1950 Top Box Office Movies

Bette Davis & Thelma Ritter in 1950’s All About Eve

This movie page looks at 1950 Top Box Office Movies.  Finding box office information for movies made in the 1940s and 1950s is extremely difficult.   For somebody looking for box office information on 1950 it is very very frustrating.  Over the years, we have researched and collected information on over 36,000 movies.  So we figured we would show all the 1950 movies in our database.

To make this list a movie had to be made in 1950.  Obviously many movies made in 1949 earned box office dollars in 1950.  On the other side many movies made in 1950 made money in 1951 and later.  This page will looks at 174 1950 Top Box Office Movies.  The movies are listed in a massive table that lets you rank the movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information.

The following massive table only includes the movies made in 1950 that are in our database.  Since we are constantly adding new movies to our database….this page will quickly become obsolete.  We will try and update this page on a regular basis. *The box office totals for Cinderella include all of the re-releases it has had over the years.

Deborah Kerr and Stewart Granger in 1950’s King Soloman’s Mines

1950 Top Box Office Movies Can Be Ranked 7 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort 1950 Top Box Office Movies by the stars or in some cases the director of the movie.
  • Sort 1950 Top Box Office Movies by domestic actual box office grosses (in millions)
  • Sort 1950 Top Box Office Movies by domestic adjusted box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions).
  • Sort 1950 Top Box Office Movies by yearly domestic box office rank
  • Sort 1950 Top Box Office Movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations and how many Oscar® wins each 1950 Top Box Office Movies received.
  • Sort 1950 Top Box Office Movies by Ultimate Movie Ranking Score (UMR).  Our UMR score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.

Elizabeth Taylor and Spencer Tracy in 1950’s Father of the Bride

My Main Sources

Source 1: Eddie Mannix MGM Ledgers

Source 2: C.J. Tevlin RKO Ledgers

Source 3: William Schaefer Warner Brothers Ledgers

Source 4: Year In Review Variety Editions

Source 5: Grand Design: Hollywood As A Modern Business Enterprise 1930-1942 by Tino Balio

Source 6: Twentieth Century-Fox A Corporate and Financial History by Aubrey Solomon

Source 7:  Wikipedia

Source 8:  IMDb.com

Source 9:  “Revenue sharing and the coming of sound” by H. Mark Glancy

Source 10: Hollywood Power Stats by Christopher Reynolds


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27 thoughts on “1950 Top Box Office Movies

  1. Hey Bruce,
    As I guess you know by now,I just love those year by year stats 😉
    I have seen 73 of the films that opened in 1950 according to your list. Obvious favs are Sunset Boulevard, All about Eve and Born Yesterday. But there are those others that don’t come to mind immediately: Mystery Street,with an eccentric supporting performance by Elsa Lanchester, two movies starring Jane Wyman, The Glass Menagerie and Hitch’s Stage Fright, Montgomery Clift’s The Big Lift, Margaret Sullavan’s swansong No Sad Songs For Me, The Mudlark with a great performance by Irene Dunne, Three Came Home and The Secret Fury, both starring Claudette Colbert entering her last phase of movie stardom, Thelma Jordan and No Man Of Her Own with the fantastic Stanwyck in two totally different parts, Louisa, with funny oldtimers Charles Coburn and Spring Byington taking the movie away right under the nose of nominal star Ronald Reagan, a menacing performance by Richard Widmark with more than able support as a slowly softening, hard boiled Dame from Linda Darnell in No Way Out, DOA, a noir with a different storyline and a good cast, Caged with a high voltage performance by Eleanor Parker. I also enjoyed some of the Doris Day/Betty Grable/June Haver musicals and Brando’s debut in Zinnemann’s The Men. Special mention to Stromboli and Rashomon, non american movies highly regarded by film critics nowadays and another Richard Widmark movie costarring the lovely Gene Tierney, Night and the City as well as Miss Crawford’s tackling of Harriet Craig. Finally, Gun Crazy and two brit’s, The Clouded Yellow and Trio. Seemed to have been a good year for movies!

    1. Hey Lupino….glad you enjoy these yearly pages….I like them as well…..especially when they are published….not such a fan of them when I am in the middle of putting them together…lol. Good mini-reviews of so many movies. Your 73 movies watched is in second place….only behind Dan’s massive tally count. So No Sad Songs For Me was Sullavan’s swan song….sorry that it happened so soon for her. Looking at the movies you mentioned…seen your “obvious favs”…but have not seen any of the other ones you mentioned with the exception of DOA and Gun Crazy….that leaves many good movies for me to track down and watch. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on 1950 movies.

  2. 1 This 1950s page is a most welcome addition to the existing schedule of Cogerson Annual Reviews. 1950 was my first year of movies awareness and although it took me years to catch up with many of the films on the list the top handful of flicks faithfully reflect the most popular movies that I can recall people talking about that year.

    2 I regard this comprehensive page as a “must” for any movie buff with an interest in the classic era of Hollywood and look forward to any future additions to the overall Cogerson AR schedule, especially with regard to outstanding years.in the 50s decade.

    1. Hey Bob……glad you like this page….working on the 1951 page….but my time is so limited these days for new pages…heck just finding time for comments has become a serious challenge. Good to know 1950 is the year you became aware of movies. Thanks for the kind words….after doing the 1951 page….that will give us a nice span of yearly reviews from 1936 to 1952. Good feedback as always….sorry if I have not been as responsive as I have been in the past.

  3. Hey Bruce, Ah it’s dynamic for you, thanks for clarifying. Great that you’ve found a way to reduce your workload and enjoy more family quality time!

  4. Hi Bruce,

    In France, the three most succesfull movies of this list were, in order, The Flame and The Arrow, King Solomon’s Mines and Cinderella. The three movies attracted more than 4 millions people in theaters. It’s very big in France.

    1. Hi Laurent, wow, interesting that in France, The Flame and the Arrow (La flèche et le flambeau as it’s called in French) was one of the top 3 hits of the year. Although, while I am a big Burt Lancaster fan, the film has aged a bit. But I can tell it must have been a family pleaser at the time.

      1. Hello Phil,
        I am not a Big fan of Lancaster i like him but i think in a Visconti s film which Is call in French. Le Guépard ,he Is exactly at the right place , at the right moment, of course he Is not alone Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale, French and Italian Stars.
        But he Is exactly the part , he Is very simply high class, he Is the film.

        1. Hi Pierre, what, not a big Lancaster fan?? It’s ok, you are forgiven 🙂 Yes, I think his performance in The Leopard (English title) is one of his very best. I’m not sure if any other big Hollywood stars could have played the part of an Italian aristocrat with such class, depth and dignity. And that’s what I like about Lancaster, his ability to portray very different, complex characters as well energetic action heroes. By the way, I was thinking of you the other day as I was seeing American Grafitti and I remembered you really liked that film. It was fun to watch and it occurred to me how it influenced so many of the films of the same style that came afterwards.

          1. Hello Bruce and WOC and Phil,
            Thanks Phil for American Grafitti, tanks Bruce And WOC for all the News présentations i think it Is a Big work you do .
            And in that 1950 i saw so Many films but i dont want to Count them,
            From Cinderella to Stage Fright.
            My fav are with out any questions Sunset boulevard and The ASphalt jungle..i always regret that Dietrich got not the part for All About Eve…but that Is the story of Hollywood and of course everything would be différent.
            I like very much the page about G Sanders, he Is the Best in Irony and sardonique sentences with this English Flegme and he Was simply great in all the parts i saw.
            Thank you so much for every new things you do…
            See you

  5. Hi Bruce, I like the look of the page also. However, I may be technologically challenged, but what is dynamic about it as compared to other annual pages? And for me, the ranking column was useful. Anyway, 174 titles from 1950 is quite a feat, so congrats (to you and WoC) 🙂

    My favourite film of the year is The Gunfighter with Gregory Peck. I think it was one of his best performances. Hard to believe he was only 33 the way he portrays the experienced and weary gunfighter. Sunset Boulevard, The Asphalt Jungle and Harvey are also among my favourites.

    Bette Davis was wonderful in All ABout Eve, but 1950 was also a key year for several classic male stars. Marlon Brando in The Men and Sidney Poitier in No Way Out made impressive film debuts in major roles. Burt Lancaster moved from his film noir period toward acrobatic shawbuckling with The Flame and the Arrow, which made him a top box office attraction. William Holden had arguably his best films and performances up to that time with Sunset Boulevard and Born Yesterday. And Richard Widmark confirmed himself as a major star with no less than 4 notable films (Night and the City, Halla of Montezuma, Panic in the Streets, and No Way Out).

    1. Hey Phil….when the website was static…..I had to manually change all the numbers on all the UMR webpages. So when we would use a new average ticket cost…all the box office totals were wrong until I changed each different website. With having almost 800 pages…it would take me months to do the manually update. By the time I finished the update….a new year would be here and we would get a new average ticket cost. It was a viscous circle. With the website being dynamic….I change a number in my database…and after I hit update….the change automatically goes to the website and makes the change. The next time we get a new average ticket cost, the update will take minutes to do versus the months it took before.

      I really like The Gunfighter too….probably my favorite movie of the year too. Good point about all the young superstars who were just starting out. Thanks for checking out our latest yearly report.

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