Friday, June 26, 2009

John Wayne: Still #1

Though he was number three on the Hollywood Dreamland Ten Favorite Actors List (my wife insists I should've made him top of the list, given that I've been a Duke fan for so many years), John Wayne is still number one in terms of how much dough his movies raked in! Remember this list from a few years ago, proclaiming The Duke the all-time greatest movie moneymaker? You don't? Well, read on Pilgrim:

John Wayne All Time Top Money-Making Star

GROTON, Mass., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Using data from 72 years of Quigley Publishing Company's annual Top Ten Money-Making Star Poll of motion picture exhibitors, John Wayne has been named the Top Money-Maker of All Time. The Quigley Poll, conducted every year since 1932, is an annual survey of motion picture exhibitors, which asks them to vote for the ten stars that generated the most box-office revenue in the preceding year for their theatres. Long regarded as one of the most reliable indicators of a Star's box-office draw, the Quigley Poll has been cited in hundreds of publications and appears annually in Quigley Publishing Company's International Motion Picture Almanac and on our site; During this motion picture awards season, it is interesting to see who theatre owners and operators believe really have meant something at their box-office. During his 50-year career John Wayne appeared in over 150 films, including classics such as, The Quiet Man, The Searchers and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, but only won one Academy Award for True Grit.

To come up with a weighted score, an actor received 10 points for a first place finish, nine for a second place finish, etc. The total score was determined by adding up the weighted scores from each year that the actor was voted on the list. John Wayne's appearance 25 times in the poll from 1949 to 1974 yielded 172 points versus 165 points for second place Clint Eastwood, who has been on the list 21 times. Tom Cruise placed third with 133.5 points combining six first place finishes with 16 appearances on the QP poll.

The rest of the Quigley Top Ten All-Time Money Makers are Bing Crosby #4, Gary Cooper #5, Clark Gable #6 and Burt Reynolds #7. Tom Hanks, who was recently voted the Top Ten Money-Making Star of 2004, tied with Bob Hope for #8 and Paul Newman was #10.

Of the current active stars, it appears that only Clint Eastwood and Tom Cruise have a reasonable chance of overtaking John Wayne in the future.

Perhaps reflecting shorter careers in Hollywood than men, no women made it into the Top Ten but Doris Day #11, Julia Roberts #13, Betty Grable #15, Elizabeth Taylor #23 and Shirley Temple #25 were in the Top Twenty Five.

The complete list is:

QP All Time Weighted
Position Top Ten Stars Score

1 John Wayne 172
2 Clint Eastwood 165
3 Tom Cruise 133.5
4 Bing Crosby 111
5 Gary Cooper 106.5
6 Clark Gable 95
7 Burt Reynolds 90
8 Tom Hanks (Tie) 83
Bob Hope (Tie) 83
10 Paul Newman 76
11 Doris Day 72
12 Rock Hudson 69
13 Julia Roberts 68
14 Eddie Murphy 67
15 Betty Grable 66
16 Cary Grant 62
17 Abbott & Costello 57
18 Harrison Ford (Tie) 56
James Stewart (Tie) 56
20 Mel Gibson 55.5
21 Robert Redford 55
22 Arnold Schwarzenegger 53
23 Elizabeth Taylor 52
24 Sylvester Stallone 50
25 Jim Carrey (Tie) 49
Shirley Temple (Tie) 49


  1. I have yet to see a John Wayne that (the fact that I am not really into Westerns has something to do with this). But at the same time I feel I really should try to watch something he was in.

  2. I admit, that makes me quite happy, knowing he's on top. Neat to see the rest of the list too.

  3. My biggest surprise is how high Bing Crosby is on the list. I realized he was in quite a few big films still it is a wonder he ranks higher than Cooper, Gable, Newman and James Stewart.

  4. What I think is great is how few modern stars are on the list. How many started making movies in the 1980s or later? Very few.

  5. Very interesting to see the list - I'm quite surprised by some of the people who are and are not on it! Must admit I've only seen a couple of pretty bad Wayne films from the end of his career in the 1970s - McQ is one I remember, where he is a policeman, in London, I think. I hope to see some of the movies he made with Hawks soon, though.

  6. It's Brannigan where he's a cop in London - MQ is set in the states.


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