Ronald Colman : Colman's box office ranking

Colman's box office ranking

Ronald Colman never appeared on any box office lists in the United States where he lived and worked, but he did appear twice as far as I know on the list in England. The years 1932 and 1933 are not listed. Here's his ranking:

1931: 1
1934: 6


True, and yet as a famous and highly respected Hollywood veteran Colman was for all intents and purposes an American superstar if not, officially, a box-office champion, by the time the talkies came. Many of his 30s films were top grossers. I think Clive Of India may be one of them. A Tale Of Two Cities did nicely, and while Lost Horizon, a major hit but not highly profitable due to its high production costs (I believe its wartime re-release put it in the black), the 1937 Prisoner Of Zenda was huge. Colman continued to have hits into the World War, with Random Harvest, Talk Of The Town and Kismet doing quite nicely (even as Colman wasn't top billed in Talk Of The Town).


Another interesting aspect is that his 3 best friends [William Powell, Richard Barthelmess and Warner Baxter] had all been included in the top 10 or top 25 box office stars in Hollywood and Colman had not.

It's especially interesting because Baxter has often been referred to as a B player. Baxter was said to have been envious of Colman's work schedule. After leaving Goldwyn, Colman made fewer films each year, while Baxter was overworked. Here's Baxter's box office ranking.

1932: 24
1933: 22
1934: 18
1935: 21
1936: 21

Not bad for someone not as remembered as Colman, Powell and Barthelmess.