'New Moon'The Box Office Power Rankings do not like the Twilight movies. We are not fooled by the excitement or ticket-buying power of teenage girls. We are on Team No One. (Did I do that right?)

Neither movie has ever finished better than third place in the Box Office Power Rankings. We are confident that this validates our methods.

Disney's A Christmas CarolAs people tell us time and time again, box-office performance is in the eye of the beholder.

Box Office Mojo wrote that Michael Jackson's This Is It, in its debut weekend, did "exceptionally well for a concert picture or music documentary." On the other hand, Disney's A Christmas Carol "stumbled a bit out of the gate."

Guess which one made $30 million and which one pulled in $23 million in its opening weekend.

Yep. The stumbler made more.

Where the Wild Things AreShould we consider Spike Jonze's and Dave Eggers' adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are a disappointment?

It is certainly not a miserable failure. It received good reviews, won the box office when it debuted, and also topped the Box Office Power Rankings in its opening weekend.

But its gross dropped 57 percent its second weekend. Thirty-five movies have opened in wide release atop the box-office top 10 this year, and 20 lost a lower percentage of revenue than Wild Things:

paranormal.jpgOver the past seven weekends, Culture Snob's Box Office Power Rankings were won by Quentin Tarantino (twice), Tyler Perry, Meatballs (twice), and zombies (twice). No one could have possibly known that until now, however, because apparently I've been in a coma.

district-9.jpgDistrict 9 rightly got a lot of attention. No stars! $30-million production budget! Good special effects! Great reviews! Strong word of mouth! A $37-million opening weekend!

It's a compelling story, and God knows the movie business needs constant reminders that funding six District 9s can be far more lucrative than bankrolling one G.I. Joe.

'The Hangover': Nice legs!In nine weekends of release, The Hangover has finished in second place seven times in the Box Office Power Rankings. This past weekend, The Hangover passed Star Trek's $254 million ? which means it's playing with the big boys.

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.

The conventional wisdom says that among the early entrants in the summer 2009 sweepstakes, Star Trek is a hit (and a winner in its first three weekends in our Box Office Power Rankings), Wolverine is a disappointment, and nobody cares about Angels and Demons. Yet X-Men Origins: Wolverine had the biggest North American opening of the three: $85 million.

wolverine.jpgThank Gods (I've been watching Battlestar Galactica, although to say I've been enjoying it would be an overstatement) that with X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the summer movie season is finally here. Normally, I would need Entertainment Weekly to tell me this, but our subscription lapsed. So I have to rely on the Wolverine television ads, which actually claim that those muttonchops are the first sign of the season.

Wolverine did well enough in its opening weekend, with $85 million domestically, but I'm afraid it might actually be an appropriate opener for summer 2009: the next installment of an established brand, and a movie that seems to excite very few people. Yes, they show up and pay their money the first weekend, but I think it's out of habit. Call it obligation cinema.


A run of sequels is supposed to die a slow death, with waning interest as a series progresses. What, then, explains the $71-million opening-weekend take of Fast and Furious?

I know everybody has already forgotten the damned thing exists, but I'm still awed by that number. It's a third sequel in a franchise nobody gets excited about, and it tops the series' previous best start by $20 million.

Given the relatively dim star power of Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jordana Brewster, it can't be attributed to their returns. So what is it?