The movies that scored with the critics this summer also scored with audiences. That is, the movies with the best Tomatometer scores also tended to perform well at the box office.
At the top of the list, there is a surprise and a disappointment. The surprise was "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," which, at 84 percent on the Tomatometer and $97 million at the box office, was a film with slight expectations that became a runaway success. The modest disappointment was "Cinderella Man," a film that was beloved by critics (also scoring 84 percent on the Tomatometer) but took in a not-too-shabby but far-from-blockbuster $61 million in theaters.
The rest of the top five contains fewer surprises box office-wise; less predictable was the critical enthusiasm that greeted "Batman Begins" (83 percent on the Tomatometer), "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" (82 percent), and "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (82 percent). Each of these films surpassed the $200 million mark (with "Sith" at $380 million), as would seemingly befit a "Star Wars" movie, a kids’ flick and a superhero story. However, what was unanticipated was the very real enthusiasm critics and audiences had for these films.
Here’s the complete list of the summer’s fresh wide releases:
84% — Cinderella Man ($61.5M)
84% — The 40-Year-Old Virgin ($97M)
83% — Batman Begins ($205M)
82% — Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith ($380M)
82% — Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ($204M)
81% — The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants ($39M)
81% — Red Eye ($57M)
81% — The Constant Gardener ($27.7M)
81% — Hustle & Flow ($22.1M)
77% — Crash ($55.4M)
73% — Wedding Crashers ($205.5M)
73% — George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead ($20.4M)
72% — War of the Worlds ($233.3M)
68% — Sky High ($62.3M)
66% — Unleashed ($24.4M)
61% — Mr. and Mrs. Smith ($185.6M)
Check out the rest of our coverage:
– Summer Tomatometer Wrap-up: Box Office Down, Tomatometer Up