Fun Movie Stats

Stats from these are ranked by the money they made. This list is NOT adjusted for inflation.

Rank Title Studio Lifetime Gross / Theaters Opening / Theaters Date
1 Dances with Wolves Orion $184,208,848 1,636 $598,257 14 11/9/90
2 True Grit Par. $171,243,005 3,464 $24,830,443 3,047 12/22/10
3 Django Unchained Wein. $162,805,434 3,012 $30,122,888 3,010 12/25/12
4 Rango Par. $123,477,607 3,923 $38,079,323 3,917 3/4/11
5 Wild Wild West WB $113,804,681 3,342 $27,687,484 3,342 6/30/99
6 Maverick WB $101,631,272 2,537 $17,248,545 2,537 5/20/94
7 Unforgiven WB $101,157,447 2,087 $15,018,007 2,071 8/7/92
8 Cowboys & Aliens Uni. $100,240,551 3,754 $36,431,290 3,750 7/29/11
9 The Lone Ranger BV $89,302,115 3,904 $29,210,849 3,904 7/3/13
10 Back to the Future Part III Uni. $87,727,583 2,070 $19,089,645 2,019 5/25/90

The next top ten list if from this is ranked by movie review critics and how many good vs bad reviews did they get?


Rank Tomatometer Title No. of Reviews
1. 100% The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) 44
2. 97% The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) 67
3. 100% The Searchers (1956) 41
4. 96% High Noon (1952) 47
5. 98% The Wild Bunch (1969) 47
6. 96% True Grit (2010) 259
7. 98% Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) 54
8. 98% A Fistful of Dollars (1964) 43
9. 95% Unforgiven (1992) 82
10. 97% Sweetgrass (2009) 58

The 10 Greatest Western Movies of All Time: by the Editors of American Cowboy Magazine

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

The Searchers (1956)

Red River (1948)

High Noon (1952)

Shane (1953)

Unforgiven (1992)

Johnny Guitar (1954)

The Wild Bunch (1969)

Greed (1924)

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Some of these lists are about 100 movies long. But look at some of these titles.

Greed (1924) Johnny Guitar (1954) I’ve never even heard those titles let alone seen the movies. Rango? Wasn’t that a cartoon? Back to the Future III? Well, okay I guess that’s a western but I’d have never thought of it. I think The Lone Ranger was a huge flop. Yes it made a lot of money but it cost so much it was considered and disaster.

Are your favorites on this list? If not, what’s your favorite western movie of all time? I’m sure they’re on the lists farthest down but I’m a huge Quigley Down Under fan. I love Silverado. Anything John Wayne…but possibly my favorite is The Sons of Katy Elder.

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71 thoughts on “Fun Movie Stats”

  1. Hi, Mary.

    Westward the Women is my all time favorite – an all female wagon train going west to become brides and all the hardship they overcame to get there. Love it! It was from the 1950s.

    I also really enjoyed Far and Away with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Not a complete western, but it did end up with the Oklahoma Land Rush.

  2. Hi Mary, interesting lists. The Searchers is my all time favorite, along with Lonesome Dove.

    I took my husband kicking and screaming to see the Lone Ranger, which he thought would be an insult to the original series. Guess what. He laughed all the way through. I never did understand why critics loved Unforgiven. I need to watch it again to see what I missed.

    • I just watched The Lone Ranger, Margaret. You’re talking about the Johnny Depp version right?

      I got a lot of writing done during the movie. Which is a bad, bad sign. πŸ™‚

      Unforgiven is really a powerful film, I think, but such a grim view of the west. I remember parts of it still, vividly, but I don’t know if I’ve ever watched it again.

    • We just watch The Sons of Katie Elder again. And I just love it, such a fun movie, but I’m still mad at those boys for not visiting their mother. (speaking as a mother of course!)

  3. I actually haven’t seen most of those except The Lone Ranger and maybe True Grit (not sure about the second one) One of my favorite out west moves would probably be Love’s Unending Legacy.

  4. I’m with you, Mary – Silverado is a favorite as well as Quigley Down Under. And pretty much anything John Wayne, Western or not. I actually do not like Clint Eastwood Westerns. He’s a good actor but they’re all just too dark, especially Unforgiven. As for The Lone Ranger, I prefer the old TV series to any movie πŸ™‚

  5. Hands down, Cat Ballou is my favorite Western movie.

    Second is The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Gotta love that twist ending show a scene from a different angle/perspective.

    Fun post, Mary!

    • Both great, Rose.

      We just watch Paint Your Wagon again. Man I love that movie.

      My husband watched as long as it could but it was crazy long and he finally went to bed.

      But while he watched he said, “This is the only musical I’ve ever seen in my life that I liked. And even at that, I wish they’d cut the singing out and just leave the movie.” πŸ™‚

  6. Sons of Katie Elder–you betcha. And anything else John Wayne. Especially with Maureen O’Hara.

    Caught a western comedy, Gunless, that’s really cute.

    • Eileen, I’ve heard of Gunless but I’ve never seen it.

      I am so backward with high tech stuff. Can I find these movies, all the ones you ladies are suggesting that I’ve never watched or that I want now to watch again, like on Netflix or Amazon?

      I might be able to figure that out…..maybe

  7. I have two. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is my all time favorite western. LOVE THAT MOVIE! Such a great twist to it and it’s probably the only movie I can think of off the top of my head that I loved more than the short story/book it was taken from. When I read the short story, I was mightily disappointed.

    My other favorite movie is High Plains Drifter. Another twisty ending–and everyone in town gets their comeuppance. Interesting post, Mary! I always love stuff like this.


  8. I did like Dances with Wolves (in spite of the fact the horse and the wolves died.) And I absolutely love Unforgiven. Silverado is great fun to watch. Tombstone, a great movie, and Val Kilmer’s performance is amazing. Anything at all with John Wayne – especially True Grit, The Sons of Katy Elder, The Cowboys, Chisum, The Searchers.

    3:10 to Yuma is a newer Western, but I thought it was really well done.

    • I think two of my favorite Wayne movies (after Katie Elder…and of course True Grit…and Rooster Cogburn…oh anyway…..) are El Dorado and Rio Bravo. Aren’t those the two everyone said are almost exactly the same movie? πŸ™‚

      But I think El Dorado is the one with James Caan in it and that one is my preference in a close contest. Both really fun.

  9. Hi Mary,
    I don’t see The Magnificent Seven on that list. I’ve seen that movie dozens of times! I”m surprised it didn’t make one of the lists. High Noon was great. Love Gary Cooper!

    • I haven’t seen The Magnificent Seven for years.
      And High Noon, I love that movie! The end when his Quaker Wife (or whatever pacifist religion she was) saved him.

      One of the great moments in movie history!

  10. If I had to pick one western from my collection to watch again and again, it would be Open Range. The cast is great, the story is great, the scenery is great, and the good guys win in the end. Plus the guy you think is least likely to get the girl actually gets the girl because she won’t give up on him.

  11. its funny that all the good westerns are made many years ago,,they knew how to make a movie,,i think its sad that all movies have become so high tech

    • Vickie I noticed that true, the old dates.

      I sort of liked Cowboys and Aliens but I had a few problems with it. That stupid ship upside down in the middle of the desert for example. All I could do is think, WHAT????

  12. Some very interesting stats there… I have not seen some of the movies listed… tend to read more than watch movies…

  13. I agree about Quigley Down Under. I can’t think of any others that jump out at me at the moment, but I’m sure I’ll think of some later! lol

    • Ah, Quigley, I am so in love with him.

      And we’ve watched a bunch of Louis L’Amour movies lately. Like Hondo and The Quick and the Dead, a few others.

      Either Sam Elliot or Tom Selleck or both. Great movies.

  14. I think I’ve seen all but a few. Picking one favorite is really hard. I loved Dances with Wolves. What about The Last of the Mohicans – does it qualify lol.

    • catslady I just read last night that James Fenimore Cooper’s book The Last of the Mohicans is based on something that Daniel Boone actually did. His daughter was kidnapped by the Indians and he chased after them and got her back. It became a sensation at the time and made Boone nationally famous because of newspaper stories written about it.

      Then Cooper fictionalized it into The Last of the Mohicans.

  15. My favorite western is The Shadow Riders with Tom Selleck but I like all the Louis L’Amour westerns with him and Sam Elliot. I really like The Magnificent Seven movie and the TV show. I also like The Young Riders when it was on TV. Dances With Wolves, extended version is a favorite too.

  16. I don’t watch a lot of westerns, but saw the newer version of True Grit a few years back and liked it.
    Of course Dances With Wolves is an all time great western.

  17. Dances With the Wolves was an awesome movie. I grew up watching westerns but a lot of these I don’t remember. I will be looking for some of them on the western channel.

  18. I liked all of those western movies but a couple of my favorites were left off the list.
    The Magnificient Seven-I liked all of the actors in that one, along with the scenery and the awesome music.
    Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was so good. I really liked the actors, the story which was based on truth and the music.
    Of course, the best Western movie of them all was Stagecoach it should have been number 1

  19. Oh my, Open Range is a favorite at our house. We frequently quote from it.

    Our favorite lines: “Put your spook hats on” and “Now, listen with your good ear”.

  20. Ooo, “Eldorado” . . . hands down . . .best western ever! John Wayne was at the pinnacle of his John Wayne-ness.

    • Janelle, I forgot that one. I love that movie so much. I haven’t seen it forever. I especially love when the horses are running and the wild music behind them, then they run into snow and the music changes, then they virtually plunge over a cliff and only our hero goes after them.

      Great scene in a great movie.

  21. My favorite western is The Big Country starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Charlton Heston, Carroll Baker and Burk Ives. Never get tired of seeing it. Also love any John Wayne western.

  22. I have to say that Cowboys and Aliens is one of my recent favorites, just because it was so unexpected. (Daniel Craig didn’t hurt either. πŸ˜‰ )

  23. I liked Dances With Wolves and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, as well as Last of The Dogmen.
    Many of the old classics like Shane and High Noon I have never seen. I wasn’t really old enough to appreciate them when they came out and have never seen them on TV. They are on my list of movies I’d really like to see.

  24. Oh my Mary. A hard one to want us to pick a favorite. I will say my all time favorite actor was John Wayne and I got to meet him and have his arm around my shoulders(faint) LOL But so many I love so much, can’t even some of the names with my memory lapses. Some of the favorites f his is Rio Bravo, Searchers, Sons of katy Elder, Chisum, McKlintock, and oh my, just about any and especially with Maureen O’Hara. But I love the Sackett Bbrothers movies by Lewis L’Amour, with Sam Elliott. Yummy!. Read most of his books. Never got tired of them. Loved Lonesome Doves,. I LOVE westerns. I loved Bonaza, Big valley, Wagon train, etc. I have the old channels and watch them mostly. This is just to name a few. Shane was really good too. Maxie > <

  25. My favorite movies are McClintock, Calamity Jane (with Doris Day,) and Fieval Goes West (best animated Western ever made!) But I especially love Western musical scores, like Dances With Wolves, The Big Country, and Once Upon a Time in the West. There’s some beautiful music in those old Westerns!

  26. I am a huge John Wayne fan, but hands down my favorite of his is McClintock.
    For you Clint Eastwood fans, Paint Your Wagon is the only film he ever made in which he sang.
    Loved Calamity Jane.

  27. Interesting how some of the most panned films are considered the greatest Western films.

    Also, I am sooooooooooooooo with you on the films Silverado and Quigley Down Under!!!! Love, love, LOVE those movies!!!
    I agree that Sam Elliot is awesome too in Western roles. Gotta love that voice of his. MMMMMmmmmmm…

    My hubby never passes up an opportunity to watch a John Wayne flick – but I’m not good at remembering the different film titles. Pretty sad, huh?

  28. So,so many movies! I love westerns…..maybe THAT’S why I married my husband…because his last NAME was Western πŸ™‚ hee hee I love Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, lots of John Wayne movies (grew up watching those with my parents), love Sam Elliot and Tom Selleck movies too! I loved The Magnificent Seven too….so many more that I’m sure I am forgetting!
    Valri WESTERN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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