It's been quite awhile since 20th Century Fox was in the good graces of genre fans.  There are numerous examples why, but the disappointing "Fantastic Four," "Daredevil" and "Elektra" films are the most notorious examples.  And the last minute change of the uninspired Brett Ratner helming "X-Men: The Last Stand" didn't help matters. Luckily, goodwill for the studio could be at a high point after the company ponied up arguably (depending who you want to believe) $400 million for James Cameron's new classic, "Avatar."  Now, the studio seems to be letting the filmmakers actually bring some creativity to it's next big tentpole, "X-Men: First Class."

Last weekend, producer Bryan Singer made a number of startling revelations about the picture that will be more of an international "James Bond" type adventure, than your stereotypical superhero movie.  That sounds like it's right up director Matthew Vaughn's alley.  A former producer himself, Vaughn has always brought a different p.o.v. to each of his films whether it was the British gangster genre in "Layer Cake," the fantasy flick "Stardust" or the superhero origin tale in "Kick-Ass."  Other changes include '60s type superhero costumes, the absence of popular characters Cyclops and Jean Grey and that Kevin Bacon is playing none other than Sebastian Shaw, the Black King of the notorious Hellfire Club.  And as Hollywood slows for a last breath of hot summer air before the furious fall begins, that's more than enough to keep this mutant saga at no. 1 on the power list.

As for the rest of this week's rankings…

August 25, 2010

1. "X-Men: First Class" (same)
With this sort of interest you'd think it was "Twilight" or something.

2. "The Social Network" (not ranked)

As expected, Facebook isn't thrilled about David Fincher's upcoming drama.  Meanwhile, both critics Scott Foundas and Peter Travers are so enthusiastic, they broke the review embargo.

3. "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" (not ranked)

You'd think it was 1995 considering all the chatter regarding Bullock and Hanks first pairing on the big screen.

4. "The Expendables" (same)
Another weekend at the top of the box office?  Considering the age of the cast, it appears 60 is the new 20.

5. "Avatar" (same)
Don't be surprised when the re-release cracks the top 5 this weekend in only 3-D and IMAX theaters.

6. "Piranha 3-D" (same)

Only a Weinstein release can open to a measly $10 million and have an announcement ready to go about a sequel in the works.

7. "Spider-Man" (not ranked)
Even David Fincher thinks the Marc Webb reboot is "risky." We're having some trouble spinning that into a positive.

8. "Black Swan" (same)
The buzz for Darren Aranofsky's latest hasn't died down.  Not in the slightest.

9. "Little Fockers" (not ranked)
Dustin Hoffman, finally comes back into the fold, but reshoots?  Eek.  Of course, that's not the only big Christmas release going back in front of the camera, but we're keeping mum on the other one.

10. "127 Hours" (not ranked)
Another great preview for a fall movie?  Is this some sort of record?

11. "Mission Impossible IV" (not ranked)

Ethan Hunts' new protege could be Anthony Mackie, Kevin Zegers or Christopher Egan? That's pretty yawn inducing.

12. Toronto Film Festival (not ranked)

This pundit's must see?  "Passion Play." Time to put up or shut up Ms. Megan Fox.

13. "The Twilight Saga" (not ranked)

Oh, Taylor.  This is not the sort of press you need.  Have you learned nothing from Shia LaBeouf?

14. "Red" (not ranked)
The Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren action comedy is doing additional photography, but for all the right reasons.  Willis and co-star John Malkvoich are just shooting a 60-second scene as a tag at the end of the movie or credits. Sweet.

15. "Joyful Noise" (not ranked)
Dolly Parton is starring in her first motion picture since "Straight Talk" in 1992.  That's news people.

Dropping like a rock...

*"The Switch"
No matter what Jennifer Aniston does, she'll never get credit for any of her hits and always is blamed for her misses.  Sort of unfair isn't it?

Movie Power Rankings usually appear every Tuesday on HitFix.  Share your thoughts on this week's list below.

Last week's rankings:

August 19, 2010