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Paul Newman’s highest grossing movie isn’t what you’d expect

Paul Newman has been in a lot of iconic movies over the years. But his most financially successful movie is a bit of a plot twist.


What is Paul Newman‘s most iconic movie? Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid? The Sting? Cat On A Hot Tin Roof? All of these titles would be a decent answer to that question, but the Academy Award-winning actor’s most profitable film is definitely a bit of a curveball.

That’s because Paul Newman‘s highest grossing movie is the 2006 Pixar movie Cars, and since it’s an animated project, the actor doesn’t actually show his face at all. Instead, he voices Doc Hudson, who, as a physician, judge, and former Piston Cup racer, seems to be the busiest anthropomorphized car in the world.

Cars tells the story of Lightning McQueen, a hot shot race car who gets a rude awakening after becoming stranded in a run-down town. Voiced by Owen Wilson, other supporting cast members alongside Wilson and Newman include Larry the Cable Guy, Bonnie Hunt, and Cheech Marin.

The first installment in what would eventually become a billion-dollar franchise for Disney was a box office hit with a
$60,119,509 opening and a $461,983,149 worldwide gross. And as well as making a tidy profit, the latter figure holds the record for Paul Newman’s highest-grossing movie ever — and yes, that includes Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

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As we know, Paul Newman is an extremely well-regarded actor, having won an  Academy Award, a BAFTA Award, three Golden Globe Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and countless other awards throughout his career. It just goes to show that a ‘good’ movie doesn’t always end up being the most profitable movie, and vice versa. It also serves as a reminder that film critics aren’t always representative of audience tastes as a whole.

Either way, as a passionate auto racer outside of acting, we bet Paul Newman really relished in the opportunity to marry his two loves.

If you like Cars, you’ll love our guides to the best Disney movies, best live-action Disney remakes, best Disney princesses, and the best Disney villains. Or, stay on the straight and narrow with our guides to the best movies and all the new movies coming your way this year.