Earlier this year we found out that Keanu Reeves is the highest paid actor in Hollywood, but now thanks to the Quigley Poll conducted every year, we can tell you who the top grossing actor of 2008 is…
Could it be the Dark Knight‘s, dark knight Christian Bale? Indiana Jones‘ Harrison Ford? James Bond? Iron Man? We’ve had some huge films this year, but who made the most bank? Dare we see some ladies on the list?
Check out Hollywood’s Top Ten Grossing Actors of 2008.
Will Smith (Hancock and Seven Pounds)
- Will Smith attacked the box office with a one two punch last year thanks to the superhero flick Hancock, and the indie drama Seven Pounds. Even though Hancock was an over the top box office hit, Seven Pounds managed to quietly earn over 100 million dollars worldwide. Not bad for a movie whose plot confused the hell out of us and everyone else we know.
Robert Downey, Jr. (Iron Man and Tropic Thunder)
- Last year Robert Downey Jr. racked up box office dollars, and award nominations thanks to his roles in Iron Man and Tropic Thunder. His charismatic turn as Tony Stark in the latest Marvel movie surprised all those who doubted that the once washed up actor had what it took to pull off the role. He also went on to star as the Australian, playing an African American in the action comedy Tropic Thunder, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination. It takes a lot to play the dude, playing the dude, disguised as another dude.
Christian Bale (The Dark Knight)
- The only other superhero who could take Iron Man down a peg in 2008 was Batman. The Dark Knight was a critical and commercial success and went on to become the second largest grossing film of all time behind Titanic. This put British actor Christian Bale on the map as one of Hollywood’s leading men, and he has the paycheck to prove it.
Shia LaBeouf (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, New York, I Love You and Eagle Eye)
- After his star making turn in Disturbia and Transformers Labeouf had to come back the next year harder than ever. How do you top Optimus Prime? You throw in Indiana Jones, Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas that’s how. The actor was front and center of two number one hits, and got to work with several legends in the business. How many twenty-somethings out there want to punch him in the face out of sheer jealousy?
Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull)
- Harrison Ford is the man, the myth, and still the moneymaker thanks to his return to the Indiana Jones franchise. The actor hadn’t had a box office hit in years, so he decided to dust off the fedora and whip and go back to his winning formula. The Crystal Skull became one of the top three earners of the year and proved that audiences will always have a soft spot for Indy, no matter how old he gets.
Adam Sandler (You Don’t Mess with the Zohan and Bedtime Stories)
- Adam Sandler went two different routes last year with a balls to the wall comedy, and a family friendly kids movie. One film was marketed towards his longtime fans who were used to his crude humor, while the other was for those who wanted a PG rated alternative. The actor along with his Happy Madison production company tapped into both audiences and walked away with fatter pockets because of it.
Reese Witherspoon (Four Christmases)
- Four Christmases was a surprise hit for everyone involved. Witherspoon has never been known as a major box office draw, but every once in a while she’ll take us for a loop. She teamed up with professional smart ass Vince Vaughn and a group of award winning actors including Sissy Spacek and Robert Duvall to act like complete idiots in their latest movie. Who needs Oscars when you have slapstick comedy putting asses in the seats?
George Clooney (Leatherheads and Burn After Reading)
- Clooney was a lot more subdued in 2008 than he was in the prior year. Coming off an Academy Award win and two nominations put the likeable actor’s career on a whole other level. He decided to follow up with two lighter performances with a sports based film and a Coen Brothers comedy. While Leatherheads fell on deaf ears we loved Mr. Clooney in Burn After Reading as the manipulative con-man who we’d let lie to us any day of the week.
Angelina Jolie (Kung Fu Panda – voice, Changeling and Wanted)
- Angelina Jolie was one of the few women last year to spear head the box office and rake in some serious dough. She literally dipped into every genre of film spanning from the bullet prone Wanted to the loveable Kung Fu Panda. She even earned critical acclaim for her performance as a grief stricken mother in the Clint Eastwood film, Changeling. With three successful films, and award nominations galore, in 2008 Jolie was playing with the big boys.
- Craig, Daniel Craig is the British actor who became the successor of the Bond franchise 3 years ago and hasn’t slowed down yet. His second installment in the long running series entitled, Quantum of Solace broke a Bond record when it debuted in theaters last November, and set the ground work for Craig to capitalize on his new found fame. He tackled the true story of Nazi occupied Belarus during World War II, with the drama Defiance where he led the cast and audiences shaken, not stirred.
So what have we learned?
- Witherspoon was completely overpaid for Four Christmases.
- Adam Sandler will be paid to be Adam Sandler until he dies.
- Even though Harrison Ford made it to number five with only one film, they still did not pay him enough to destroy Indiana Jones.
- LaBeouf had to do three films to get nearly the same amount they paid Harrison to do Indiana Jones. And that still wasn’t enough.
- Despite having two children this year, Jolie also starred in the most films (aside from LaBeouf) out of the entire Top 10 list.
Another interesting thing they have is the “Stars of Tomorrow” where they guess who will be added to the list by this time next year. This years picks are:
(Last year they had Shia on their list. Looks like they’re pretty accurate)