Ron Howard Movies

Ron Howard's entertainment is quickly coming up on 60 years long.

Ron Howard’s entertainment is quickly coming up on 60 years long.

Want to know the best Ron Howard movies?  How about the worst Ron Howard movies?  Curious about Ron Howard’s box office grosses or which Ron Howard movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Ron Howard movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

For nearly 60 years Ron Howard has had one of the greatest entertainment careers ever. He has had great success on television and in movies as both an actor and as a director. I have been fascinated by his career since the mid 1970s. I remember coming home from school everyday and watching a re-run of The Andy Griffith Show and on Tuesday nights at 8 o’clock I would watch a new episode of Happy Days. Of course both shows starred Ron Howard. Howard played Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith show from 1960-1968 and he played Richie Cunningham on Happy Days from 1974-1984.

As a movie actor, Ron Howard appeared in 11 motion pictures from 1959 -1979. In 1976 he starred in Roger Corman’s Eat My Dust. Eat My Dust had a budget of $300,000 and returned a profit of over 5.2 million dollars. After that success, Corman wanted to make another movie with Howard. Howard only agreed to make 1977’s Grand Theft Auto if he was allowed to direct the film. So at the age of 23 Ron Howard started his directing career. Once he caught the directing bug, Howard decided he wanted to spend the rest of his career behind the camera rather than in front of the camera.

Over the next five years he finished his role on the Happy Days series and directed numerous tv movies. His most notable tv movie that he directed was 1980’s Skyward starring the legendary Bette Davis. In 1982 he got his second chance to direct a movie for the big screen. Night Shift became a hit and Howard’s directing career never looked back.

His IMDb page shows 82 acting credits and 41 directing credits from 1956-2017. This page will rank 37 Ron Howard movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information. Television appearances, video shorts, documentaries and movies not released in theaters were not included in the rankings.

Ron Howard in the blockbuster hit...American Graffiti (1973)

Ron Howard in the blockbuster hit…American Graffiti (1973)

Ron Howard Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

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

  • Sort Ron Howard movies by co-stars of his movies
  • Sort Ron Howard movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)
  • Sort Ron Howard movies by yearly domestic box office rank
  • Sort Ron Howard 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 Ron Howard movie received.
  • Sort Ron Howard movies by Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score. UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.
RankMovie (Year)UMR Co-Star LinksAdj. B.O. Domestic (mil)Box Office Rank by YearCritic Audience RatingOscar Nom / WinUMR Score
Beautiful Mind, A (2001) Russell Crowe & Jennifer Connelly$254.8011th of 200182.67%08 / 0488.70
Apollo 13 (1995)Tom Hanks & Bill Paxton$333.503rd of 199585.33%09 / 0280.04
American Graffiti (1973) Actor OnlyRichard Dreyfuss & Harrison Ford$795.603rd of 197383.67%05 / 0075.82
Music Man, The (1962) Actor OnlyRobert Preston & Shirley Jones$260.107th of 196279.50%06 / 0174.86
Parenthood (1989)Steve Martin & Keanu Reeves$212.409th of 198981.00%02 / 0069.87
Splash (1984)Tom Hanks$175.2010th of 198477.00%01 / 0064.49
Cocoon (1985)Don Ameche$180.706th of 198572.50%02 / 0264.17
Ransom (1996)Mel Gibson$260.305th of 199668.50%00 / 0063.20
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)Jim Carrey$406.701st of 200055.00%03 / 0158.65
Backdraft (1991)Kurt Russell & Robert DeNiro$155.9014th of 199169.00%03 / 0058.01
Frost/Nixon (2008)Michael Sheen$21.90120th of 200885.67%05 / 0054.23
Cinderalla Man (2005)Russell Crowe & Paul Giamatti$81.2042nd of 200582.67%03 / 0052.48
Da Vinci Code, The (2006)Tom Hanks$278.705th of 200644.50%00 / 0051.92
Shootist, The (1976) Actor OnlyJohn Wayne & James Stewart$71.8050th of 197681.50%01 / 0049.83
Paper, The (1994)Michael Keaton & Robert Duvall$80.2036th of 199475.50%01 / 0048.24
Angels & Demons (2009)Tom Hanks$149.9022nd of 200951.50%00 / 0047.68
Willow (1988)Val Kilmer$117.5014th of 198858.50%02 / 0046.91
Night Shift (1982)Michael Keaton$60.5033rd of 198279.00%00 / 0046.40
Rush (2013)Chris Hemsworth$27.9096th of 201384.50%00 / 0044.84
Far and Away (1992)Tom Cruise & Nicole Kidman$119.6018th of 199256.50%00 / 0044.83
Journey, The (1959) Actor OnlyDeborah Kerr$51.2064th of 195972.50%00 / 0042.01
Beatles Eight Days A Week The Touring Years, The (2016)The Beatles$2.90187th of 201685.00%00 / 0041.34
Wild Country, The (1970) Actor OnlySteve Forrest & Vera Miles$65.9027th of 197163.00%00 / 0039.82
Courtship of Eddie's Father, The (1963) Actor OnlyGlenn Ford & Shirley Jones$53.2055th of 196363.00%00 / 0037.86
In The Heart Of The Sea (2015)Chris Hemsworth$24.2095th of 201569.00%00 / 0036.56
From Up On Poppy Hill (2011) Actor OnlyAnton Yelchin & Bruce Dern$1.10216th of 201377.00%00 / 0036.36
Gung Ho (1986)Michael Keaton$83.2032nd of 198647.00%00 / 0035.57
EDtv (1999)Matthew McConaughey & Woody Harrelson$37.4081st of 199962.50%00 / 0035.32
Missing, The (2003)Cate Blanchett & Tommy Lee Jones$37.8096th of 200361.00%00 / 0034.48
Eat My Dust (1976) Actor OnlyClint and Rance Howard$66.0040th of 197639.00%00 / 0028.56
More American Graffiti (1979) Actor OnlyCindy Williams & Candy Clark$72.3043rd of 197936.00%00 / 0028.13
Inferno (2016)Tom Hanks$34.3084th of 201646.00%00 / 0027.76
Spikes Gang, The (1974) Actor OnlyLee Marvin$11.60126th of 197452.50%00 / 0026.47
Five Minutes To Live (1961) Actor OnlyJohnny Cash & Donald Woods$9.00245th of 196152.00%00 / 0025.84
Dilemma, The (2011)Vince Vaughn$51.5022nd of 201135.00%00 / 0024.67
Grand Theft Auto (1977) Actor & DirectorClint and Rance Howard$25.5084th of 197738.50%00 / 0022.05
Village of the Giants (1965) Actor OnlyJohnny Crawford & Beau Bridges$15.10117th of 196529.00%00 / 0015.97

 Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Ron Howard Table

  1. Fourteen Ron Howard movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 37.83% of his movies listed. American Graffiti (1973) is his biggest box office hit.
  2. An average Ron Howard movie grosses $125.94 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using RottenTomatoes.com’s 60% fresh meter.  23 Ron Howard movies are rated as good movies…or 62.16% of his movies.  Frost/Nixon (2008) is his highest rated movie while Village of the Giants (1965) is his lowest rated movie.
  4. Fourteen Ron Howard movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 37.83% of his movies.
  5. Five Ron Howard movies won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 13.51% of his movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score is 40.00.  22 Ron Howard movies scored higher that average….or 59.45of his movies. A Beautiful Mind (2001) got the the highest UMR Score while Village of the Giants (1965) got the lowest UMR Score.
My favorite Ron Howard movie? 1995's Apollo 13

My favorite Ron Howard movie? 1995’s Apollo 13

Possibly Interesting Facts About Ron Howard

1. Let’s say you decide to watch all of Ron Howard’s Happy Days and The Andy Griffith Show episodes in one sitting…..it will only take you a 192 hours or 8 days non-stop to watch all 380 episodes.

2. Ron Howard uses his family members in all most of his movies. You can usually spot his father Rance Howard and brother Clint very easily. Spotting his wife, Cheryl, is a little harder but she is there too.

3. Talk about bad timing…..on the morning the Oscar® nominations came out for the 1995 movies….Apollo 13 received 9 nominations but no nomination for Howard as Best Director. Within hours of the announcements he was back on the set of his current movie, Ransom starring Mel Gibson…..Meanwhile Gibson arrived on set having just receiving the news that he got numerous Oscar® nominations for Braveheart…including his surprise nomination for Best Director.

4. Ron Howard has received two acting Golden Globe® nominations.…he won Best Actor in a comedy series for the 1978 season of Happy Days… he was also nominated as Best Supporting Actor in 1976 for The Shootist.

5. Ron Howard and business partner Brian Glazer formed Imagine Entertainment. Imagine Entertainment has produced such movies as Friday Night Lights and 8 Mile. Imagine also produced the television shows…..24, Felicity, Arrested Development and my daughter’s favorite show…Curious George.

6. Ron Howard has been married one time in his life. In 1975 he wed his high-school sweetheart, Cheryl Alley. They have four children, oldest daughter Bryce, twin daughters Jocelyn and Paige and son Reed. His daughter’s middle names indicate where they were conceived. Bryce was conceived in Dallas, Texas so her full name is Bryce Dallas Howard. While the twins were conceived at the Carlyle Hotel…so they are Jocelyn Carlyle Howard and Paige Carlyle Howard.

7. Ron Howard attended high school with actress Rene Russo. They later would make the movie Ransom together.

8. Ron Howard and Tom Hanks have been working together for almost 30 years. The first time they worked together was when Hanks appeared on Happy Days in 1982. They have made 4 movies together. Those 4 movies are Splash, Apollo 13, The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons.

9. When casting Willow, Ron Howard gave Gavan O’Herlihy the part of Airk Thaughbaer. Gavan played Ron Howard’s older brother Chuck on the first season of Happy Days. Chuck Cunningham(or the missing Cunningham) was never mentioned again after season one…….but at least Ron did not forgot his older brother.

10. Check out Ron Howard career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time

Academy Award® and Oscar® are the registered trademarks of the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences.  Golden Globes® are the registered trademark and service mark of the Hollywood Foreign Press.

Just wanted to take a minute and list some of the television shows that Ron Howard has appeared on during his career.  Checking out the names of the shows he appeared on, is like reading an encyclopedia of television history. Twilight Zone (1959), Dennis the Menace (1959-1960), The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968), The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959-1961), Dr. Kildare (1964), The Fugitive (1964), The Big Valley (1965), Gomer Pyle (1966), I, Spy (1966), Mayberry, R.F.D. (1968), Gunsmoke (1969), Lassie (1970), M.A.S.H. (1973), Happy Days (1974-1984), The Waltons (1974), Laverne and Shirley (1976-1979) and Arrested Development (2003-2006, 2013).

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