Johnny Depp Top Money-Making Star of 2010

by Daniel Haim

Johnny Depp has been voted the Top Money-Making Star of 2010 in Quigley Publishing Company’s 79th Annual Poll of Motion Picture Exhibitors. This is Depp’s sixth appearance in the Poll, including two other first place finishes in 2007 and 2006. Exhibitors felt Depp was responsible for more traffic to theatres than any otherHollywood star based on his performances this year in “Alice in Wonderland” and “The Tourist.”

The Quigley Poll, conducted each year since 1932, is an annual survey of motion picture theatre owners and film buyers, which asks them to vote for the ten stars that they believe generated the most box-office revenue for their theatres during the year. It has been long regarded as one of the most reliable indicators of a Star’s real box-office draw because the selections are made by professionals whose livelihood depends on choosing the films and actors that will bring audiences to their theatres. The Quigley Poll appears annually in Quigley Publishing Company’s International Motion Picture Almanac and on our web site:

Angelina Jolie placed second this year based on “Salt” and “The Tourist.” Robert Downey, Jr. made it to #3 for his third consecutive year in the survey, with 2010 roles in “Iron Man 2” and “Due Date.”  Matt Damon, placing #4, had a productive year with “Green Zone,” “Hereafter” and “True Grit.” Steve Carell made the Top Ten at #5 for his first time on the strength of “Dinner for Schmucks,” “Date Night” and “Despicable Me.” (voice)

Tom Hanks is #6, which marks his sixteenth time in the Poll since he first appeared in 1988, including five times as #1. Interestingly, Exhibitors selected Hanks, whose only film distributed in 2010 was “Toy Story 3” as the voice of “Woody.” Theatre Owners may be recognizing the importance of animation in 2010 with five animated films among the ten highest grossing films this year. Denzel Washington was in “The Book of Eli” and “Unstoppable” and placed #7, his seventh mention in the Poll.Leonardo DiCaprio made his sixth appearance coming in at #8, due to “Inception” and “Shutter Island.” George Clooney in “The American” scored #9 and 2008’s “Star of Tomorrow,” Anne Hathaway, made the Poll at #10 for the first time. She was in “Valentine’s Day,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Love and Other Drugs.”

Tom Cruise has not placed in the Poll in the last three years but he has been in the Top Ten 20 times since 1983, and been voted number one the most – seven times. Tom Hanks, Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds and Bing Crosby have all won five times. Eastwood has been in the poll 21 times starting in 1968. John Wayne, Doris Day and Shirley Temple each finished first four times, but John Wayne was voted one of the Top Ten Money-Making Stars an astounding 25 times from 1949 to 1974.

Exhibitors were also asked to name the Stars of Tomorrow for 2010: one actor and one actress who they feel will be Top Money-Makers in the years to come. The 2010 winners are Zach Galifianakis who was in “Dinner for Schmucks,” “Due Date” and “It’s Kind of a Funny Story” and Michelle Williams who had a breakthrough performance in “Blue Valentine” and was in “Shutter Island.”

Top Ten Money-Making Stars of 2010:

  1. Johnny Depp
  2. Angelina Jolie
  3. Robert Downey, Jr.
  4. Matt Damon
  5. Steve Carell
  6. Tom Hanks
  7. Denzel Washington
  8. Leonardo DiCaprio
  9. George Clooney
  10. Anne Hathaway

Stars of Tomorrow:

  • Zach Galifianakis
  • Michelle Williams