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.  If you want to see the 2 Marilyn Monroe movies on the table…just type in her name in the search box and up they will come
  • Sort Top Grossing Movies of 1952 by domestic actual box office grosses
  • Sort Top Grossing Movies of 1952 by domestic adjusted box office grosses using current movie ticket cost.
  • The link in the star column will take you to that star’s UMR page
  • The movies with yellow hi-lite are the ones that received a Best Picture Oscar nomination
RankMovie TitleStar of the MovieDomestic Box Office Actual (millions)Domestic Box Office Adjusted (millions)
The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) Charlton Heston & James Stewart$38.88 $522.00
The Snows of Kilimanjaro (1952)Gregory Peck & Ava Gardner$18.05 $276.77
Ivanhoe (1952) Robert Taylor & Elizabeth Taylor$17.38 $266.45
Hans Christian Andersen (1952)Danny Kaye & Farley Granger$16.66 $255.45
Singin' in the Rain (1952)Gene Kelly & Debbie Reynolds$12.36 $189.50
Sailor Beware (1952)Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis$11.94 $183.07
Moulin Rouge (1952) José Ferrer & Directed by John Huston$11.81 $181.02
Jumping Jacks (1952)Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis$11.11 $170.30
The Quiet Man (1952) John Wayne & Directed by John Ford$10.55 $161.78
Come Back Little Sheba (1952)Shirley Booth & Burt Lancaster$9.73$149.11
The Stooge (1952)Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis$9.72 $149.01
High Noon (1952) Gary Cooper & Grace Kelly$9.45 $144.78
Son Of Paleface (1952)Bob Hope & Jane Russell$9.44 $144.75
With a Song in My Heart (1952)Susan Hayward$9.16 $140.49
Stars and Stripes Forever (1952)Clifton Webb$8.39$128.10
The Iron Mistress (1952)Alan Ladd & Virginia Mayo$8.36 $127.75
Just For You (1952)Bing Crosby & Jane Wyman$8.35 $127.74
Bend of the River (1952)James Stewart$8.33 $127.72
Road to Bali (1952)Bob Hope & Bing Crosby$8.32 $127.71
The World in His Arms (1952)Gregory Peck & Anthony Quinn$8.19 $125.59
Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)Walter Pidgeon$7.66 $117.20
Scaramouche (1952)Stewart Granger & Janet Leigh$7.65 $117.19
Room For One More (1952)Cary Grant & Betsy Drake$7.64 $117.18
April in Paris (1952)Doris Day & Ray Bolger$7.63 $117.08
Affair in Trinidad (1952)Rita Hayworth & Glenn Ford$7.49 $114.95
The Story of Will Rogers (1952)Will Rogers, Jr.$7.36 $113.00
Big Jim McLain (1952)John Wayne & James Arness$7.22 $110.69
Lovely To Look At (1952)Red Skelton$6.96 $106.53
The Crimson Pirate (1952)Burt Lancaster$6.95 $106.44
Ma and Pa Kettle at the Fair (1952)Marjorie Main & Percy Kilbride$6.94 $106.40
Skirts Ahoy! (1952)Esther Williams$6.68 $102.38
Lone Star (1952)Clark Gable & Ava Gardner$6.67 $102.28
She's Working Her Way Through College (1952)Virginia Mayo & Ronald Reagan$6.66 $102.20
Springfield Rifle (1952)Gary Cooper & Phyllis Thaxter$6.65 $102.18
Above and Beyond (1952)Robert Taylor$6.64 $102.14
Off Limits (1952)Bob Hope & Mickey Rooney$6.63 $102.10
The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)Kirk Douglas & Lana Turner$6.52 $100.05
The Merry Widow (1952)Lana Turner & Fernando Lamas$6.38 $97.92
Somebody Loves Me (1952)Betty Hutton$6.11 $93.60
Story of Robin Hood (1952)Richard Todd$5.87 $89.60
Pat and Mike (1952)Spencer Tracy & Katharine Hepburn$5.86$89.55
The Prisoner of Zenda (1952)Stewart Granger & James Mason$5.85 $89.50
Dreamboat (1952)Clifton Webb & Ginger Rogers$5.61 $85.45
The Battle at Apache Pass (1952)Jeff Chandler$5.60 $85.40
Belles on their Toes (1952)Myrna Loy & Jeanne Crain$5.59 $85.35
Bloodhounds of Broadway (1952)Mitzi Gaynor$5.58 $85.30
Francis Goes to West Point (1952)Donald O'Connor$5.57 $85.25
Lure of the Wilderness (1952)Jean Peters$5.56 $85.22
Monkey Business (1952)Cary Grant & Directed by Howard Hawks$5.55$85.20
What Price Glory (1952)James Cagney & Robert Wagner$5.54$85.15
Abbott & Costello Meet Captain Kidd (1952)Abbott & Costello$5.53 $85.05
Retreat, Hell!Frank Lovejoy$5.52 $85.02
We're Not Married (1952)Ginger Rogers & Marilyn Monroe$5.51 $85.00
The Wild North (1952)Stewart Granger$5.50 $84.90
Botany Bay (1952)Alan Ladd$5.49 $84.86
Plymouth Adventure (1952)Spencer Tracy & Gene Tierney$5.30$81.09
Viva Zapata! (1952)Marlon Brando & Anthony Quinn$5.27 $80.89
Carrie (1952)Laurence Olivier & Jennifer Jones$4.99 $76.63
Ruby Gentry (1952)Jennifer Jones & Charlton Heston$4.87 $74.60
Because You're Mine (1952)Mario Lanza$4.86 $74.55
Carbine Williams (1952)James Stewart & Jean Hagen$4.85 $74.50
The Winning Team (1952)Doris Day & Ronald Reagan$4.74$72.47
Lydia Bailey (1952)Anne Francis$4.73 $72.40
Carson City (1952)Randolph Scott$4.72 $72.37
The Marrying Kind (1952)Judy Holliday$4.71 $72.32
Pony Soldier (1952)Tyrone Power & Cameron Mitchell$4.60 $70.34
Sudden Fear (1952)Joan Crawford & Jack Palance$4.59 $70.24
The Big Sky (1952)Kirk Douglas & Dewey Martin$4.58 $70.19
The Pride of St. Louis (1952)Dan Dailey$4.57 $69.39
One Minute To Zero (1952)Robert Mitchum & Ann Blyth$4.46$68.32
Against All Flags (1952)Errol Flynn & Anthony Quinn$4.45 $68.22
About FaceGordon MacRea$4.44 $68.17
Jack and the Beanstalk (1952)Abbott & Costello$4.43$68.12
Don't Bother To Knock (1952)Marilyn Monroe & Richard Widmark$4.17 $63.96
Mara Maru (1952)Errol Flynn & Ruth Roman$4.16 $63.86
Scarlet Angel (1952)Rock Hudson & Yvonne De Carlo$4.15 $63.76
Lusty Men (1952)Susan Hayward & Robert Mitchum$4.14 $63.66
Island of Desire (1952)Linda Darnell & Tab Hunter$4.13 $63.60
Lost in Alaska (1952)Abbott & Costello$4.12 $63.56
Bugles in the Afternoon (1952)Ray Milland$4.11 $63.51
Clash by Night (1952)Barbara Stanwyck & Robert Ryan$4.10$63.44
Red Ball Express (1952)Jeff Chandler & Sidney Poitier$4.09 $63.36
Untamed Frontier (1952)Joseph Cotten$4.08 $63.32
Where's Charley? (1952)Ray Bolger$4.07 $63.28
Caribbean (1952)John Payne$3.89 $59.65
Diplomatic Courier (1952)Tyrone Power & Patricia Neal$3.88 $59.60
5 Fingers (1952)James Mason & Danielle Darrieux$3.81 $57.67
Phone Call From a Stranger (1952)Shelley Winters & Bette Davis$3.80 $57.57
Everything I Have Is Yours (1952)Marge Champion$3.79 $57.47
Walk East on Beacon! (1952)George Murphy$3.78 $57.43
Way of a Gaucho (1952)Gene Tierney$3.77 $57.40
The Belle of New York (1952)Fred Astaire$3.76$57.37
Back at the Front (1952)Tom Ewell$3.75$57.32
The Cimarron Kid (1952)Audie Murphy$3.74 $57.26
My Cousin Rachel (1952)Olivia de Havilland & Richard Burton$3.61 $55.38
Deadline - USA (1952)Humphrey Bogart$3.50 $53.51
Kangaroo (1952)Maureen O'Hara$3.49$53.41
Red Skies of Montana (1952)Richard Widmark$3.48 $53.31
Hangman's Knot (1952)Randolph Scott$3.47 $53.21
The Duel at Silver Creek (1952)Audie Murphy & Lee Marvin$3.46 $53.11
Flaming Feather (1952)Sterling Hayden$3.45$53.07
Son of Ali Baba (1952)Tony Curtis$3.44$53.01
Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie (1952)Jean Peters$3.43 $52.97
Blackbeard, the Pirate (1952)Robert Newton$3.42$52.93
The Las Vegas Story (1952)Jane Russell & Vincent Price$3.33$51.09
Denver and Rio Grande (1952)Sterling Hayden$3.27 $50.60
Hurricane Smith (1952)Yvonne De Carlo$3.20 $49.25
Les Misérables (1952)Michael Rennie$3.06 $46.88
Macao (1952)Robert Mitchum$3.05 $46.83
My Six Convicts (1952)Harry Morgan$3.04 $46.78
Steel Town (1952)Ann Sheridan$3.02 $46.73
My Pal Gus (1952)Richard Widmark$2.81 $42.85
The Star (1952)Bette Davis$2.80$42.80
The Thief (1952)Ray Milland$2.79$42.78
O'Henry's Full House (1952)Charles Laughton$2.78 $42.75
Angel Face (1952)Robert Mitchum$2.77 $42.70
Something To Live For (1952)Joan Fontaine$2.76 $42.65
The Steel Trap (1952)Joseph Cotten$2.75 $42.60
Montana Belle (1952)Jane Russell$2.74 $42.55
Thunderbirds (1952)John Drew Barrymore$2.73 $42.50
The Girl In White (1952)June Allyson & Arthur Kennedy$2.58$38.80
Rancho Notorious (1952)Marlene Dietrich$2.51$38.51
It Grows On Trees (1952)Irene Dunne$2.50 $38.41
Breaking The Sound Barrier (1952)Directed by David Lean$2.49$38.31
Love Is Better Than Ever (1952)Elizabeth Taylor$2.47 $37.89
The Big Trees (1952)Kirk Douglas$2.38 $36.38
The Lavender Hill Mob (1952)Alec Guinness & Audrey Hepburn$2.37 $36.28
This Woman Is Dangerous (1952)Joan Crawford$2.36 $36.18
Face to Face (1952)James Mason & Gene Lockhart$2.22$34.06
The Devil Makes Three (1952)Gene Kelly$2.14 $32.20
At Sword's Point (1952)Maureen O'Hara$2.13 $30.87
Actor's and Sin (1952)Edward G. Robinson$2.12$30.86
The Member of the Wedding (1952)Directed by Fred Zinnemann$2.11 $30.85
Fearless Fagan (1952)Carleton Carpenter & Directed by Stanley Donen$2.00$30.30
Boots Malone (1952)William Holden$1.94 $29.81
Lady Possessed (1952)James Mason$1.93$29.80
Eight Iron Men (1952)Bonar Colleano & Lee Marvin$1.92 $29.79
A Girl In Every Port (1952)Marx Brothers & Marie Wilson$1.81$27.68
The Savage (1952)Charlton Heston$1.80 $27.67
Apache War Smoke (1952)Henry Morgan & Gene Lockhart$1.60$24.40
Young Man With Ideas (1952)Glenn Ford$1.56 $24.05
Washington Story (1952)Van Johnson & Louis Calhern$1.54$23.06
When In Rome (1952)Van Johnson & Paul Douglas$1.39$21.10
My Man And I (1952)Shelley Winters & Ricardo Montalban$1.30$20.20
The Ring (1952)Rita Moreno$1.26 $19.44
You For Me (1952)Peter Lawford & Gig Young$1.25$19.40
Desperate Search (1952)Howard Keel & Keenan Wynn$1.24$19.38
Glory Alley (1952)Ralph Meeker & Gilbert Roland$1.18$18.50
Tarzan's Savage Fury (1952)Lex Barker$1.12 $17.14
The Turning Point (1952)William Holden$1.10 $17.02
Invasion, U.S.A. (1952)Dan O'Herlihy$1.08 $16.90
Sky Full Of Moon (1952)Carleton Carpenter & Jan Sterling$1.00$15.20
The Hour of 13 (1952)Peter Lawford & Dawn Addams$0.95$14.30
The Greatest Love (1952)Ingrid Bergman$0.86$12.77
Holiday For Sinners (1952)Gig Young & Janice Rule$0.83$12.63
The Rose Bowl Story (1952)Vera Miles$0.79 $12.19
Talk About A Stranger (1952)Nancy Reagan & George Murphy$0.77 $11.82
Secret People (1952)Audrey Hepburn$0.71 $10.19
Limelight (1952)Charlie Chaplin$0.50 $7.66
Outpost in Malaya (1952)Claudette Colbert$0.34$5.26
Trail Guide (1952) Tim Holt & Richard Martin$0.32$5.10
Othello (1952)Orson Welles$0.11 $1.70
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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98 thoughts on “Top Grossing Movies Of 1952

  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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