It’s pretty clear: If you want to establish yourself as a bankable actor, get yourself into a superhero franchise.
The top ten highest-grossing actors of 2016 have been named, and nine – NINE! – were in cinematic universes populated by comic book heroes.
Forbes dropped their yearly list of high-grossing stars, taking into account the amount films made from ticket sales.
Scarlett Johansson topped the list with a gross of $US1.2 billion, primarily thanks to her performance in Captain America: Civil War, which surpassed $US1.15 billion worldwide. The actress also had a role in the Coen brothers’ Hail, Caesar!, which added to her tally with a much lower draw of $US63 million worldwide. Fellow Civil War combatants Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. came in positions 2 and 3 with $US1.15 billion each.
The stars from the DCEU filled a number of the other positions. Margot Robbie’s roles as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad and Jane in The Legend of Tarzan gave her a pull of $US1.1 billion, with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice stars Amy Adams, Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill coming in positions 5 ($US1.04 billion), 6 ($US1.02 billion), and 7 ($US870 million) respectively. Will Smith made it onto the list in tenth position ($US775 million) thanks to Suicide Squad, while Ryan Reynold’s earned himself a nice spot at number 8 ($US820 million) thanks to the surprise box-office smash that was Deadpool.
The only actor on the list not in a superhero movie was Felicity Jones, who has scored a global box office gross of $US805 million (so far) thanks to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Inferno and A Monster Calls.
It’s clearly been a good year for Johansson, and next year isn’t looking too bad either. 2017 will see Johansson lead the Ghost in the Shell movie and the cast of Lucia Aniello’s comedy Rock That Body, which co-stars Kate McKinnon, Ilana Glazer, Zoe Kravitz, and Jillian Bell. There’s no Marvel movie for her next year, so don’t expect her to be high on the next highest-grossing actors list. 2018, on the other hand, will find her return to the MCU in Avengers: Infinity War.