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I was reading the Wikipedia article on John Wayne and noticed the following quote:

Between 1926 and 1976, Wayne appeared in over 170 motion pictures, and became one of America's biggest box office stars. Only Clark Gable sold more tickets than Wayne, although the ticket prices were not commensurate since, although both actors started their careers at the same time, Gable's career height preceded Wayne's by approximately fifteen years.

Just how many tickets did these two men sell? Are they close or did Clark Gable blow him out of the water (presumably) due to the success of Gone With the Wind?

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  • Not sure this is knowable especially since the Wikipedia statement is, apparently, unsourced.
    – Paulie_D
    Apr 10 '18 at 9:25
  • @Paulie_D I agree it might not be easy to find, but I believe "unknowable" is too harsh. Surely there are records somewhere. After all taxes, royalties, residuals, etc. had to be paid so some sort of accounting was taken. I agree it is unsourced. If there was a source then I wouldn't have needed to ask the question here. Are you trying to suggest that the question would be more suited to skeptics.se and therefore should be migrated?
    – Erik
    Apr 10 '18 at 14:51
  • "Surely there are records somewhere" - maybe, but good luck finding them after 60-90 years...assuming they do actually exist.
    – Paulie_D
    Apr 10 '18 at 14:54
  • @Paulie_D I don't understand the constructive point of your comments. It seems like you're saying something along the lines of, "this question is impossible to answer so don't waste your time." Are you trying to be helpful or just rain on the parade? If you're just going to be a source of unconstructive negativity why don't you just delete your comments and move on?
    – Erik
    Apr 10 '18 at 15:00
  • I'm trying to point out that we don't even know what "more tickets" means...does it mean the actual number of butts in seats (I really doubt that information exists) or box-office revenue...where some analysis has been done. Wayne - TOTAL BOX OFFICE GROSS: $8,253,350,000 (Adjusted in 2016 USD) & Gable - TOTAL BOX OFFICE GROSS: $8,314,646,000 (Adjusted in 2016 USD)
    – Paulie_D
    Apr 10 '18 at 15:15

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