Top 10 Most Successful Actors at the Box Office


A good movie will transport you into a separate time or era with an intriguing story, everlasting characters, and imaginative plot development.  It could have a happy, sad, romantic, or action packed theme.  As a whole, the world population adores the character actors who star in these stories.  People can personally relate to certain movie characters and individual actors.  In the history of cinema, billions of dollars has been grossed in movie theatres and rental stores worldwide.  Certain actors have made their mark on the industry becoming the most successful at the box office.  I have compiled a list of the most successful actors in world history, according to money made on films they have starred in.

10. Robin Williams

U.S. Gross – $3,177,675,199
Worldwide Gross – $5,749,935,745


Robin Williams is a storied comedic actor who rose to fame with his role as the alien Mork in the TV series Mork and Mindy.  He quickly became an international celebrity and movie star in the 1980’s.  Williams is a bit of a goofy character, but is a great actor and can also tackle dramatic roles.  He has won six Golden Globes and three Grammy Awards in his career.  Robin William’s average film gross is $59,956,136 million dollars per movie.  Be sure to look out for his 2010 release Old Dogs.  In March of 2009 Williams had successful heart surgery to replace his aortic valve.  He has a tour planned and still travels the world performing his stand up comedy act.

Most Successful Films:

  1. Night at the Museum – $574,480,841
  2. Aladdin – $504,050,219
  3. Mrs. Doubtfire – $441,286,195
  4. Happy Feet – $385,000,317

9. Will Smith

U.S. Gross – $2,542,908,988
Worldwide Gross – $5,771,022,176


Will Smith is widely regarded as the most successful actor making films today.  His movies have an amazing average gross of $127,145,449 million dollars, which is the highest among lead actors.  He is the only actor in history to have eight consecutive films gross over $100 million in domestic box office sales.  Will Smith has also had eight consecutive films open at the #1 spot.  Unlike some individuals on this list, Smith has not earned movie credit for small roles or voice work.  In the future, he will be starring in the blockbuster Time Share and will also be making a prequel to I Am Legend.

Most Successful Films:

  1. Independence Day – $817,400,878
  2. Hancock – $624,346,274
  3. Men in Black – $587,790,539
  4. I Am Legend – $585,055,701

8. Morgan Freeman

U.S. Gross – $3,138,301,600
Worldwide Gross – $5,851,042,996


Morgan Freeman is one of the greatest character actors of all time.  He is rarely the leading man in films, but his role always stands out and is vital to the movies success.  He has one of the most dominant and recognizable voices in Hollywood.  He has starred in around sixty productions, which have an average gross of $64,046,971 million dollars.  Freeman has many upcoming films he is contributing to, including Invictus, The Last Full Measure, and The Maiden Heist.

Most Successful Films:

  1. The Dark Knight – $1,000,245,358
  2. The War of the Worlds (Narrator) – $591,745,532
  3. Bruce Almighty – $485,004,995
  4. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves – $390,500,000

7. Eddie Murphy

U.S. Gross – $3,470,799,901
Worldwide Gross – $6,211,397,821


Eddie Murphy is undoubtedly the most successful comedic actor of all time.  His films have an average gross of $99,165,711 million dollars.  Eddie Murphy began his career as an edgy comedian and performance actor.  Lately, he has turned to children’s films and continues to entertain billions of people worldwide.  Murphy has three films set to be released in the last half of 2009.  They are Beverly Hills Cop IV, The Incredible Shrinking Man, and A Thousand Words.  Shrek Forever After will be out in the middle of 2010.

Most Successful Films:

  1. Shrek 2 – $919,838,758
  2. Shrek the Third – $798,958,162
  3. Beverly Hills Cop – $316,300,000
  4. Coming to America – $288,800,000

6. Bruce Willis

U.S. Gross – $3,045,317,743
Worldwide Gross – $ 6,432,992,990


Bruce Willis is a true action hero.  He has appeared in over sixty films and usually plays the title role in his movies.  Bruce Willis was born in Idar-Oberstein, West Germany and his father was an American soldier.  He moved to Penns Grove, New Jersey when he was two years old, after his father was discharged from the military.  To date, his films have an average gross of $51,615,555 million dollars per movie.  He truly has a unique acting style and makes intense, edge of your seat, entertaining cinema.  Watch out for his role alongside Tracy Morgan in Kevin Smith’s newest comedy A Couple of Dicks, which will be out in January of 2010.

Most Successful Films:

  1. The Sixth Sense – $672,806,292
  2. Armageddon – $554,600,000
  3. Live Free or Die Hard – $383,531,464
  4. Over the Hedge- $336,002,981

5. Tom Cruise

U.S. Gross – $3,274,294,878
Worldwide Gross – $6,642,337,497


Tom Cruise is a true international celebrity.  He is cherished in Japan, Europe, and other areas of the world much more then many actors on the list.  This is because he often travels and visits many different countries.  Cruise is widely considered one of the most powerful celebrities in the world.  His films have an average gross of $96,302,791 million dollars.  He will be starring in the blockbuster Motorcade in 2010.

Most Successful Films:

  1. The War of the Worlds – $591,745,532
  2. Mission Impossible 2 – $546,209,889
  3. The Last Samurai – $456,810,575
  4. Rain Man – $412,800,000

4. Orlando Bloom

U.S. Gross – $2,390,308,637
Worldwide Gross – $6,554,217,251


Orlando Bloom is an English actor and the youngest member of this prestigious group of men.  He landed main roles in two of the biggest trilogies of all time, playing Legolas in The Lord of the Rings and Will Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean.  Orlando Bloom has an amazing average film gross of $183,869,895 million dollars per movie.  Bloom’s first main title role was in the 2005 release Kingdom of Heaven, which was a profitable hit making $211,398,413 million dollars worldwide.  Orlando Bloom is extremely popular in various areas of Europe and England.  He has an international draw that is matched by very few.  Some of his upcoming roles include appearances in the movies Sympathy for Delicious and Main Street.

Most Successful Films:

  1. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King – $1,133,027,325
  2. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – $1,065,659,812
  3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – $926,284,377
  4. Troy – $497,398,577

3. Harrison Ford

U.S. Gross – $3,630,449,689
Worldwide Gross – $6,657,454,464


In the past, Harrison Ford was highest grossing actor in the world, but has recently fallen to number three.  You have to keep in mind that Ford was popular during the 1970’s and 80’s when box-office sales were not as extravagant.  This article does not measure inflation scales.  A high majority of the most financially successful films in history have come in the last twenty years.  At one point in history, each of the top five box office hits of all time included one of Harrison Ford’s roles.  His films have an average gross of $98,120,262 million dollars.  Ford will be starring in the film Crowley, which will be out at the end of the year.

Most Successful Films:

  1. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope – $797,900,000
  2. Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – $786,558,765
  3. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back – $534,171,960
  4. The Fugitive – $368,900,000

2. Tom Hanks

U.S. Gross – $3,985,186,565
World Gross – $8,007,367,700


Tom Hanks is the most successful lead actor in cinema history with his films grossing over $8 billion dollars worldwide.  He is averaging a gross of $94,885,394 million dollars per film.  Tom Hanks has starred in over 50 movies and 19 of them made over $100 million dollars at the worldwide box office.  Although, he does have the animated features Cars and The Simpson Movie on his resume, which he only had minor voice roles in.  In 2010, Hanks will be starring in Disney’s A Christmas Carol and Toy Story 3.

Most Successful Films:

  1. The Da Vinci Code – $757,236,138
  2. Forrest Gump – $679,400,525
  3. Saving Private Ryan – $481,635,085
  4. Cast Away – $427,230,516

1. Samuel L Jackson

U.S. Gross – $4,458,983,764
Worldwide Gross – $8,640,150,950


Samuel L Jackson is the world’s highest grossing actor and his movies have made over $8.5 billion dollars worldwide.  Samuel is different from many actors on this list and has played smaller character roles in many blockbuster films.  You may argue that he doesn’t deserve the top spot over leading actors who have appeared in fewer films.  Although, Samuel L Jackson has been the busiest man in Hollywood for the last twenty years and should be commemorated for appearing in so many famous motion pictures, over 70 productions in all.  Movies that he has appeared in have an average gross of $57,166,459 million dollars.  As you would expect, Samuel L Jackson will be appearing in some upcoming features, including Iron Man 2, Quantum Quest: Cassini Space Odyssey, and Blown.  He is well aware of his sales record and is continuously trying to land roles in the year’s biggest blockbuster hits.

Most Successful Films:

  1. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace – $924,288,297
  2. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – $848,998,877
  3. The Incredibles – $635,564,642
  4. Iron Man – $582,313,199

Honorable Mentions:

Frank Welker

U.S. Gross – $4,954,899,301
Worldwide Gross – $9,282,114,860

Frank Welker is the most famous voice actor in Hollywood.  Over the last 40 years he has provided voice work and special effects for over seventy films and television series.  I have added him as an honorable mention because he is not a screen actor, but Frank is listed as number one on the list of the All Time Top 100 Stars at the Box Office, which is generated by total revenue in films he participated in.  The average gross for a film that Frank Welker was involved with is $55,054,437.

Most Successful Films

  1. Independence Day (Vocal Effects) – $817,400,878
  2. The Lion King (Additional Voice) – $783,839,505
  3. Aladdin (Abu the Monkey) – $504,050,219
  4. Beauty and the Beast (Footstool) – $403,476,931

Can’t Forget the Ensemble Actors:

When creating this list, one of the criteria was that the actor played a leading role in a portion of their featured films.  There is a small list of actors who are not officially leading men, but have starred in some of the biggest grossing movies in history.  Many of these men contributed to the widely successful Harry Potter series, but in order to get to the level of multi-billion dollars sales, an actor must have numerous popular roles.  Here is a short list of some of the actors that deserve recognition.

John Ratzenberger

Worldwide Sales – $6,475,185,574
Notable Voice Actor – Ratatouille, Cars, WALL-E, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, and Monsters, Inc, also Cliff Clavin on Cheers.

Alan Rickman

Worldwide Sales – $5,974,545,031
Notable Films – Harry Potter Series, Robin Hood, Die Hard

James Earl Jones

Worldwide Sales – $5,952,493,986
Notable Films – Voice of Darth Vader, The Lion King, Coming to America

Ian McKellen

Worldwide Gross – $5,862,463,679
Notable Films – Lord of the Rings Series, Da Vinci Code, X-Men

Gary Oldman

Worldwide Sales – $5,761,120,790
Notable Films – Harry Potter Series, The Dark Knight, Hannibal

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  1. Most of actor in this lost are not mainstream actor ,,,actor who h’s small role on the movie and appear in successful movies were mentisoned lol beside fewofem….

    • Lol sharukh khan he is not that big to mentioned in this list wakeup son there is no compare hollyhood and bollyhoodimentioned where is johny deep 8.5 billion worldwide gross

  2. Does anyone know if there is a list of biggest actors of all time? This list is just another pointless (who’s the latest) list. I want to know what actor has sold the most tickets not who was popular in the last few years. I know that Samuel Jackson has made more that Clark Gable did but how about answering what actor is ACTUALLY the biggest of all time and not the biggest in 2015?

  3. its a bummer cause I taught u people showed most successful acactors in da world BT it’s only Ab Hollywood weres Bollywood or China film industry or other top film industries

  4. SAmuel L. Jackson on

    People, people, this is sooooooooo embarrassing. My agent compiled this list. Even I know the #1 box office star of all time on a worldwide basis is Clint Eastwood.

  5. prashiddha sharma on

    this is a suckass list.
    johnny depp is the highest grossing actor with >$8 billion gross worldwide and he’s not even in the list. his POTC franchise alone has grossed over $3.7billions and 5th installment is set in 2016 winter. plus Alice in Wonderland grossed over $1.05 billions and 2nd installment is set in 2016 summer. charlie and the chocolate factory with over $400 millions, dark shadows over $300m, sleepy hollow, the tourist, the lone ranger and rango over $200m each. i’ve not yet talked about his other moderately successful grosses plus his movies before 1999. if u only sum up the grosses i’ve mentioned above, it becomes more than $7 billions. so dont be confused or misled by this suckass list, johnny depp is the highest grossing actors of all time and he will continue to be, with his blockbusters coming…

  6. Are you kidding me with Samuel L Jackson getting credit for being in Iron Man?!
    He was in it at the end of the credits for like 1.5 minutes. That’s not what I would call a successful role.

  7. This is very surprising news. Noah’s Ark in the Old Testament, about 4,500 years ago, has been found in Turkey Ararat updated 4000 meters above sea level, the mountain glaciers.

  8. The hell with the dollar numbers. What I want to hear is who everone thinks is the greatest actor of all time.

  9. I’m suprised that noone has even mentioned Michael Caine. He has almost as many movie credits under his belt as John Wayne and is still going strong. Also what about some of the great Japanese actors? Many of them have been in hundreds of classic war movies as wall as Japanese movies. Then of course there are a multitude of chinese actors who have sold millions of tickets. My point is that even though the United States puts out the big blockbusters there are brillant actors all over the world who may not get the recognition,but are just as good and just as popular; have put in just as much work as these big names you guys keep talking about. Chances are that the actual holder of most on screen apperances in a movie is someone whose name you can’t even pronounce,

  10. not sure about this list. the list should only count if you are the leading man or the most important supporting actor. bruce willis and samuel l jackson never heard of the word no. they just do any movie. i don’t think they even read the script. love willis but he’s living of his legacy.

  11. 1) being a voice in a movie doesn’t count
    2) if you aren’t the lead or minimum main supporting cast in the movie it doesn’t count

    Eddie Murphy off the list, Jackson off the list (star wars? Not even 3rd or 4th supporting. Incredibles? What 3rd supporting voice? Ironman …. So what’s the minimum? 5 minutes screen time. Oh wait I see….Narrator! What else was on his list. avengers? Wait where are the song writers, grips, camera men. And you compare this to an actor who carried a film with a volleyball as his supporting actor.

    This is stupid. Comparing apples, oranges, to cartoon characters, to voice overs.

  12. oh, and I lloked it up, and Johnny Depp is worth way more than sharukh kahn. Depp has earned over $200 million from just Pirates.. already, and is reportedly being paid up to $100 million for the fifth installment. and once The Hobbit movies are all out, Hugo Weaving will most likely destroy everyone else on this list.

  13. SHAHRUKH KHAN,the biggest,and the most popular actor having billions of fan followers is missing here,,,

  14. everybody seems to miss out Hugo Weaving. he has a grand total of $7.75 billion, from all 3 installments in the Matrix, Lord Of The Rings & Transformers trilogies, Captain America, and V For Vendetta. plus he has all 3 Hobbit films coming up

  15. Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Sam Worthington are already in the TRILLIONS. This article needs to consult box office mojo.

  16. Shahrukh Khan is bigger, richer and more popular than any name on that list. He has made over 50 blockbuster movies and has a fan following in billions. The man is simply a phenomenon!

  17. where is shahrukh khan..he is one of the best actors in the world with a huge amount of fan following

  18. I find it interesting that 4 of the top 10, including #1 are black. It used to be thought that many Americans were prejudice against blacks. Thank God that’s no longer the case, and thank God people can no longer say that American’s are prejudice with any sort of accuracy.

  19. It’s not about popular movies or how many you are in, it’s about acting. Congratulations to Samuel.

    • No. It’s about the amount of money the movies made that the actors were in. Samuel has been in several top grossing movies including the Star Wars movies, Pulp Fiction and the Incredibles. It’s not about acting ability it’s about being in big selling movies. Although, I think Samuel is also a great actor.

  20. This list is ridiculous. Where is Nicolas Cage?. He has been one the most successful actors over time. And Samuel Jackson……….this is insane. I believe inflation should have been taken into account when gross earnings are taken to reflect truly into how much real earnings were taken in

  21. All Time Super Heroes….

    1. Tom Hanks and Anthony Hopkins

    2. Al Pacino and Marlon Brando

    3. Denzel Washington and Robert Pattinson

    4. Robert Di Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio

    5. Daniel Radcliffe and Tobey Maguire

    6. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law

    7. Jhonney Depp and Orlando Bloom

    8. Keanu Reeves and Jim Carry

    9. Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson

    10. Harrison Ford and Russel Crowe

  22. The problem here is the title of the list. It is misleading. This is not a list of the most successful actors at the box office. If so, it is akin to ranking the most successful caterer as the one whose movies catered grossed the most money at the box office. That certainly would not equate to the caterer being the most successful caterer in the movie industry. Rather, the caterer merely worked on the set. No one went to these movies because Samuel L. Jackson was in them. He is most always a supporting actor in the vast majority of his films and in many of his over 70 films his part was even less substantial. Quite simply, if you would change the title of the list to reflect what it really denotes, which is: What actor’s film portfolio has grossed the highest revenue to date? Because that is much more accurate. Though voice-over actors are actors too! Good try though and thanks!

  23. Interesting list, but it seems to me the actor should be in the movie for more than a cameo. Morgan Freeman is a significant character in almost all of his movies. Jackson is significant in quite a few, but as others have mentioned, in Iron Man, he’s on screen for less than two minutes.

    Of course, the person who SHOULD be listed as the top box office king using these criteria, for US and European films is Sheb Wooley. He did the Wilhelm scream in 1951, which has been used in all the Lucas and Spielberg movies:

  24. where is shahrukh khan name i have seen his movies a lot he is great and popular all around the world

  25. where is shahrukh khan in the top listedâ?¦ he is one of the best movie star in world.. great actor forever and Shahrukh Khan is most popular in the world.

      • Sorry, this seems only like an America-Wide. Otherwise, after adjusting for Net Worth, Shahrukh Khan should be right at the top as his net worth is higher than any of these Hollywood stars.

  26. where is Johney Depp…???..he is a real talented ruler in film industry….his name should be there instead of that Samuel L Jackson….

  27. This list is absolute nonsense…. “one of the criteria was that the actor played a leading role in a portion of their featured films” – why have this criteria? I can understand the asian industry being omitted as the films do not reach a worldwide audience nor qualify for Oscars unless played in LA but Gandalf, Magneto, Legolas, Will Turner, Dracula, Sirius Black, Jim Gordon are pretty fundamental characters in movie history as those actors should be considered. Especially if Jackson is going to get included for Invisibles, Kill Bill, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, etc. Jesus even Star Wars character was hardly on screen.

    It clearly shows McKellen, Rickman, etc having been in films that grossed major – some of whom were higher than Oldman, Williams and Smith.

    It seems to me the criteria has been put together to ensure it is full of Hollywood based pretty boys.

    Pointless and meaningless article.

    And breathe…

  28. Harrison Ford is the real blockbuster king inflation or not…he’s the lead actor in his movies…he’s not busy doing movies but if he made one it gross millions. thats a mark of true blockbuster star. Samuel Jackson doesnt really choose his films or characters…he just accept roles to said that he is the highest grossing hollywood actor…character that very forgetable and silly

  29. If the dollars were adjusted for inflation I’d have to think that Richard Dreyfus would be near the top.

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind
    American Graffiti
    Mr. Holland’s Opus
    The Goodbye Girl
    Another Stakeout
    The Graduate
    Down and Out in Beverly Hills
    What About Bob?
    etc, etc,

  30. Of course,d list is old..remember we are in 2011..d list should simply be(1)Robert denilro(2)Arnold Schwazzeneger(3)Nicolas Cage(4)Johnny Depp and (5)Leonardo Dicaprio

  31. Frank Welker should be #1, it says actor, he is an actor and acted in these movies. If you are going to list voice Tom Hanks or Samuel Jackson’s voice movies you have to list him which means he is #1.

    Oh and another thing is this list is not counting for inflation (ticket prices).

  32. Johnny Depp


    He has Pirates 4 coming up as well, so that’s another 750 million-1 billion.

    Basically your list should be.

    1. Samuel L.
    2. Hugo Weaving
    3. Johnny Depp.

    • Get real pal. Stupid low quality actors like Sahruk (however you spell it) should never even be mentioned in any Top 1000 actor list.

      • i think firstly you have to watch the list of worlds largest fan following actors……………after tis your doggish mind washed out……..

      • “however you spell it” can you not read? You obviously ignored it on purpose and pretended like you didnt know how to spell it.

        You are obviously ignorant and stupid if you don’t realise SRK’s fame and skills

  33. How has noone mentioned that John Ratzenberger is also in The Empire Strikes Back? There’s another $500M right there…

  34. This is a pretty good list, but it seems like the newer movies have skewed the ratings. I wish there was a list that adjusted for inflation. I think then People like Harrison Ford would be higher up.

    Also one that included international stars like Shahrukh Khan or Jackie Chan would be nice.

  35. Hey where is Johnny depp????? Pirates of the Caribbean all 3 and Alice in wonderland…. there it self you’ve got close to 4bn..

  36. Raul Fernandez on

    Betty Grable is the only female star to appear in the Top Ten Boxoffice Stars for 10 years in a row.

  37. ArnoldSideways on

    I always thought the highest grossing actor was Christopher Lee. Considering he was in both the Star Wars prequels and the Lord of the Rings films:

    The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King – $1,133,027,325
    The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – $926,284,377
    Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace – $924,288,297
    Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – $848,998,877

    Making his top four higher than the top 4 of any of the other actors here.

  38. I too am surprised that Dicaprio is not listed, or mentioned by other commentators until the end of the comments. He ruled in 2010… Forbes agrees. The list is incredibly flawed to begin with. Any reputable list, always considers inflation as it puts things in the proper perspective. It should also be leading roles and not just cameo’s. Jackson would surely disappear. In fact, I cant think of a film in which Jackson was the leading role….Snakes on a plane…that’s all I can think of. Brilliant role, but purely pseudo-satire.

  39. Ok i just read all these comments and i agree with most of what ppl are saying. How can we rank Samuel L Jackson as #1?!?!??!?! I get he has been in a lot of movies which have done well.. but you cant rely that on HIM being in the movie that ppl went to see it. I didnt even know he was in Iron Man! He is just lucky because he had such little parts in these movies and that is why is on the list.

    Where is Robert Dinero, Al Pacino? and best of all where is Leonardo Dicapiro!??!?!!!!! Titianc is the HIGHEST selling movie of ALL TIME and just yesterday I was watching Entertainment tonight and I seen that in 2010 Leonardo Dicapiro made 104 BILLION dollars for his movies – Inception and Shutter Island- so clearly this website is old n even if it wasnt old its still not accurte to me because being in a movie for 2 seconds shouldnt have and actor on this website.

    • hahahahaha LOL 104 billion
      c’mon kiddo make some sense do u even know how many zeros there are in 104 billion
      most successful ever movie is avatar and it made 2.78 billion dollar
      that must be 104 MILLION dollar or maybe u talking in Zimbabwean currency LoL

  40. Lasik Laser Eye Surgery · on

    you can say that morgan freeman is one of the most versatile actors that we have today `

  41. Where the hell is Johnny Depp or Daniel Radcliffe; this list is baseless and arm flapping guesses

  42. Sam Jackson is utterly ridiculous as No 1….for the simple reason that a hell of a lot of "his" movies just arent "his" movies. Orlando Bloom appearing at No 5 is also a joke although naturally i understand why….the answer is simple. Actor in a LEADING role only should be the criteria, Mr Jackson and Bloom would disappear off this list in a nano second.

    • Bloom has the lead in Pirates. Will Turner IS the LEADING role. Balian is the LEADING role in Kingdom of Heaven. Bloom’s Legolas inspired to create more than 320 thousands websites all over the world. Most of the people who visited those sites paid for the tickets and DVDs. Do the math.

      Depp was considered as a Box Office poison for years BEFORE he got lucky with Pirates. And he was in the same movie with Bloom (Duh!) who already had his HUGE fanabse as Legolas. Depp is helpless without Bloom in On Stranger Tides. The movie got the big BO thanks to the previous popularity of the franchise and because of the big team work of the cast (Bloom, Rush, Nighy, Knightly, Davenport, Depp, etc.) and the crew. On his own Depp is not interesting. He failed the Tourist, The Rum Diary. The Public Enemies was the failure in Domestic and it didn’t drown totally only thanks to the International BO. Alice would be having the big BO with or without Depp. Aside of the fact that he played “Sparrow” instead of the Mad Hatter in it. Only with the different makeup. He can’t carry the movie on his own. He is overlyexposed in mass media. It doesn’t mean that he is a better actor than any on the offered list on all accounts, BO included.

      • What have you been smoking to seriously consider Bloom a more popular actor than Depp?

        The word-of-mouth of the first Pirates movie was “OMG. Check it out – Jack Sparrow (Depp) is so funny.” Nobody watched “Pirates” because of Bloom (you’re obviously a fan so you don’t understand) but because of Depp. When most people think of those movies, Jack Sparrow appears in their heads. Besides, the whole franchise is based on Jack Sparrow.

        And who is Legolas without Elijah Wood or Viggo Mortensen? I honestly forgot an actor like Bloom existed. He’s a teen idol and has NO hits besides LOTR and Pirates.

        Depp on the other hand has FOUR Pirates movies, Alice In Wonderland (promoted with his face, so half the audience went because of his name) which all made over 1 billion and were promoted with Depp’s name. So he’s a bigger bankable star than any Bloom could ever be.Do you seriously think they would make another Pirates movie WITHOUT Jack Sparrow?

  43. … Where the hell is Sly Stallone!!??? Hey everybody, Rocky-Rambo… Are we living on the same planet???

  44. i am jack's smi on

    will smith does have credit as a voice actor.

    shark tale with jack black & angelina jolie .

    and i'm pretty sure that movie made some bank.

  45. Johnny Depp should be in here instead of Will Smith. His US gross is 2.6 billion and worldwide's 5.7 billion. Well, this was long ago…

  46. According to me the world's most successful actor is him,SHAH RUKH KHAN,the great.Just see the films he acted like ddlj,om shanti om etc,etc. we love you srk.

      • um what do you mean his films arent a hit worldiwide
        numbers wise his films have a bigger audience of 3 billions people in asia, the usa, the uk the rest of europe his films are more international

        and have an audience at least 3 times if not more – larger than any hollywood actor…..

        • the combined gross of his 70 movies is below 300 million $ (u can check it on wikipedia) and FYI more gross means more people come to see the movie and also johnny depp is highest grossing actor in history considering him in the leading role ,total gross of his movie exceeds 8 billion $ worldwide

  47. Im sorry but this is a farce. Where is Daniel Ratcliffe ? , surely you must consider the lead character in Harry Potter films to be considered (after all you included Samuel Jacksons 5 sec iron man apperance) and these have grossed over $7bil and counting

    • Because, as the author of this article defends Samuel L. Jackson, he says no to Frank Welker because he didn’t actually star in a film. He was the voice-over, and he is not a star, maybe because he is some little white guy.. I don’t know.

      I do know that this list is flawed from top to bottom leaving the most obvious #1 ranking Frank Welker out.

  48. People people

    Number 1 ROBERT DE NIRO


    Number 3(why not someone from comedy,they are really good) JIM CARREY

    Your list are good,but my is better 🙂 🙂 🙂


  49. where is john cusack? he’s very famous……he almost have over 100 movies and all of them are grerat!!!!!!!!!!

  50. where is universal superstar ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER and where is john travolta, etc.,

    This is absolutely fake….

  51. I also think it's interesting that if you did this list for the women, Emma Watson would beat out Glenn Close, Meryll Streep and Julia Roberts

  52. What about Robbie Coltrane? Between all the Harry Potter movies, Desperaux, 2 Bond movies, Ocean's Twelve, Van Helsing, From Hell, etc, he is clocking in at 7.1B. Definitely should be on the honorable mention list

  53. Nice list, but I was dissapointed in seeing the great Tom Hanks beaten by Sam Jackson.

    Besides, why didn't you count The Simpsons or Cars? You counted Iron Man, and Sam only appeared for 10 seconds, at the most. If you counted that, surely Tom's other work should also be recognized….

  54. This is, by far, one of the dumbest rankings I have ever seen. I can't believe you are all making a big deal of this. Ranking the success of actors based solely upon the box office success of the movies in which they acted, regardless, for the most part, of their involvement in the movies, is absolutely ridiculous. First, each actor cannot necessarily take full credit for the total gross of each of his/her movies. As has been pointed out, Samuel L. Jackson's roles in many, if not most, of his movies are supporting roles. Did people flock to the box office to buy a ticket to see Iron Man or the Star Wars films because Samuel L. Jackson was playing a secondary role in it? I think not. Second, as has also been pointed out, this list obviously favors more recent actors because of ticket price inflation. So, according to this absurd list, earlier actors such as Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn or Jimmy Stewart are not successful, despite their long careers, hundreds of movies and critical acclaim. See the stupidity?

  55. What about Hugo Weaving? Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Matrix Trilogy, V for Vendetta, Transformers 1 & 2 (voice of Megatron).

  56. Unfortunately, more recent actors are going to have better dollars because of inflation. I would like to see a more fair number such as ticket sales. Those numbers would be inflated as much.

    • That’s not a bad idea, but you’re forgetting the rise in internet piracy which has affected ticket sales. It seems like it’s impossible to create a truly sterile criterion to base this list on.

  57. Good call, Hackman is one of the busiest actors in Hollywood, but surprisingly he has not been in too many multi-million dollar blockbusters. Overall his films have earned a worldwide gross of $3,051,416,816 billion dollars. His top grossing movies are Superman ($300,200,000), The Firm ($270,340,892), and Enemy of the State ($250,649,836).

  58. I expected to see Gene Hackman in here somewhere… I would consider him the busiest actor in movies history…

  59. Roberto Ilutor on

    No. I c what you mean. But I don't know if you guys should really consider cameos, because thats pretty much all it is. But it's all good.

  60. Well these people have made a lot of impact in the entertainment sector i think they should be honored for this

  61. If you look in the Guinness Book of World Records under, Actor who has made the most money at the Box Office, you will see Samuel L Jackson. Many actors on this list landed small roles in blockbusters, such as Samuel L in Iron Man, although he will be in Iron Man 2 more. Tom Hanks is credited for small voice roles in The Simpson movie and Cars, which combined to gross $1 billion worldwide. Even without Iron Man on Samuel's resume he still dominates other actors on this list. I determined Samuel a leading actor and could not leave him off the list.

  62. Roberto Ilutor on

    This is ridiculous. Samuel Jackson's role in Iron Man is minimal. You guys should get your act together. I'm really disappointed in your site.

      • While making a list of “Honorable Mentions,” put Jackson there. He does NOT deserve to have $500 million on his account for a role that MUCH MUCH MUCH smaller than Gary Oldman’s in “Harry Potter.”

        Besides, no one goes to see a movie just because Samuel L. Jackson is in it, which you can say about Cruise, Hanks and Ford.

  63. Denzel has not been part of a hugely successful movie franchises or animated features. As you probably noticed most of the actors on this list have starred in widely lucrative sequels and trilogies. To date Denzel Washington's films have a worldwide gross of $2,690,023,442 billion dollars. He has 13 different movies that have grossed between $100 million and $250 million. His most successful film being American Gangster.

  64. A most successful actress list would be interesting. In researching this list I was surprised to see that no females were in the top 10, but some were close. The number one selling actress is Cameron Diaz.

  65. Denzel doesn't have any massively successful movie franchises. You probably notice that most actors on the list have been involved with successful sequels and trilogies. It was the same thing with Leonardo Dicaprio, although he did star in Titanic, which has made more money then any movie in history. If you are interested:

    Denzel Washington

    U.S. Gross – $1,656,302,416

    Worldwide Gross – $2,689,845,503

    13 Movies Grossed between – $100 million and $265 million. American Gangster was best selling film to date.

  66. Denzel hasn't been in enough blockbusters. This list isn't about acting quality, although there are quality actors on this list, it is about pure dollars.

  67. I would have never guessed Samuel Jackson for #1. I was thinking Harrison Ford all the way. Of course, if you count for inflation, he probably would be #1.

    Consider he was in two of the biggest trilogies of all time, Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Yeah, that's right, I don't count the fourth Indiana movie.

    • What about Christopher Lee? He was in 2 of the Star Wars prequels and all 3 Lord of The Rings movies plus 263 other movies?

      • Chris Lee is 3rd by my calculations. Starring in films that grossed about $7.4 billion total.

    • what about hugo weaving he was in all three lords of the rings, all three transformers, all three matrixs

    • These are weird statistics. I wish they did a serious list. Tom Cruise is the face of Mission Impossible, Tom Hanks is Forrest Gump, Ford is Indiana Jones. Actors who barely make an obscure role and who, if you take them out of the picture, the picture is still what it was, should not be counted in such a list.