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The last time we were at the movie theater (I think for Terminator), in the pre-movie trivia, there was a screen that said Harrison Ford was the only actor whose top 10 grossing movies all earned over $100M. Or something to that effect. Numbers and gross/net may may not be exactly right, and surely the verbiage was different. But I'm positive it was Harrison Ford, top 10, and only actor. I wasn't shocked that the only person to achieve this would be Mr. Ford. But at the time, I had kind of a "really? just him? no one else has managed that?" moment. It's actually kind of incredible when you think about it. Especially when you consider the time period that his biggest movies were released in. It's got to be easier to gross $100M when a movie ticket costs $12 than it was when movies cost $4 (like when I was a kid) or a quarter (or whatever they cost when my parents were younger and Star Wars first came out).
Certainly Harrison Ford has benefited from being involved with a couple of huge franchises - Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and I suppose even the Tom Clancy movies (Clear and Present Danger and Patriot Games). There's 8 huge movies right there, and 9 if you count the new IJ & the Crystal Skull (haven't seen it, sounded terrible, couldn't possibly count). Anyway, it got me thinking - surely there must be other people who are really really close to cracking that threshold. Sitting in the theater, we started throwing a few names out, immediately coming up with Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise. So below is my list of actors/actresses I think must be at least in that ballpark, and the top movies I could think of that they appear in. Keep in mind that this involved zero research or fact checking of my part, so there's a good chance I'm way off base here.

  • Harrison Ford - original Star Wars trilogy, original Indiana Jones trilogy, Air Force One, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, The Fugitive

  • Tom Hanks - Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Philadelphia, Apollo 13, Cast Away, Sleepless in Seattle, A League of their Own, Davinci Code, That Thing You Do, The Green Mile, Big

  • Tom Cruise - Top Gun, Days of Thunder, Mission Impossible trilogy, Minority Report, Jerry Maguire, Interview with the Vampire, Born on the 4th of July, Rain Man

  • Johnny Depp - Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, Edward Scissorhands, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Benny and Joon, Corpse Bride, Sweeny Todd, Public Enemies, Sleepy Hollow

  • Will Smith - Men in Black 1/2, Independence Day, Bay Boys 1/2, Ali, Wild Wild West, Hitch, I Robot, Hancock, The Pursuit of Happyness

  • Nicholas Cage - The Rock, Con Air, Adaptation, Matchstick Men, Gone in 60 Seconds, Face Off, National Treasure 1/2

  • Julia Roberts - Pretty Woman, Erin Brokovich, Steel Magnolias, The Pelican Brief, Oceans 11/12, Charlie Wilson's War, Sleeping with the Enemy, Mystic Pizza

  • Denzel Washington - Crimson Tide, Malcom X, The Siege, Bone Collector, Remember the Titans, Man on Fire, Inside Man, John Q, Manchurian Candidate, He Got Game, The Pelican Brief, Philadelphia

  • Brad Pitt - Fight Club, 12 Monkeys, Snatch, A River Runs Through It, Seven, Oceans 11/12/13, Spy Game, Legends of the Fall, Seven Years in Tibet, Interview with the Vampire, Sleepers, Mr & Mrs Smith, Benjamin Button, Troy

  • Angelia Jolie - Gone in 60 Seconds, Tomb Raider 1/2, Gia, Hackers, Wanted, Bone Collector, Girl Interrupted

  • Mel Gibson - Braveheart, Mad Max trilogy, Lethal Weapon quadrilogy, Forever Young, Maverick, Conspiracy Theory, Payback, Signs, The Patriot

Others who I don't think are there yet, but well on their way:

  • Orlando Bloom - LOTR trilogy, Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, Kingdom of Heavan, Troy

  • Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson - Harry Potter septology

  • Leonardo DiCaprio - Titanic, The Aviator, Romeo & Juliet, Man in the Iron Mask, Gangs of New York, The Departed

  • Christian Bale - Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Terminator Salvation, 3:10 to Yuma, Equilibrium, Public Enemies

  • Hugh Jackman - X-Men trilogy, Wolverine, Swordfish, Van Helsing, the Prestige

Honorable Mentions: Cameron Diaz, Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Jodie Foster, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Keanu Reeves, Tommy Lee Jones, Jack Nicholson, Ewan MacGregor, Helen Hunt, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Eddie Murphy, Bruce Willis, Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Ben Stiller, John Cusack, Ian McKellan, Sean Connery, Heath Ledger, Tobey Maguire, Elijah Wood, Sandra Bullock, Viggo Mortenson.

Turns out I just got bored of thinking up movies for all these people. My brief brainstorming turned up a lot of other actors with tremendous qualifications. Check out Box Office Mojo and IMDB for all your research needs.

About me

  • I'm Rev. Adam
  • From Oakton, Virginia, United States
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