Earlier this summer, Avengers: Endgame surpassed James Cameron’s Avatar to become the highest-grossing movie of all-time worldwide. Which begs the question: Who are the highest-grossing actors? Of the A-listers with the highest box office grosses in America, 18 of them have been—and/or continue to be—part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But plenty of non-superhero stalwarts also made the cut.
The Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings franchises are also well-represented on this list, comprising a total of six spots … with a little bit of crossover (Andy Serkis is in both franchises). But Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, and Woody Harrelson have all managed to do well outside comic book franchises. Unfortunately, the list is extremely male-dominated, with only three women landing in the top 30, but it’s always changing. As of this moment, here are Hollywood‘s top-grossing actors.
1. Samuel L. Jackson
Getting in on the ground floor of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has paid off for Samuel L. Jackson, but that’s not the only major franchise that’s contributed to his top spot on this list: Star Wars, The Incredibles, and Jurassic Park helped secure his position, too. Not only is he the most bankable movie star ($13.3 billion worldwide), he’s also “the most influential actor of all time,” according to an algorithm-based study published in the journal Applied Network Science. Plus, Jackson has starred in more movies than anyone on the list—120 and counting.
2. Robert Downey Jr.
Box office total: $5,818,750,378
Downey Jr. has had one of the biggest comebacks in Hollywood history, going from indie actor to playing Iron Man in several Marvel films. He’s also one of the highest paid actors on this list; Downey raked in $75 million for Avengers: Endgame alone.
3. Scarlett Johansson
Box office total: $5,244,119,075
Four-time Golden Globe nominee Scarlett Johansson is one of only two women to make it into one of the top 10 spots of this list. Like Jackson and Downey, her involvement in the MCU has helped her films gross billions of dollars worldwide. Next year she’ll headline a Black Widow film.
4. Harrison Ford
Box office total: $5,121,747,600
Whereas the MCU folks are new to billion-dollar franchises, Harrison Ford has been acting in record-breaking films for decades, and in a variety of franchises: Blade Runner, Star Wars, and Indiana Jones. However, The Force Awakens was the first time he starred in a film that grossed more than $1 billion worldwide.
5. Tom Hanks
Box office total: $5,038,685,542
Tom Hanks hasn’t starred in Star Wars or a superhero movie (unless you count Mr. Rogers as a superhero), yet he’s made Disney a lot of money by lending his voice to four Toy Story films, including this year’s Toy Story 4, which grossed $1 billion worldwide.
6. Bradley Cooper
Box office total: $4,803,758,514
It seems unlikely for Cooper to appear in the top 10, but voicing The Guardians of the Galaxy’s Rocket Raccoon for the MCU; directing/acting/producing/composing A Star Is Born; and starring in the $300 million-grossing American Sniper increased the seven-time Oscar nominee’s bankability.
7. Morgan Freeman
Box office total: $4,624,290,253
The Dark Knight grossed a whooping $535 million domestically, making it the most profitable of the Christian Bale Batman series. Plus, Freeman has voiced God, which in itself is worthy.
8. Don Cheadle
Box office total: $4,422,654,260
9. Andy Serkis
Box office total: $4,357,712,246
Andy Serkis has been in some of the most successful movies of all time, including Black Panther, The Force Awakens, the rebooted Planet of the Apes films, and The Lord of Rings trilogy. Sometimes he appears in corporeal form, other times it’s only his voice and/or body movements that make it on to the screen. With appearances in four major franchises—and a hilarious role in 13 Going on 30—Serkis almost has Jackson beat.
10. Zoe Saldana
Box office total: $4,193,566,592
11. Chris Pratt
Box office total: $4,145,406,026
In 2014, Andy Dwyer/Star Lord broke out in a big way. Since starring in Guardians of the Galaxy, Chris Pratt has made his bread and butter through the MCU, two Jurassic Worlds, and lending his voice to two LEGO movies.
12. Anthony Daniels
Box office total: $4,040,875,544
Anthony Daniels owes his entire film career to playing C-3PO in every Star Wars movie, including 2017’s The Last Jedi and the upcoming The Rise of Skywalker. Daniels has voiced C-3PO in The LEGO Movie and Ralph Breaks the Internet, too.
13. Chris Evans
Box office total: $4,019,809,829
Chris Evans, the second Chris on this list, is most famous for his role as Captain America—though playing the Human Torch in two Fantastic Four movies helped him secure a top spot on this list.
14. Chris Hemsworth
Box office total: $4,018,762,362
Like Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth’s lucrative career has been been largely situated in the MCU.
15. Tom Cruise
Box office total: $3,997,627,920
Tom Cruise has been a Hollywood A-lister since before some of the younger members of the MCU were even born. His movies range from the Mission: Impossible franchise to standalone hits like Minority Report, Jerry Maguire, The Firm, Rain Man, Top Gun, and War of the Worlds. It grossed $234,280,354—only $14 million more than 2018’s Mission: Impossible – Fallout. Next year, Cruise will try to move up the list with a Top Gun sequel.
16. Idris Elba
Box office total: $3,848,550,304
In addition to Idris Elba’s role in the MCU, he has increased his box office tally with hits like Hobbs and Shaw, and Star Trek Beyond as well as voice work in The Jungle Book, Finding Dory, and Zootopia.
17. Johnny Depp
Box office total: $3,846,802,966
Johnny Depp starred in all five Pirates of the Caribbean movies—including the $1 billion-worldwide grosser Dead Man’s Chest. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and 2018’s Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald have kept his star status afloat.
18. Eddie Murphy
Box office total: $3,811,107,808
Though Eddie Murphy hasn’t had a blockbuster his since voicing Donkey in 2010’s Shrek Forever After, he maintains a big box office draw from older fare like Beverly Hills Cop (1984); the Dr. Doolittle and The Nutty Professor movies; Dreamgirls (2006); and three more Shrek films. Next year’s Coming to America sequel should boost his box office totals, too.
19. Stanley Tucci
Box office total: $3,778,184,471
Stanley Tucci is not a part of the MCU but he has racked up some pretty impressive box office grosses from starring in a couple of Transformers movies, the live-action Beauty and the Beast, and The Hunger Games series, which has grossed more than $2 billion worldwide.
20. Mark Ruffalo
Box office total: $3,764,716,234
Mark Ruffalo has earned three (and counting) Oscar nominations for smaller roles in The Kids Are All Right (2010), Foxcatcher (2014), and Spotlight (2015). But playing the Hulk has helped him smash the box office.
21. Ian McKellen
Box office total: $3,654,414,482
Ian McKellen has been a franchise staple for nearly 20 years, beginning with 2000’s X-Men. A combination of X-Men films and The Lord of the Rings trilogy has made him one of Hollywood’s most successful actors. If that weren’t enough, two The Hobbit films, The Da Vinci Code, and 2017’s Beauty and the Beast propelled him to big box office totals.
22. Benedict Cumberbatch
Box office total: $3,585,440,897
Star Trek Into Darkness, The Hobbit, voicing the titular character in 2018’s The Grinch, and playing Doctor Strange in the MCU have enabled Benedict Cumberbatch to make a dent in the worldwide box office.
23. Dwayne Johnson
Box office total: $3,564,845,910
The Rock’s roles in the Fast and the Furious series—including 2019’s spinoff, Hobbs and Shaw—broke some box office records, but his parts in Jumanji (it almost grossed $1 billion worldwide) and voicing Maui in Moana have also contributed a lot of money to his worldwide box office total. In December, he’ll star in a Jumanji sequel—Jumanji: The Next Level.
24. Will Smith
Box office total: $3,559,520,435
With early successes like Independence Day, the Bad Boys franchise (another is on the way), and three Men in Black movies, Will Smith became one of the biggest stars in the world. Though he’s been a movie star for more than 25 years, this year’s live-action Aladdin is his biggest hit to date.
25. Jeremy Renner
Box office total: $3,547,806,066
Jeremy Renner has the MCU, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and American Hustle to thank for his place on this list. The Hurt Locker, which is one of his most acclaimed movies, is also one of his lowest-grossing films.
26. Josh Brolin
Box office total: $3,528,495,148
In the past couple of years, veteran actor Josh Brolin has experienced a late-career resurgence. Not only did he play Thanos in three Avengers films, but he also appeared in Deadpool 2. In 2018 alone, Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War grossed almost $3 billion total worldwide. Not a bad year.
27. Cate Blanchett
Box office total: $3,497,073,561
In the early aughts, Oscar winner Cate Blanchett proved that she could be a valuable franchise asset with her role in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. In 2017, she entered the MCU with Thor: Raganok. She made smart money choices with The Hobbit movies, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Cinderella, and Ocean’s 8.
28. Vin Diesel
Box office total: $3,493,342,043
Vin Diesel voiced Guardians of the Galaxy’s Groot in the MCU, though the animated character barely had any dialogue except to say “I am Groot.” But his starring role in seven Fast and the Furious movies is what made his stardom balloon. More Fast and the Furious films are planned, and Diesel has a part in the upcoming Avatar sequels, too.
29. Woody Harrelson
Box office total: $3,479,339,743
In 2012, Woody Harrelson starred in the first of four Hunger Games films. Their high grosses, especially 2013’s Catching Fire, solidified his place as a fantastic character actor who could also carry a major franchise. In 2018, he continued his blockbuster streak and starred in Star Wars spinoff Solo: A Star Wars Story, and Venom.
30. Anthony Mackie
Box office total: $3,451,128,814
Anthony Mackie has the MCU to thank for his place on the 30th spot on this list.
Box office totals courtesy of Box Office Mojo.