A new ranking of the most-watched summer movies in the United States, released by the New York Time on Tuesday, paints a picture of a movie-going culture increasingly obsessed with highbrow movies and a growing focus on teen audiences.
The new ratings, released after a two-year moratorium on new ratings measures, are the latest to suggest that summer movies have not reached the level of blockbuster blockbusters enjoyed during the Great Recession.
The Times’s ratings, based on data from Box Office Mojo and Rentrak, showed that “The Social Network” topped the list in a year when summer movies made up a smaller portion of box office revenue.
The movie, starring Jonah Hill, has been the No. 1 summer movie of all time, overtaking “The Avengers” in the year to March 2018.
The number of summer movies topping the Times’s list rose to 17, from 14 last year.
The newspaper reported that the “The Wall” topped its annual list in 2017, with the highest summer gross for a movie ever.
It also added “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Dope” and “Pineapple Express” to the list.
“The New York City Summer Movies” rankings include all summer movies released in the past five years, with “The Age of Adaline,” “The Revenant” and more recently “Captain Phillips” and the forthcoming “Lincoln.”
The Times said it uses a “data-driven” methodology that includes demographics such as age, gender, income, location and release date to determine the best summer movies.
“Summer movies are more of a priority to our editors,” Times spokeswoman Sarah Schlesinger said in an email.
“We try to keep the number of movies on the list as low as possible.”
The ratings are based on box office grosses, ratings, audience members who watched them, reviews and average rating for the films.
For each title, Times editors select a top 10 from among the top 20 movies that have earned the most ratings and a second 10 from the bottom 20.
Each year, the Times will update the top 10 and bottom 10 with the latest data from the Box Office Monitors.
“It’s a great way to give some context to summer box office and to try to gauge where summer movies are at right now,” said Tim Karr, president of the Entertainment Industry Association.
“This ranking is great news for fans of summer fare.”
The New Yorker’s Kevin Roose, who co-wrote the new ratings and is based in New York, said that the new rankings were based on the “gold standard” of the summer box-office, and not an algorithm.
“You don’t need to be an expert to know that there are many good summer movies out there,” Roose said in a statement.
“But the New Yorker also doesn’t use the same criteria that the rest of the entertainment industry does.
The ratings give a sense of what is really going on with summer box offices, but it doesn’t give the whole picture.”
For instance, the top movie last year was “Wonder,” a film starring Amy Adams and Liam Hemsworth that grossed $1.4 million.
“Wonder” grossed a disappointing $1 million.
But the Times found that it had a “positive” audience of 12.3 million, based solely on reviews.
For the year, “Wonder grossed more than $300 million, making it the most expensive movie in history,” according to the Times.
“For the first time in history, the most successful summer movie is also the most profitable,” Roose added.
“That’s not a knock on summer movies, or box office box-Office, or even the industry itself, but these are the numbers.
They don’t tell the whole story.”
Summer movie ratings are subject to change.
For instance in 2018, the New Orleans Film Festival banned films with no audience in the U.S. or Canada that gross more than two million dollars.
“Hallelujah!” was the highest-grossing movie in the country, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The most recent ratings are for films that are rated PG-13 or higher, but include the R rating for language that might be deemed inappropriate for children.
The New Times will publish the full list of new summer movies next week.
In 2018, “The Lego Batman Movie” was the second highest-rated movie of the year behind “The Martian,” according the Times, and grossed nearly $1 billion.
The top 10 new summer movie premieres were: “The Hateful Eight,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Fences” and The Revenant.