Hollywood’s Most Bankable Stars

Check out which stars give Hollywood the most bang for its buck.

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Will Smith topped the list with a perfect score of 10. The two-time Oscar nominated actor is linked to movies that have grossed more that $100 million. Every movie he had done from 2002 to 2008 has grossed over $100 million with "Seven Pounds" being the only exception.
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Johnny Depp finished second in a four-way tie with a score of 9.89. Depp will forever be remembered as Captain Jack Sparrow in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise. Those three films alone brought in over $2.7 billion globally. He is often a favorite in many Tim Burton films. The duo is scheduled to release "Alice in Wonderland" in 2009.
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If you want to talk about bankable stars and films you cannot have a list without this man. Leonardo DiCaprio shot to stardom with the 1997 release of “Titanic” which still holds the box office record of $600 million domestically. In recent years he has become a favorite of director Martin Scorsese with such movies as “The Departed,” “The Aviator,” and “Gangs of New York.”
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Angelina Jolie could be found on top of many list because of her looks, but this woman can act and put people in the seats. The Oscar winner’s top grossing film, “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” brought in just under $500 billion worldwide. It also nabbed her Brad Pitt in the process, not too bad. Her global box office is just under $2.5 billion. Jolie is nominated for an Oscar this year for her role in “Changeling.”
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Coming in right under his significant other is Brad Pitt. The 45-year-old has an impressive resume featuring a wide range of roles from horror (Seven) to action (Troy) to comedy (Burn After Reading) and drama (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). Pitt’s global box office is just under $4.6 billion and he shows no signs of letting up. Much like Jolie, he is also nominated for an Oscar for his role as a man aging backwards. The power couple of Jolie and Pitt may be second on this list but there are no doubts they are the #1 couple in all of Hollywood.
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One of the most respected actors of this generation is Tom Hanks who garnered a score of 9.87. The two-time Oscar winner shot to super stardom by dancing on a piano in the 1988 film “Big.” Hanks has had some of the most memorable and highest grossing films over the last decade such as “Forrest Gump,” “Saving Private Ryan,” and “The Da Vinci Code.” A sequel to the “The Da Vinci Code” is set to open later in 2009 titled “Angels & Demons.”
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George Clooney is a wanted man, not just by flocks of women but many directors would love to give him top billing in a film. The “Ocean’s Eleven” franchise is the reason for Clooney’s appearance at #7 on the list. Clooney has show versatility as he has sat in the director’s chair a few times and nominated for his effort in “Good Night, and Good Luck.” His global box office totaled just over #1.6 billion.
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Denzel Washington pulls in at #8 with a score of 9.76. The two-time Oscar winner’s top grossing films were “American Gangster,” “Philadelphia,” and “The Pelican Brief.” His global box office is over $2.6 billion as he quickly becomes one of the top movie stars if this generation.
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Matt Damon shot to Hollywood elite when he and his buddy, Ben Affleck, wrote and starred in the 1997 film “Good Will Hunting.” The rest was history and success that came practically overnight. He starred in two of the highest grossing franchises of the last decade with “Ocean’s Eleven” and “The Bourne Identity.” Damon’s global box office is just under $4 billion but that can change very quickly as there are rumors of a fourth installment to the “Bourne” franchise.
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Jack Nicholson is still a legend in Hollywood and still one of the most popular actors in the industry as he rounds out the top 10. As most 71-year-olds are retiring to Florida to play bingo from morning to the early-bird dinner, Nicholson is still making movies people want to see, his last being “The Departed” in 2006. He will be remembered best for his role as the theatrical yet sinister Joker in the first “Batman” in 1989.
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Julia Roberts may have slowed down in recent years but she still remains America’s sweetheart. Roberts scored 9.65, good enough for #11 on the list. Her global box office is just over $4.5 billion thanks to big hits like “Notting Hill,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” and of course “Pretty Woman.” Whenever you see Julia Roberts it’s hard not to hear Roy Orbison in your head, but that’s okay, you’re not the only one.
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Funny man and SNL alum, Adam Sandler ranks at #12 with a rating of 9.61. His first $100 million film was in 1998 with “The Waterboy.” Reaching that mark was after that has he has starred in seven other movies that have grossed $100 million. His latest film, “Bedtime Stories,” just reached that threshold. However, from time to time Sandler has shown a serious side on the big screen. In 2007, he starred in “Reign Over Me” as he plays a man who lost his family in the 9/11 attacks and cannot recover from his loss.
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He may be nuts, he may jump on Oraph’s couch, but he is still A-list in Hollywood. Tom Cruise has a global box office of over $6 billion and that’s why he appears annually on lists like this. His name has appeared on the Top 10 Poll of Money-Making Stars 18 times, as ranked by Quigley Publications' annual poll of movie exhibitors. “Mission Impossible” and its sequel have been huge hits for Cruise, but his highest grossing film has been “War of the Worlds.”
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Russell Crowe is a tough guy, but people seem to like that in this guy. He was never tougher than in “Gladiator.” He would win the Oscar for his role as Maximus, which went on to earn over $457 million globally. The 44-year-old recently starred opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in “Body of Lies.”
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The second SNL alum to appear on this list is Will Ferrell. It’s safe to say he is the black sheep of this list with the raunchy comedy he is known for. However, his top grossing film globally has been “Elf.” His second highest grossing film was “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” where he played a NASCAR driver who lost his top spot. The most memorable part of that movie was the frequent discussions of “baby Jesus.”
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Meryl Streep, who is nominated for an Oscar for merely walking on a movie set, ranks #16 with a score of 9.55. The living legend is considered to be the best actress off all-time and she has 15 Oscar nominates to prove it, more than anyone. Her films have grossed almost $2.5 million worldwide. Her highest grossing film was the 2008 musical “Mamma Mia,” which took in over $570 million. Her latest film, “Doubt” has earned her another Oscar nomination.
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The only actor who can follow Streep is this man, Robert De Niro. He has graced the silver screen with some of the most memorable characters and lines in cinema history. He has made a living playing a gangster but his top grossing films have been comedies, “Meet the Parents” and “Meet the Fockers.” The two-time Oscar winner has seen his movies gross over $3.7 billion worldwide. De Niro, 65, was most recently teamed with fellow living legend, Al Pacino, in “Righteous Kill.”
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Robert De Niro’s co-star in “Meet The Fockers,” Ben Stiller, comes in at #18 as his films have grossed over $3.1 billion. Stiller shot to fame in 1998 with “There’s Something About Mary, ” which grossed almost $370 million worldwide. His biggest hit thus far was in 2006 with “Night at the Museum.” Like many times before, things that make money in Hollywood often mean sequel. “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” is set to open in May 2009.
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Jim Carrey got his start on the sketch comedy show “In Living Color” in the early 1990’s. $3.8 billion dollars later he is a box office machine who cranks out $100 million movies like humans convert oxygen into carbon dioxide. The 47-year-old recently starred in “Yes Man” which has currently made $95 million domestically.
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We round out the most bankable stars with yet another living legend. Clint Eastwood, 78, has recently announced his retirement from acting. Relax fans, he still plans to direct and remain active in the movie industry. If this really is it for the four-time Oscar winner, his films have grossed over $2.1 billion globally. Eastwood was last seen in “Gran Torino” which reached the $100 million mark in the U.S.
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