Introducing the PBCS, Where “Abduction” Did Even Worse Than You Thought

Box office tallies. You hate them. All they do is cause movie fans to become armchair studio gurus and justify the continued production of horrible big-budget movies with inflated opening weekend grosses.

But what if we could rejigger the whole formula so that we had a much better idea of what makes a film "successful"? WE CAN!

At PopcornBiz we've come up with a proprietary new SABRemetric-style (see "Moneyball") moviegoing formula that makes the weekend box office numbers only a small fraction of how we statistically grade movies.

We call it the PBCS standings.

Here's how it works: We've put together an actual formula that considers not just gross box, but also staying power, critical reception and the film's budget. Is it better than box office rankings? O HELLZ YEZ it is. We used MATH! For example, here are your weekend box office rankings, according to Box Office Mojo:

1. Lion King 3D - $22.1M

2. Moneyball - $20.6M

3. Dolphin Tale - $20.3M

4. Abduction - $11.2M

5. Killer Elite - $9.5M

6. Contagion - $8.6M

7. Drive - $5.8M

8. The Help - $4.4M

9. Straw Dogs - $2.1M

10. I Don't Know How She Does It - $2M

Can you believe that many people went and paid money to see "Abduction"? Me too! So here is what our weekend ranking looks like when we apply our formula: 

1. Lion King 3D - 393

2. Moneyball - 247

3. Dolphin Tale - 169

4. The Help - 153

5. Drive - 125

6. Contagion – 68

7. I Don't Know How She Does It - 11

8. Killer Elite - 5

9. Straw Dogs - 3

10. Abduction - 1

See? Isn't that much better? The top three remain the same, largely because those movies earned well AND were praised by critics ("The Lion King," of course, is an outlier since it's a classic film being rereleased). But doesn't it put Taylor Lautner and his enormous neck precisely where they belong in the film hierarchy? I say yes. This kid is all kinds of handsome, and he's got a huge following thanks to the Twi-hards, but looking at these numbers it's clear that unless his dreamy six-pack is morphing into a snarling lycanthrope, folks—not even acritical teen girls--can't be bothered.

We have to confess to being stunned--STUNNED--by how well "Dolphin Tale" did. We hadn't even heard of it until two weeks ago, the lesson being never underestimate the allure of a dolphin with a robotic tail. Meanwhile, "The Help" continues to display great straying power, weeks after it surprised everyone with its strong opening,  while big-budget dogs like "Killer Elite" get buried.

Do not question the PBCS standings. You will be mathematically thrashed if you do.

NEXT WEEK: "50/50" Runs the table, unless "The Lion King" keeps performing like a new release.


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