Exhibitors felt Washington was responsible for more traffic to movie theaters than any other Hollywood star this year based on his performances in "Flight" and "Safe House."
This is the star's eighth appearance in the Quigley poll, but his first win.
Rounding out the top tier are current James Bond portrayer Daniel Craig at No. 6, "Lincoln" leading man Daniel Day-Lewis at No. 7, "Killing Them Softly" star Brad Pitt at No. 8, "Django Unchained" villain Leonardo DiCaprio at No. 9 and "Sherlock Holmes" and "Iron Man" actor Robert Downey Jr. at No. 10.
Recognized as Stars of Tomorrow are
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who headlined "Looper" and had memorable supporting roles in "Lincoln" and "The Dark Knight Rises" in 2012, as well as Jennifer Lawrence, star of this year's "The Hunger Games" and "Silver Linings Playbook."
'Maze Runner' brings in $11.3M Friday
Dakota Fanning says her mother is no stage mom