NO name on the marquee was more pleasing to theatre owners in 2008 than Will Smith, according to a survey of movie exhibitors.
Smith, star of Hancock and Seven Pounds, was voted the star who generated the most box office revenue for theatres in an annual survey by Quigley Publishing Co.
Smith is only the second black actor to be chosen in the Quigley poll, which since 1932 has asked movie exhibitors to vote on the 10 stars who brought in the most business. Sidney Poitier topped the poll in 1968.
Smithâ€™s superhero summer blockbuster, Hancock, grossed US$228 million. Seven Pounds, his latest, has pulled in a somewhat lacklustre $39 million in two weeks.
Following Smith, in order, were Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man, Tropic Thunder), Christian Bale (The Dark Knight), Shia LaBeouf (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) and LaBeoufâ€™s Indiana Jones co-star Harrison Ford.
The top 10 were rounded out by Adam Sandler, Reese Witherspoon, George Clooney, Angelina Jolie and Daniel Craig.
Last yearâ€™s winner, Johnny Depp, who didnâ€™t have a film released this year, didnâ€™t make this yearâ€™s poll, nor did seven-time winner Tom Cruise.
Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married) was voted the top â€œstar of tomorrowâ€ along with Chris Pine of Bottle Shock. â€“â€“ Shenzhen Daily/Agencies.