Mr. Smarty Man

Hollywood Prediction

Barry Levinson vs. Ron Howard

Barry Levinson and Ron Howard in an epic showdown! Whose directing career is more successful?

January 30, 2011

By Scott Croco

Barry Levinson  vs.  Ron Howard

One is a talented writer and filmmaker from Baltimore, the other is a child actor turned director. Whose Hollywood career has been the most successful?


Barry Levinson Ron Howard
19 # Films 19
Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
Rain Man (1988)
Hits Parenthood (1989)
Apollo 13 (1995)
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Toys (1992)
Jimmy Hollywood (1994)
Sphere (1998)
Envy (2004)
Man of the Year (2006)
What Just Happened? (2008)
Flops Edtv (1999)
The Missing (2003)
Diner (1982)
The Natural (1984)
Bugsy (1991)
Disclosure (1994)
Sleepers (1996)
Notable Splash (1984)
Cocoon (1985)
Backdraft (1991)
Ransom (1996)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
Frost/Nixon (2008)


Commercial Success Score is based on adjusted box office numbers, calculated using domestic box office dollars, average ticket price in release year, U.S. population, and tickets purchased per capita.

Ron Howard has higher total adjusted box office and average adjusted box office. His biggest commercial successes are Apollo 13, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and The Da Vinci Code. Barry Levinson's commercial hits are Rain Man and Good Morning, Vietnam. Levinson has 9 movies which grossed under $50M, Howard has 3.

Edge: Ron Howard

Critical Success Score is based on critics' scores as aggregated on Rotten Tomatoes and user scores from IMDB.

Barry Levinson has some well reviewed films: Diner, Rain Man, and Liberty Heights. Ron Howard edges him out with the likes of Parenthood, Apollo 13, and Frost/Nixon. Levinson also has 5 movies rated under 50%, Howard has only 1.

Edge: Ron Howard

Miscellaneous Score is based on Academy award nominations and wins, number of films directed, number of films written, Director's Guild nominations and wins, appearances on AFI lists, and inclusions in the National Film Registry.

Both directors have been successful in this category. Ron Howard has Apollo 13 (9 noms, 2 wins), A Beautiful Mind (8 noms, 4 wins), and Frost/Nixon (5 noms, 0 wins). Barry Levinson has The Natural (4 noms, 0 wins), Rain Man (8 noms, 4 wins), and Bugsy (10 noms, 2 wins). Ron Howard has 4 Director's Guild nominations and 2 wins, Levinson has 3 nominations and 1 win. Levinson has 3 films on AFI lists, Howard has 2. Neither man has directed an NFR selection. Levinson has directed 19 films and written 8 of them, Howard has also directed 19, and written only 2.

Edge: Ron Howard

Final Verdict! Final showdown score is the sum of the three categories' scores.

Ron Howard's consistency beats Barry Levinson's roller coaster.

Winner: Ron Howard

Director Score F Rtng CS BO* ABO* BOS AN AW W MS
Barry Levinson 41.54 19 62.4% 12.8 1611 85 13.6 34 6 8 15.2
Ron Howard 54.94 19 65.4% 15.2 2814 148 24.4 39 9 2 15.4
* In Millions of Adjusted Domestic Dollars

More Hollywood Showdowns

Sam Raimi vs. Gore Verbinski
Sam Raimi vs. Gore Verbinski
Who has had the more successful directing career?
Jaws vs. Jurassic Park
Jaws vs. Jurassic Park
Which franchise has been more successful?

Best Picture Predictions

Best Picture of 2007 Oscar Prediction
Best Picture of 2007 Oscar Prediction
Here's your Best Picture winner for the 2008 80th Academy Awards.
Best Picture of 2015 Oscar Prediction
Best Picture of 2015 Oscar Prediction
Updated! - Can MSM's formula accurately predict the 2016 88th Academy Awards Best Picture winner?