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Forbes' Top-Grossing Actors of 2012: Robert Downey Jr., Kristen Stewart and Christian Bale

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood December 24, 2012 at 12:13PM

Forbes names the Top Grossing Actors of 2012, based on the global box office take of their films. Robert Downey Jr. takes the top spot; Forbes credits the worldwide success of "The Avengers" ($1.5 billion) to his "charm and humor" while noting that he'll be walking away with more money than his co-superheroes...
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Forbes names the Top Grossing Actors of 2012, based on the global box office take of their films. Robert Downey Jr. takes the top spot; Forbes credits the worldwide success of "The Avengers" ($1.5 billion) to his "charm and humor" while noting that he'll be walking away with more money than his co-superheroes.

As to be expected, the rest of the top ten includes other superheroes--from Christian Bale's Batman to Andrew Garfield's "Spider-Man"-- vampires (the stars of "Twilight"), Jennifer Lawrence's Katniss Everdeen of "The Hunger Games," Will Smith's return to "Men in Black" and Britain's Bond, James Bond.

The most earth-bound entry on the list is #10 -- Mark Wahlberg for "Ted" and "Contraband." Check out Forbes' stats below. Only one of these stars can also expect an Oscar nomination this year: Lawrence.

Robert Downey Jr. - $1.5 billion


Thanks to The Avengers, Downey is the top-grossing actor of the year. The film is the third highest-grossing of all time behind Titanic and Avatar. Although the movie was an ensemble, we only counted Downey as the star because he is the star who will walk away with the biggest payday from the film.

Kristen Stewart - $1.2 billion


The majority of the money Stewart brought in at the box office this year came from Twilight. Breaking Dawn Part 2 (which is still in theaters) has earned $779 million at the box office so far. But she tops her Twilight co-stars thanks to Snow White and the Huntsman which earned a healthy $396 million at the global box office.

Christian Bale - $1 billion


Batman is still one of the most popular superheroes around. The final (?) film in director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy earned $1 billion at the box office. Bale added a tiny bit to that, $300,000, from The Flowers of War.

This article is related to: Lists, News, News, Headliners, Box Office, Robert Downey Jr., Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.