Director Steven Spielberg dethroned media mogul Oprah Winfrey as the most influential celebrity in the United States, according to an annual study by Forbes magazine that was dominated by film directors.
Spielberg’s influence was boosted by his most recent film, LINCOLN, which earned 12 Oscar nominations last year including best picture and best direction, and grossed $275 million at the global box office.
The magazine said the 67-year-old director’s ability to attract foreigners to a U.S. drama about the back-room dealings and minutiae of 19th-century Washington politics spoke of his prowess. LINCOLN grossed $93 million in foreign markets. Forbes said that 47 percent of people surveyed rated Spielberg as influential. “A celebrity’s ‘Influential’ score represents how that person is perceived as influencing the public, their peers, or both,” Gerry Philpott, president of E-Poll Market Research, which conducted the study for Forbes, told the magazine.
Winfrey, 59, who topped the list with 49 percent last year, slipped to 45 percent this year, which Forbes said could be due to her retreat from the spotlight while running her cable television network OWN.
This article first appeared in February 2014 issue of Cine Blitz magazine