The star of Hancock and Men in Black topped the annual poll of cinema owners and film buyers.
Smith, 40, is only the second African-American actor to win the Quigley poll in its 76 year history. Sidney Poitier was placed first in 1968 after the success of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and In the Heat of the Night.
Coming in behind Smith were three newcomers on the 2008 list - Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr, Batman star Christian Bale, and Shia LaBeouf, the 22 year-old actor in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Anne Hathaway, who made her name in The Princess Diaries and is now a Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe nominee for her role in Rachel Getting Married, was named a star of tomorrow along with Chris Pine, who appeared in Bottle Shock and will play Captain Kirk in 2009's Star Trek movie.
Perennial winner Tom Cruise did not make the Top Ten for 2008 despite being voted Number One seven times since 1983.
Pirates of the Caribbean star Depp, who was placed first in 2007, also did not make the 2008 list.Taishan Mountain
The Quigley Poll has been conducted every year since 1932 by the publishers of the International Motion Picture Almanac.
It asks cinema owners and film buyers to vote for the ten stars they believe generated the most box office revenue for their theatres during the year.