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|Box Office Power Rankings: Rare Perfection|
|Movies - Box Office Power Rankings|
|Written by Jeff Ignatius|
|Friday, 16 January 2009 12:28|
In 2008, only one movie got a perfect score in the Box Office Power Rankings: Iron Man, twice in May.
In the second weekend of January, we already have our first perfect score of 2009: for Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino.
At the outset, I will note that a perfect score says more about a movie’s circumstances than it does the movie itself. The Dark Knight was, by a hair, a better move than Iron Man in critics’ eyes, yet it opened with WALL•E in theaters, thus blocking its chance at a 40 in our weekly contest.
Gran Torino joins the rarefied company of Iron Man and The Bourne Ultimatum with its Box Office Power Rankings perfection. (Our rankings were launched in mid-2007.) But it’s the lesser of the three. Eastwood’s movie has a combined Rotten Tomaotes/Metacritic score of 148, compared to Bourne’s 179 and Iron Man’s 171.
From that, we can see that Gran Torino benefited from relatively weak competition in the box-office top 10.
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.com/bopr. Culture Snob is the Web site of Reader Managing Editor Jeff Ignatius.
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