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|Box Office Power Rankings: Weak or Typical?|
|Movies - Box Office Power Rankings|
|Written by Jeff Ignatius|
|Wednesday, 05 November 2008 02:27|
The consensus that Kevin Smith's Zack & Miri Make a Porno and Clint Eastwood's Changeling were poor performers - the weakest Halloween weekend in a decade! - certainly isn't based on the track records of the filmmakers.
Smith's bawdy comedy debuted with a little more than $10 million, while Eastwood's missing-child drama brought in $9.4 million in expanded release. Those numbers might not be good for that particular weekend (compared to previous years), but they're in line with Smith's and Eastwood's recent careers.
Zack & Miri is Smith's second-best opening weekend, a million dollars behind Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back and just a hair ahead of Clerks 2. Considering the number of screens it opened on, Zack & Miri is at worst a very mild disappointment compared to those two but is otherwise exactly what one might have guessed.
Similarly, Changeling's first weekend of wide release was slightly off the peak performances of Flags of Our Fathers and Mystic River, and nearly $3 million off Million Dollar Baby's Oscar-buzz wide release. Downright predictable.
So while neither was able to knock High School Musical 3 from its box-office or Box Office Power Rankings pedestals, you'd have been a fool to expect them to.
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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