March 1, 2021

Biggest box office stars since 1980 – WTNZ


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Biggest box office stars since 1980

What does it take to be a big box office star? Some actors find enormous paychecks through tentpole franchises like the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe or the long-running “Fast & Furious” series, which leads to both steady work and a lot of audience interest. Pop culture sensations like the multi-film “Hunger Games” and “Twilight” series also result in big box office numbers and paychecks for their stars. But other actors pulling in the big bucks do so after many years working to establish themselves as reliable and professional, showing up to sets with lines memorized and making it an easy choice for directors to want to hire them again and again. And some stars break through in certain calendar years, with rising star power and luck making them the face of Hollywood and bringing in box office dividends. 

Stacker has compiled the biggest box office stars since 1980 by using data from The Numbers. To determine the rankings, the highest-grossing star in each year is based on domestic box office sales of the movies in which they had a leading role, plus ticket sales for films in the two preceding years. Each “Star Score” below represents the number of points (as assigned by The Numbers), based on how well the movies performed at the box office. A fair number of actors and actresses appear more than once, thanks to movies and sales that span multiple years. While each slide’s title and image indicate the top star of that year, the copy on each slide goes in-depth for one of the top three stars of that year, not necessarily #1.

The list demonstrates the gender and racial pay gaps in Hollywood: White men dominate the top three spots of three highest-grossing stars throughout the ’80s, and while more women and actors of color found top spots in the 2010s, they still don’t reach parity with their white, male counterparts, and there are no women of color on this list. Openly LGBTQ performers are also a very small minority of top box office stars. Institutional and structural systems suppress wages for actors from historically marginalized populations, and while the latest figures on this list show Hollywood is slowly inching in the right direction, they also show how much further the industry still has to go.

Think you know who appears on the list? Keep reading on to find out.

Murray Close // Getty Images

– Star score: 359
– Top contributing films: Every Which Way but Loose, Any Which Way You Can, Escape from Alcatraz
– #2 Star: Jane Fonda (- Star score: 341, – Top contributing films: California Suite, The Electric Horseman, The China Syndrome)
– #3 Star: Burt Reynolds (- Star score: 262, – Top contributing films: Hooper, Starting Over, The End)

In “Every Which Way But Loose,” Clint Eastwood stars as a tough trucker who has a pet orangutan and moonlights as a fighter (a premonition of his later work as a trainer in “Million Dollar Baby”). Workout queen Jane Fonda was also a big box office star, in part for her role in “California Suite,” a film based on Paul Simon’s screenplay of the same name that was nominated for an Oscar.

Orion Pictures // Getty Images

– Star score: 289
– Top contributing films: Caddyshack, Modern Problems, Seems Like Old Times
– #2 Star: Clint Eastwood (- Star score: 262, – Top contributing films: Any Which Way You Can, Escape from Alcatraz, Bronco Billy)
– #3 Star: Harrison Ford (- Star score: 257, – Top contributing films: Star Wars Ep. V: The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark)

Chevy Chase earned big bucks for his roles that included “Caddyshack,” playing a wealthy golf snob dealing with a brash new member to the club and a charismatic gopher. Harrison Ford also took on a number of roles that would become career-defining, including the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” series.

Ron Galella Collection // Getty Images

– Star score: 289
– Top contributing films: Caddyshack, Modern Problems, Seems Like Old Times
– #2 Star: Harrison Ford (- Star score: 279, – Top contributing films: Star Wars Ep. V: The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Blade Runner)
– #3 Star: Sylvester Stallone (- Star score: 266, – Top contributing films: Rocky III, First Blood)

Chevy Chase was another high earner this year for his role alongside ’80s darling Goldie Hawn in “Seems Like Old Times.” Chase plays Nick Gardenia, a writer who is wrongly accused of a bank robbery. He seeks assistance from his ex-wife, played by Hawn, who is a lawyer. The film was another Neil Simon blockbuster.

Sunset Boulevard // Getty Images

– Star score: 279
– Top contributing films: Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Blade Runner
– #2 Star: Sylvester Stallone (- Star score: 266, – Top contributing films: Rocky III, First Blood)
– #3 Star: Chevy Chase (- Star score: 261, – Top contributing films: National Lampoon’s Vacation, Modern Problems)

Harrison Ford took the top slot in ’83, but Sylvester Stallone landed as runner-up in large part for his role in “Rocky III,” which chronicles Rocky’s fall from grace following his win of the ultimate title. The film was nominated for an Oscar. Ford and Chase also made the cut once more.

Frederic REGLAIN // Getty Images

– Star score: 347
– Top contributing films: Sudden Impact, Tightrope, Firefox
– #2 Star: Eddie Murphy (- Star score: 337, – Top contributing films: Beverly Hills Cop, Trading Places, 48 Hours)
– #3 Star: Harrison Ford (- Star score: 277, – Top contributing films: Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Blade Runner)

The legendary Clint Eastwood was the #1 star in 1984 for his role in “Sudden Impact“. Eddie Murphy came in at #2 with his movie about a freewheeling Detroit police officer on vacation who must adjust to life in Beverly Hills.

Ron Galella Collection // Getty Images

– Star score: 395
– Top contributing films: National Lampoon’s Vacation, Spies Like Us, National Lampoon’s European Vacation
– #2 Star: Clint Eastwood (- Star score: 343, – Top contributing films: Sudden Impact, Tightrope, Pale Rider)
– #3 Star: Kathleen Turner (- Star score: 295, – Top contributing films: Romancing the Stone, The Jewel of the Nile, Prizzi’s Honor)

Chevy Chase makes the list again for his role as the quirky Clark Griswold in the “National Lampoon’s” films. In third is Kathleen Turner, who teamed up with Michael Douglas in “Romancing the Stone.” She plays a romance novelist and big city girl who sets off for Colombia to ransom her kidnapped sister.

Ron Galella Collection // Getty Images

– Star score: 442
– Top contributing films: Police Academy, Cocoon, Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment
– #2 Star: Tom Hanks (- Star score: 371, – Top contributing films: Splash, Bachelor Party, The Money Pit)
– #3 Star: Chevy Chase (- Star score: 340, – Top contributing films: Spies Like Us, National Lampoon’s European Vacation, Fletch)

Steve Guttenberg was the biggest box office star in 1986 in large part for his role in the “Police Academy” series. The latter made $8.5 million in opening weekend but went on to gross an astounding $81 million. Meanwhile, Tom Hanks fell in love with a mermaid in “Splash” and had his last hurrah in “Bachelor Party.”

Ron Galella Collection // Getty Images

– Star score: 531
– Top contributing films: 3 Men and a Baby, Cocoon, Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment
– #2 Star: Chevy Chase (- Star score: 340, – Top contributing films: Spies Like Us, National Lampoon’s European Vacation, Fletch)
– #3 Star: Sylvester Stallone (- Star score: 320, – Top contributing films: Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rocky IV, Cobra)

Guttenberg had another successful year, in part for his role in “Three Men and a Baby,” about three men who take care of an unexpected addition. The film was the biggest American box office hit that year, surpassing even “Fatal Attraction.”

Mondadori // Getty Images

– Star score: 429
– Top contributing films: Top Gun, Rain Man, Cocktail
– #2 Star: Bette Midler (- Star score: 427, – Top contributing films: Ruthless People, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Beaches)
– #3 Star: Steve Guttenberg (- Star score: 397, – Top contributing films: 3 Men and a Baby, Police Academy 3: Back in Training, Short Circuit)

Tom Cruise lands on the list with a trifecta of some of his most memorable performances. He played a hotshot fighter pilot in “Top Gun,” an older brother to Dustin Hoffman’s “Rain Man” (which won four Oscars), and a lovable bartender in “Cocktail.”

Jim Smeal // Getty Images

– Star score: 393
– Top contributing films: Big, Turner & Hooch, Dragnet
– #2 Star: Eddie Murphy (- Star score: 357, – Top contributing films: Beverly Hills Cop II, Coming to America, Harlem Nights)
– #3 Star: Michelle Pfeiffer (- Star score: 335, – Top contributing films: The Witches of Eastwick, Tequila Sunrise, Dangerous Liaisons)

Tom Hanks’ career continued to soar with “Big,” “Turner and Hooch,” and “Dragnet.” Eddie Murphy and Michelle Pfeiffer were also both at the top of their games, with Pfeiffer’s career catapulted by the wildly successful “Dangerous Liaisons,” which won three Oscars. The film is about the tragedy that ensues when a scheming widow (Glenn Close) and her ex-lover (John Malkovich) make a bet over a newly married woman (Pfeiffer).

Ron Galella Collection // Getty Images

– Star score: 399
– Top contributing films: Big, Turner & Hooch, Joe Versus the Volcano
– #2 Star: Mel Gibson (- Star score: 366, – Top contributing films: Lethal Weapon 2, Bird on a Wire, Tequila Sunrise)
– #3 Star: Tom Cruise (- Star score: 365, – Top contributing films: Rain Man, Days of Thunder, Cocktail)

Tom Hanks played a boy who made a wish and landed in the body of an adult man in “Big,” directed by Penny Marshall. Mel Gibson also made the list for his role in “Lethal Weapon 2,” an action film that received an Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects.

Ron Galella Collection // Getty Images

– Star score: 391
– Top contributing films: Hook, Dead Poets Society, Awakenings
– #2 Star: Kevin Costner (- Star score: 389, – Top contributing films: Dances with Wolves, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, JFK)
– #3 Star: Michael J. Fox (- Star score: 355, – Top contributing films: Back to the Future Part II, Back to the Future Part III, Doc Hollywood)

In “Dead Poets Society,” a Best Original Screenplay Oscar winner, comedian Robin Williams plays an inspiring English teacher who encourages his students to challenge the status quo. Michael J. Fox also earned big points for his role as Marty McFly in the “Back to the Future” series, a sci-fi classic.

Bob Grant // Getty Images

– Star score: 401
– Top contributing films: Dances with Wolves, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Bodyguard
– #2 Star: Steve Martin (- Star score: 379, – Top contributing films: Father of the Bride, Housesitter, Grand Canyon)
– #3 Star: Mel Gibson (- Star score: 365, – Top contributing films: Lethal Weapon 3, Bird on a Wire, Forever Young)

Kevin Costner’s role as a bodyguard for Whitney Houston was an unusual role for the actor, who had typically focused on action films. “I Will Always Love You” was a top hit from the film. It was Costner’s idea for Houston to start the song a cappella.

Jeff Kravitz // Getty Images

– Star score: 446
– Top contributing films: White Men Can’t Jump, Rising Sun, Demolition Man
– #2 Star: Julia Roberts (- Star score: 339, – Top contributing films: Hook, Sleeping with the Enemy, The Pelican Brief)
– #3 Star: Steve Martin (- Star score: 328, – Top contributing films: Father of the Bride, HouseSitter, Grand Canyon)

Wesley Snipes was at the peak of his career with “White Men Can’t Jump” and “Demolition Man.” Runner-up was America’s sweetheart Julia Roberts, who did a number of successful films including “The Pelican Brief,” which also starred Denzel Washington and is based on a John Grisham book about a law student who uncovers a conspiracy. She also took on a lighter role as Tinkerbell in “Hook.”

Ron Galella Collection // Getty Images

– Star score: 391
– Top contributing films: White Men Can’t Jump, Rising Sun, Demolition Man
– #2 Star: Tom Hanks (- Star score: 375, – Top contributing films: Forrest Gump, Sleepless in Seattle, A League of Their Own)
– #3 Star: Tom Cruise (- Star score: 363, – Top contributing films: The Firm, A Few Good Men, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles)

Wesley Snipes also made it big with his sports comedy film “White Men Can’t Jump.” Meanwhile “Forrest Gump” swept the Oscars, winning six awards, including Best Actor for 1994’s second-biggest box office star Tom Hanks, who plays a role as a simple man with equal parts bravery and good intentions. The film chronicles the presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, as well as other historical references like Vietnam and Watergate.

Jim Smeal // Getty Images

– Star score: 467
– Top contributing films: Batman Forever, Dumb & Dumber, The Mask
– #2 Star: Tom Hanks (- Star score: 382, – Top contributing films: Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, Sleepless in Seattle)
– #3 Star: Sylvester Stallone (- Star score: 343, – Top contributing films: Cliffhanger, Demolition Man, The Specialist)

The “Batman” series lived on with Val Kilmer in the leading role and Jim Carrey as bad guy The Riddler. Carey also had lighter roles in films “Dumb & Dumber” and “The Mask.” He was even nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in the latter.

Ron Galella Collection // Getty Images

– Star score: 545
– Top contributing films: Batman Forever, Dumb & Dumber, The Mask
– #2 Star: Mel Gibson (- Star score: 365, – Top contributing films: Pocahontas, Ransom, Maverick)
– #3 Star: John Travolta (- Star score: 337, – Top contributing films: Phenomenon, Michael, Get Shorty)

Following Jim Carrey for biggest box office star in ’96 was Mel Gibson, who voiced the role of Englishman John Smith in “Pocahontas,” Walt Disney’s animated musical drama that received backlash for its racist overtones. Gibson’s earnings also got a boost from his other two films, “Ransom” and “Maverick.”

Ron Galella Collection // Getty Images

– Star score: 471
– Top contributing films: Good Will Hunting, The Birdcage, Jumanji
– #2 Star: John Travolta (- Star score: 428, – Top contributing films: Face/Off, Phenomenon, Michael)
– #3 Star: Jim Carrey (- Star score: 370, – Top contributing films: Batman Forever, Liar Liar, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls)

“It’s not your fault,” Robin Williams tells Matt Damon in “Good Will Hunting,” a movie about a janitor-slash-whiz kid who finds his life’s direction with the help of a therapist. It launched the careers of Damon and Ben Affleck, who won an Oscar for best screenwriting. Williams picked up an Oscar (his first win) for his performance, as well.

– Star score: 529
– Top contributing films: Good Will Hunting, Patch Adams, The Birdcage
– #2 Star: John Travolta (- Star score: 456, – Top contributing films: Face/Off, Phenomenon, Michael)
– #3 Star: Nicolas Cage (- Star score: 410, – Top contributing films: The Rock, Face/Off, Con Air)

Robin Williams raked in the film credits with box office successes “Good Will Hunting,” “Patch Adams,” and “The Birdcage.” The hit “Face/Off” boosted earnings for both John Travolta and Nicolas Cage this year. The film is a sci-fi action flick about an FBI agent played by Travolta and a terrorist (Cage). The two are enemies who end up taking on each other’s physical appearance.

Ron Galella Collection // Getty Images

– Star score: 462
– Top contributing films: The Sixth Sense, Armageddon, The Fifth Element
– #2 Star: Julia Roberts (- Star score: 434, – Top contributing films: Runaway Bride, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Notting Hill)
– #3 Star: Robin Williams (- Star score: 421, – Top contributing films: Good Will Hunting, Patch Adams, Flubber)

Bruce Willis starred in “The Sixth Sense,” helping propel him to the biggest box office star in 1990. But when it comes to romantic comedies, no one does it better than Julia Roberts, who starred in “Runaway Bride,” about a woman who can’t seem to make it down the aisle. She also starred in the quirky English film “Notting Hill” alongside Hugh Grant, as well as “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” which also featured Cameron Diaz.

David LEFRANC // Getty Images

– Star score: 518
– Top contributing films: The Sixth Sense, Armageddon, Unbreakable
– #2 Star: Tom Hanks (- Star score: 375, – Top contributing films: Cast Away, Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile)
– #3 Star: Julia Roberts (- Star score: 346, – Top contributing films: Runaway Bride, Erin Brockovich, Notting Hill)

Bruce Willis came in first again in 2000, followed by Tom Hanks whose role in action films boosted his earnings this year. “Saving Private Ryan,” which won five Oscars, follows the Normandy landings when a group of U.S. soldiers sets out to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action. Many critics called it one of the best war films ever made.

LUCY NICHOLSON // Getty Images

– Star score: 408
– Top contributing films: Runaway Bride, Erin Brockovich, Notting Hill
– #2 Star: Bruce Willis (- Star score: 370, – Top contributing films: The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, The Kid)
– #3 Star: Robert De Niro (- Star score: 317, – Top contributing films: Meet the Parents, Analyze This, The Score)

“Erin Brockovich” earned Julia Roberts her first Oscar for her role as a single mom and scrappy legal clerk who helps build a case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California in 1993. Robert De Niro also appeared as an overbearing father figure in “Meet the Parents.”

– Star score: 300
– Top contributing films: Pearl Harbor, The Sum of All Fears, Changing Lanes
– #2 Star: Ian McKellen (- Star score: 291, – Top contributing films: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, X-Men)
– #3 Star: Robert De Niro (- Star score: 286, – Top contributing films: Meet the Parents, The Score, Men of Honor)

Following his launch in “Good Will Hunting,” Ben Affleck took on big roles in “Pearl Harbor” and “The Sum of All Fears,” an American spy thriller based on Tom Clancy’s novel. Ben Affleck was actually on the set of “Pearl Harbor” when the role of Jack Ryan was offered to him.

Jon Kopaloff // Getty Images

– Star score: 392
– Top contributing films: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
– #2 Star: Ben Affleck (- Star score: 376, – Top contributing films: Pearl Harbor, The Sum of All Fears, Daredevil)
– #3 Star: Keanu Reeves (- Star score: 324, – Top contributing films: The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Something’s Gotta Give)

English actor Ian McKellen did well for his role in “The Lord of the Rings” films, as did Keanu Reeves for his role in the “Matrix” movies, in which he plays a computer hacker who uncovers the true nature of his reality. The film was incredibly popular and grossed around $464 million worldwide.

Lee Celano // Getty Images

– Star score: 351
– Top contributing films: The Polar Express, Catch Me if You Can, Road to Perdition
– #2 Star: Ben Stiller (- Star score: 328, – Top contributing films: Meet the Fockers, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Starsky & Hutch)
– #3 Star: Ian McKellen (- Star score: 293, – Top contributing films: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, X2)

Tom Hanks plays a seasoned FBI agent out to get Leonardo DiCaprio in the 1960s flick “Catch Me If You Can.” DiCaprio plays Frank Abagnale Jr., who forges millions of dollars’ worth of checks. Hanks also appeared in the animated film “The Polar Express,” based on the classic children’s book.

Kurt Vinion // Getty Images

– Star score: 347
– Top contributing films: The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Something’s Gotta Give
– #2 Star: Will Ferrell (- Star score: 336, – Top contributing films: Elf, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Old School)
– #3 Star: Orlando Bloom (- Star score: 329, – Top contributing films: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Troy)

Keanu Reeves’ success with the Matrix series catapulted him to top-billing in 2005. That year was also very good to Will Ferrell, who found success in a Christmas-themed flick as an elf who learns how to be human after leaving the North Pole. Jim Carrey was originally cast as Buddy in “Elf,” which also inspired a Broadway musical.

Jamie McCarthy // Getty Images

– Star score: 427
– Top contributing films: Meet the Fockers, Night at the Museum, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
– #2 Star: Matt Damon (- Star score: 345, – Top contributing films: The Bourne Supremacy, The Departed, Ocean’s Twelve)
– #3 Star: Vince Vaughn (- Star score: 335, – Top contributing films: Wedding Crashers, The Break-Up, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story)

Ben Stiller was enjoying banner success in 2006 from “Meet the Fockers,” “Dodgeball,” and “Night at the Museum.” Matt Damon had a breakout year with three popular films. In “The Departed,” he plays a cop who is secretly part of an Irish gang in South Boston. The film earned the Oscar for Best Picture.

Charley Gallay // Getty Images

– Star score: 343
– Top contributing films: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
– #2 Star: Matt Damon (- Star score: 335, – Top contributing films: The Bourne Ultimatum, The Departed, Ocean’s Thirteen)
– #3 Star: Will Ferrell (- Star score: 299, – Top contributing films: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Blades of Glory, Bewitched)

Johnny Depp’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” series did well, making him the biggest box office star this year. Depp stars as Captain Jack Sparrow, an eccentric pirate. His co-star Keira Knightley almost missed her audition because she got stuck in traffic.

Dan Kitwood // Getty Images

– Star score: 338
– Top contributing films: I Am Legend, Hancock, The Pursuit of Happyness
– #2 Star: Shia LaBeouf (- Star score: 336, – Top contributing films: Transformers, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Eagle Eye)
– #3 Star: Adam Sandler (- Star score: 315, – Top contributing films: Click, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Bedtime Stories)

“Welcome to Earth. Population one.” So goes the tagline for “I Am Legend,” which stars Will Smith as the sole survivor of a plague that kills most of humanity, desperate to find a cure. Smith also starred in “The Pursuit of Happyness,” for which he received an Oscar nomination.

Han Myung-Gu // Getty Images

– Star score: 435
– Top contributing films: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Transformers, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
– #2 Star: Gerard Butler (- Star score: 307, – Top contributing films: 300, The Ugly Truth, Law Abiding Citizen)
– #3 Star: Robert Downey, Jr. (- Star score: 300, – Top contributing films: Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes, Tropic Thunder)

Shia LeBeouf burst onto the scene with his roles in the “Transformers” franchise and the return of the Indiana Jones franchise. Gerard Butler made the list this year for a number of different roles, including “300,” where he endured six-hour workouts to get in shape for the role. He also happened to break a couple of bones in his neck while filming. Butler stars as King Leonidas of Sparta, who leads the battle against the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C.

Jon Kopaloff // Getty Images

– Star score: 449
– Top contributing films: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Sherlock Holmes
– #2 Star: Taylor Lautner (- Star score: 365, – Top contributing films: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Twilight)
– #3 Star: Jeff Bridges (- Star score: 316, – Top contributing films: Iron Man, Tron: Legacy, True Grit)

The “Iron Man” and “Twilight” series boosted the box office star status of Robert Downey Jr. and Taylor Lautner, respectively. Jeff Bridges also made the list for “Iron Man” and his role in “Tron,” playing a man who designs a corrupted digital world.

Juan Naharro Gimenez // Getty Images

– Star score: 470
– Top contributing films: The Hangover, The Hangover Part II, Valentine’s Day
– #2 Star: Taylor Lautner (- Star score: 369, – Top contributing films: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1)
– #3 Star: Robert Downey, Jr. (- Star score: 364, – Top contributing films: Iron Man 2, Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows)

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. That’s where Bradley Cooper goes for his bachelor party in “The Hangover,” but unfortunately he can’t remember anything when he and his crew wake up missing one friend. The film won a Golden Globe for Best Comedy.

Lester Cohen // Getty Images

– Star score: 374
– Top contributing films: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1
– #2 Star: Bradley Cooper (- Star score: 369, – Top contributing films: The Hangover Part II, Silver Linings Playbook, Valentine’s Day)
– #3 Star: Taylor Lautner (- Star score: 367, – Top contributing films: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1)

The “Twilight” movies shot Kristen Stewart to fame and made her a big box office star this year. In “Eclipse,” Seattle is gripped by a string of mysterious killings, and Bella must choose between vampire Edward and werewolf Jacob. The “Twilight” films took in a collective $3.3 billion at the box office collectively.

Vittorio Zunino Celotto // Getty Images

– Star score: 454
– Top contributing films: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games, American Hustle
– #2 Star: Chris Hemsworth (- Star score: 421, – Top contributing films: The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Thor)
– #3 Star: Dwayne Johnson (- Star score: 392, – Top contributing films: Fast and Furious 6, Fast Five, G.I. Joe: Retaliation)

Jennifer Lawrence saw her star status rise with “The Hunger Games” series. She was also nominated for an Oscar for her role as the loose cannon wife of Christian Bale in “American Hustle.” The film was nominated for 10 total Oscars.

Kevork Djansezian // Getty Images

– Star score: 561
– Top contributing films: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
– #2 Star: Channing Tatum (- Star score: 460, – Top contributing films: 22 Jump Street, 21 Jump Street, The Vow)
– #3 Star: Dwayne Johnson (- Star score: 352, – Top contributing films: Fast and Furious 6, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island)

Runner-up to Jennifer Lawrence in 2014 was Channing Tatum, who starred in the action-comedy films “21 Jump Street” and “22 Jump Street,” about a pair of underachieving cops. Tatum acts alongside Jonah Hill in the films, which were a reboot of the ’80s TV series.

Juan Naharro Gimenez // Getty Images

– Star score: 518
– Top contributing films: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2
– #2 Star: Dwayne Johnson (- Star score: 362, – Top contributing films: Fast and Furious 6, San Andreas, G.I. Joe: Retaliation)
– #3 Star: Melissa McCarthy (- Star score: 330, – Top contributing films: The Heat, Identity Thief, Spy!)

Jennifer Lawrence led again for her role in the “Hunger Games” franchise. Melissa McCarthy earned her fame with stints on “Saturday Night Live” and in the film “Bridesmaids.” She did well this year partly because of her role in “The Heat.” In the film, Sandra Bullock plays an uptight FBI agent, while McCarthy lets her comedy chops fly playing a Boston cop as the two set out to bust a drug lord.

Steve Granitz // Getty Images

– Star score: 489
– Top contributing films: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past
– #2 Star: Kevin Hart (- Star score: 437, – Top contributing films: Ride Along, Central Intelligence, Ride Along 2)
– #3 Star: Samuel L. Jackson (- Star score: 384, – Top contributing films: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Kingsman: The Secret Service)

Jennifer Lawrence continued to dominate thanks to starring in the “Hunger Games” franchise and the “X-Men” franchise. Meanwhile the “Avengers” and “Captain America” films boosted Samuel L. Jackson’s rankings in 2016. Jackson, who has an instantly recognizable deep, authoritative voice, has appeared in more than 100 films over the course of his career.

Jason LaVeris // Getty Images

– Star score: 428
– Top contributing films: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Kong: Skull Island, Kingsman: The Secret Service
– #2 Star: Dwayne Johnson (- Star score: 399, – Top contributing films: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, The Fate of the Furious, San Andreas)
– #3 Star: Kevin Hart (- Star score: 368, – Top contributing films: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Central Intelligence, Ride Along 2)

Samuel L. Jackson’s enduring career catapulted him to the #1 star of the box office in 2017. Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson solidified their box office star status with roles in “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” The film had a stunning backdrop, as a good portion was filmed in Hawaii.

Samir Hussein // Getty Images

– Star score: 478
– Top contributing films: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, The Fate of the Furious, Central Intelligence
– #2 Star: Chris Pratt (- Star score: 432, – Top contributing films: Avengers: Infinity War, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2)
– #3 Star: Chris Hemsworth (- Star score: 371, – Top contributing films: Avengers: Infinity War, Thor: Ragnarok, Ghostbusters)

Dwayne Johnson took top spot for his roles in movies as varied as “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and “Central Intelligence.” Meanwhile, “Jurassic World” spelled success for Chris Pratt, who starred in both films. In the “Jurassic” movie, a reboot of the ’90s film, Pratt’s character is tasked with rescuing dinosaurs from the island after its dormant volcano erupts. The film made more than $1 billion at the box office.

Sean Zanni // Getty Images

– Star score: 544
– Top contributing films: Jumanji: The Next Level, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
– #2 Star: Samuel L. Jackson (- Star score: 432, – Top contributing films: Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, Glass)
– #3 Star: Karen Gillan (- Star score: 483, – Top contributing films: Avengers: Endgame, Jumanji: The Next Level)

Dwayne Johnson is the highest-paid actor in the world, with his movie credits earning him $89.4 million before taxes between June 1, 2018, and June 1, 2019, according to Forbes. He’s on track to have four movies released in 2021.

Jacopo Raule // Getty Images

– Star score: 367
– Top contributing films: Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man: Far From Home
– #2 Star: Josh Brolin (- Star score: 338, – Top contributing films: Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War)
– #3 Star: Chadwick Boseman (- Star score: 316, – Top contributing films: Avengers: Endgame, 21 Bridges)

Samuel L. Jackson soared again to the top of the box office in 2020 with his roles in a variety of Marvel films. Josh Brolin and Chadwick Boseman’s runner-up rankings were also owed to Marvel blockbusters.

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