13
9 Terminator Salvation 9 1 ($3.3M) 3 ($1.7K) 3 (32) 5 (52) 12
10 Land of the Lost 8 3 ($4.4M) 2 ($1.5K) 2 (28) 1 (32) 8

Box Office Power Rankings: June 26-28, 2009

Box Office Ranks Critics’ Ranks
Rank Movie Last Week Gross Per Theater Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic Total
1 Up 1 7 ($13.1M) 6 ($3.7K) 10 (97) 10 (88) 33
2 The Hangover 2 8 ($17.0M) 8 ($4.8K) 8 (78) 8 (73) 32
3 The Proposal 3 9 ($18.6M) 9 ($6.1K) 5 (46) 4 (48) 27
4 Star Trek 4 3 ($3.7M) 4 ($2.0K) 9 (95) 9 (83) 25
5 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - 10 ($109.0M) 10 ($25.7K) 2 (19) 2 (35) 24
6 My Sister’s Keeper - 6 ($12.4M) 7 ($4.8K) 4 (44) 5 (51) 22
7 Away We Go - 1 ($1.7M) 5 ($3.5K) 7 (66) 7 (57) 20
8 The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 4 4 ($5.5M) 2 ($1.8K) 6 (50) 6 (55) 18
9 Year One 6 5 ($6.0M) 3 ($2.0K) 1 (17) 1 (34) 10
9 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian 6 2 ($3.6M) 1 ($1.6K) 4 (44) 3 (42) 10

Box Office Power Rankings: July 3-5, 2009

Box Office Ranks Critics’ Ranks
Rank Movie Last Week Gross Per Theater Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic Total
1 Public Enemies - 8 ($25.3M) 8 ($7.6K) 8 (65) 8 (70) 32
2 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - 9 ($41.7M) 10 ($10.2K) 5 (45) 6 (51) 30
2 Up 1 5 ($6.5M) 5 ($2.5K) 10 (97) 10 (88) 30
2 The Hangover 2 6 ($11.3M) 6 ($3.7K) 9 (78) 9 (73) 30
5 The Proposal 3 7 ($12.9M) 7 ($4.1K) 6 (46) 4 (48) 24
6 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 5 10 ($42.3M) 9 ($10.0K) 2 (19) 2 (35) 23
7 The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 8 3 ($2.5M) 2 ($1.3K) 7 (50) 7 (55) 19
8 My Sister’s Keeper 6 4 ($5.8M) 4 ($2.2K) 4 (44) 6 (51) 18
9 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian 9 1 ($2.0M) 3 ($1.4K) 4 (44) 3 (42) 11
10 Year One 9 2 ($2.3M) 1 ($1.0K) 1 (17) 1 (34) 5

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