Top Grossing Movies Of 1952

The Greatest Show On Earth was easily the biggest box office hit of 1952

This movie page looks at The Top Grossing Movies of 1952In 1952, 463 movies were released in theaters.  Average weekly movie attendance was 51 million.  That translates to $2.65 billion (25th best year in movie history) movie tickets sold which generated revenue of $1.24 billion.  So with all of this money flying around you would think somebody would have kept track of how each movie was performing.  Sadly that was the case!

Currently when you type in the search words….”Top Grossing Movies of 1952″ you do not get much information.  Wikipedia provides 10 movies.  The Numbers.com provides 10 movies.  Stats-a-mania offers up 7 movies.  You have to go to the 26th search result to find the next place that lists box office results….UMR’s (that’s us) Marilyn Monroe page which offers up 5 movies.  So in an effort to get more information out there…we have decided to unlock our 1952 movie database vault and share the information we have collected over the years.

To make this list a movie had to be made in 1952 (as listed on IMDB.com).  Obviously many movies made in 1951 earned box office dollars in 1952.  On the other side many movies made in 1952 made money in 1953 and later.  This page will looks at 162 Top Grossing Movies of 1952.  The movies are listed in a massive table that shows who starred in the movie, had much the movie grossed when it was released and how that gross means in today’s money.

Drivel part of the page:  Currently our movie database is down for a massive update which includes a new box office formula and a new formula for our movie ranking equation. So we do not have access to all of our information.  For some reason….Wife of Cogerson thinks her full time job takes precendent over this non-revenue generating hobby. Sometimes I just do not understand her….lol.  So without the ability to do a page on a actor or actress…I had to pick a year as our the latest movie page.

My favorite 1952 movie is The Quiet Man

My favorite 1952 movie is The Quiet Man

Top Grossing Movies of 1952 Can Be Sorted 3 Ways In This Table

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

  • Sort Top Grossing Movies of 1952 by the stars or in some cases the director of the movie.
  • Sort Top Grossing Movies of 1952 by domestic actual box office grosses (in millions)
  • Sort Top Grossing Movies of 1952 by domestic adjusted box office grosses using current movie ticket cost (in millions)

Singin' In The Rain, considered the greatest musical ever, was released in 1952

Singin’ In The Rain, considered the greatest musical ever, was released in 1952


How the Box Office Numbers were Calculated 

Sadly in 1952….BoxOfficeMojo was not around to keep track of box office earnings. Back then earnings seem to be a secret and a secret that needed to be safely locked up.  When studios did report box office stats they used “box office rentals”.  Box office rentals were the amount of money the studio got back from the theaters.  It is NOT the box office gross.  According to Film Daily Yearbook the film rentals as percentage of box office grosses was 36% in 1952. That means that box office gross was 2.75 times greater than box office rentals.  It is not an exact calculation….but for 1952 the multiplier we used was 2.75.

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101 thoughts on “Top Grossing Movies Of 1952

    1. Good catch. Yep this one I forgot. I will get that flipped ASAP…..does this mean I need to do the fireworks show again when I get it done?….lol. The other undone links I want to do but currently can not are the UMR Top 500 and the UMR Bottom 50. Thanks again for being so alert.

      1. Hey Taylor is now dynamic….just needs some co-stars added….but I am headed to see BladeRunner2049…so I will finish it when I get home.

  1. Hey Cogerson, thanks, your feedback on my comments and supplementary info are always useful and appreciated!

    1. Glad to help….sorry it took so long to respond…I blame…work, doing taxes, death in the family, wife getting sick and yard work…lol.

  2. Great list! Relative to other years of that era, I think 1952 did not have many huge box office hits, but but it did have many hits – over 100 movies earning over $3M, which for 1952 was quite respectable. I looked quickly at some of the comments on this page and I agree that The Greatest Show on Earth has not quite stood the test of time as say High Noon, The Quiet Man, or even Monkey Business (only #49 on the list) but it was still an impressive production…and my mom really likes it. Other classics from 1952 I would like to highlight include The Bad and the Beautiful, Viva Zapata, Bend of the River, Scaramouche, Come Back Little Sheba, 5 Fingers, The Crimson Pirate (a little silly but fun) and of course Singin’ in the Rain. Also interesting to note a few less commercially successful film noirs that have gained significant popularity over the years: Angel Face (#116) and two that did not even make the list. The Narrow Margin and Kansas City Confidential. But perhaps the biggest “late” hit from 1952 is Charlie Chaplin’s Limelight (#159), so poorly received upon its release and even boycotted in the US (though it was successful internationally) and later regarded as one of Chaplin’s best – apparently Cogerson’s favourite Chaplin film I saw 😉 – and awarded a belated Oscar.

    1. Hey Phil
      1. Thanks for checking out our 1952 page.
      2. At the time Greatest Show on Earth and Quo Vadis were listed as the 3rd and 5th biggest hits of all time according to Variety ….not to bad for a single year.
      3. Greatest Show Are Earth has not aged well…and even the great train wreck looks weak compared to the special effects of today.
      4. Scaramouche blew me away when I saw it about a year ago..I was shocked it was so good and yet it is hardly spoken about today.
      5. As for the two movies you mention that are not on the list…I am thinking they are now in the database and will show up the next time I update the page.
      6. As for Limelight….what a shame it was ignored back then…I often think …if it would have been a hit…maybe it would have changed Chaplin’s later life….and another masterpiece would have been created….just a shame.
      Good comment from you.

  3. By 1952 the most appearances in films list really drops down. These are the performers with 7 or more credited appearances for feature films/serials in 1952 per the 2 volume set “40 Years of Screen Credits”.

    14 ROY BARCROFT
    13 STUART RANDALL
    11 I. STANFORD JOLLEY
    11 LYLE TALBOT
    11 SLIM PICKINS
    10 FRANK FERGUSON
    10 HUGH O’BRIEN
    9 CLAYTON MOORE
    9 HARRY MORGAN
    9 JACK ELAM
    9 MARSHALL REED
    9 OLIVER PRICKETT
    9 RAY TEAL
    8 DON BEDDOE
    8 GRANT WITHERS
    8 GREGG PALMER
    8 HOUSE PETERS JR.
    8 JIM BACKUS
    8 JOHN DEHNER
    8 JOHN DOUCHETTE
    8 MYRON HEALEY
    8 PHYLLIS COATES
    8 ROBERT J. WHITE
    8 TOM POWERS
    7 ALAN HALE JR.
    7 CAMERON MITCHELL
    7 EMMETT LYNN
    7 EMORY PARNELL
    7 FRANK WILCOX
    7 PETER BROCCO
    7 WILLIAM FAWCETT

    1. Hey Dan…..you are correct….this looks like a baby list compared to the 1939 one you shared. Good old Jack Elam making an appearance…I was just reading about him the other night. Another #1 that I do not know….but good job Mr. Barcroft. I like that two of the Gilligan’s Island cast made the page…with Mr. Howell making 8 movies and the Skipper making 7 movies…..but where is Mrs. Howell and the Professor?…lol. Hugh O’Brien with 10 is a surprise…..had to be the beginning of his career. Thanks for sharing this list and the others you did….you efforts are greatly appreciated.

      1. Roy Barcroft is usually the leader of the bad guys in all of Republic’s B westerns and in numerous serials. Somewhere I read that he had a 10 year contract with them just to play villians.

        1. Hey Dan….in my best Keanu Reeves voice…..”Wwwwwhhhhhooooooaaaaaa” just checked out his IMDb page….he has an incredible 370 credits over 39 years….1931 to 1970….that is an average of 9.48 projects a year. Only 77 television appearances….leaving 293 movies on his resume….I won’t be doing a page on him anytime soon….lol. Thanks for the feedback,

  4. What a list! Will there be more yearly lists, I can only imagine how much work this takes…I have seen all the 007’s…not a fan of pierce or Daniel…Roger is my fave,but not so much his other roles…liked him as Beau Maverick tho…I reviewed Live And Let Die for zoo world , a music mag, back in the day…keep up the great work…any chance for an audie Murphy page in the future?…best, al “Cooley” Bianculli…

    1. Thanks Al…..let’s see besides the 7 years right above your comment we also have a (1) 1942 page http://www.ultimatemovierankings.com/1942-top-grossing-movies/ (2) 1925-1931 page http://www.ultimatemovierankings.com/box-office-grosses-1925-through-1931/ (3) 2016 page http://www.ultimatemovierankings.com/2016-movies/

      Others are coming….but amazingly they are pretty difficult to put together compared to the others we do here. We are in the same boat as liking Roger Moore as the best Bond….not many of us…lol. I will add your name to the people that have requested Audie Murphy…..thanks for the visit, the suggestion and the comment.

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