A few weeks ago, this pundit predicted there would be a whole slew of articles wondering just what went wrong with the summer box office.  No surprise, it's been an increasingly dire topic making the rounds around Hollywood and the media ever since. And for good reason.

Tickets sales for Memorial Day weekend were the lowest they've been in 17 years.  If you remove "Avatar" from this year's receipts the box office is down 13% compared to 2009 (granted, a record year).  What caused the theatrical recession?  Simply, a whole slew of films that a majority of American moviegoers just didn't want to pay to see released in the same month and "Robin Hood," "Prince of Persia," "MacGruber," "Killers," and "Splice" are just a few of them.  Don't fret though theater owners, if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find a print on Friday, you can book: "The A-Team."

It's literally taken decades and more screenwriters and directors than we can count on two hands to get to the big screen, but audiences will soon get their first entertaining jolt of the summer when "The A-Team" movie opens on Friday. Starring Liam Neeson as Col. Hannibal Smith, Bradley Cooper as Face, Sharlto Copley as "Howling Mad" Murdock and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson as B.A. "I Pity the Fool" Baracus, "The A-Team" won't just open big, but should play throughout the summer as a grade "A" crowd pleaser.  Want to know what you're in for?  Have you caught that new commercial with the tank flying through the air?  Well, check out the full clip of that scene embedded in this page.  If that's makes you smile, you'll be waiting for a sequel.



As for the rest of this week's list...

Posted: June 8, 2010


1. "The A-Team"
If it's a big enough success, Fox might not fret about the bad pre-release polling for "Knight and Day."

2. "The Twilight Saga" (same)
It begins: the MTV Movie Awards domination, the soundtrack release, a new extended clip and there are still 22 days until opening.

3. "Inception" (last edition No. 4)
The movie everyone seems to want to see.  If only it was opening in June...

4. "Toy Story 3" (not ranked)
The new king of the summer box office.  Just you wait. 

5. Sandra Bullock (not ranked)

One weekend back on the scene and its clear Bullock is now hands down the biggest female star in the U.S. Good to see you smiling again Sandra.

6. "Batman 3" (not ranked)

Chris Nolan teases more details on the third installment including the fact he's still not signed to direct and there's no way he's bringing the Joker back.

7. "Captain America: The First Avenger" (not ranked)

Chris Evans as the Super Soldier?  It works.  Well, at least in the concept art.

8. "Thor" (not ranked)
Anyone notice they threw in the whole idea Thor and the Asgardians are really "aliens" bit in the latest relaunch of the Avengers comic? Just sayin'.  Oh, and early and not-so on target concept art hits the web.

9. "Paul Thomas Anderson's Untitled Scientology Movie" (not ranked)

Philip Seymour Hoffman plus Jeremy Renner plus Reese Witherspoon plus subject matter equals "must see movie" for 2011.

10. "Grown Ups" (not ranked)
It doesn't matter how good or bad it is, it's going to make a lot of money. A lot.

11. "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" (not ranked)
Sweet new trailer and fun full clip debut in the span of a week.  Can the movie live up to the hype and avoid a "Kick-Ass" letdown?  We're keeping our fingers crossed.

12. "Transformers 3" (last edition No. 1)
Rose Huntington-White just got her first big break and her former employer might be more thrilled than she is.

13. "The Karate Kid" (not ranked)
The other reason Sony Pictures won't be worrying about any summer box office gloom.

14. Miramax (last edition No. 7)
Harvey and Bob out. The Gores out.  Will the classy company really go to the last bidder?

15. "Shrek Forever After" (same)
No. 1 at the box office for three weeks in a row and no one cares.

Dropping like a rock...

*"Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" (last edition No. 14)
Jake Gyllenhaal, I know action stars.  I've met action stars.  You're no action star (although a damn fine actor).

*"Killers"
Katherine Heigl's attempt at turning around her public image came too little, too late to save this one.

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

Previous Rankings:

Tuesday, May 25

Tuesday, May 18

Tuesday, May 11

Tuesday, May 4

Tuesday, April 27

Tuesday, April 20

Monday, April 12

Tuesday, April 6

Tuesday, March 30


For the latest entertainment commentary and breaking news follow Gregory Ellwood on Twitter @HitFixGregory .