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MVPs of the Movies: Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford, Eddie Murphy and Robin Williams Top the List

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood January 31, 2013 at 2:22PM

What does it take to be one of the most valuable actors of all time? 24/7 Wall St. considered this and ranked almost 700 leading actors. They found that in order to top the list, an actor needed to have starred in not just one but several high-grossing franchises
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Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks

What does it take to be one of the most valuable actors of all time? 24/7 Wall St. considered this and ranked almost 700 leading actors. They found that in order to top the list, an actor needed to have starred in not just one but several high-grossing franchises. They point out that "Success in the box office is not the same as success with the critics. A look at the top actors on this list makes that clear." But two of the top ten--all men--are also double Oscar winners: Dustin Hoffman and Tom Hanks, who is #1.

Take a look at the top ten below.  Here's how they calculated the list:

There are movie stars, and then there are actors whose involvement appears more important than the movie itself. Some are so critical to success that studios will pay them tens of millions of dollars to be in their pictures. To identify the most valuable actors of all time, 24/7 Wall St. ranked nearly 700 leading actors in online movie data resource Box Office Mojo’s database. Actors ranked higher if they starred in more films, if the films they starred in averaged high ticket sales, and if they had among the highest combined box office gross adjusted for ticket price inflation. Based on a review of films’ gross box office sales, adjusted for ticket price inflation, from Box Office Mojo’s data, these are the 10 most valuable actors of all time:

The complete list and analysis is here.

10. John Travolta
Total film gross: $4.3 billion
Average film gross: $99.7 million
Films: 43
Top grossing film: Grease
Acting Oscars: 0

9. Clint Eastwood
Total film gross: $4.3 billion
Average film gross: $93.3 million
Films: 46
Top grossing film: Every Which Way But Loose
Acting Oscars: 0

8. Morgan Freeman
Total film gross: $4.5 billion
Average film gross: $95.8 million
Films: 47
Top grossing film: The Dark Knight
Acting Oscars: 1

7. Sean Connery
Total film gross: $4.5 billion
Average film gross: $122.9 million
Films: 37
Top grossing film: Thunderball
Acting Oscars: 1

6. Dustin Hoffman
Total film gross: $4.6 billion
Average film gross: $117.5 million
Films: 39
Top grossing film: The Graduate
Acting Oscars: 2

5. Tom Cruise
Total film gross: $5.0 billion
Average film gross: $153.0 million
Films: 33
Top grossing film: Top Gun
Acting Oscars: 0

4. Robin Williams
Total film gross: $4.8 billion
Average film gross: $108.4 million
Films: 44
Top grossing film: Mrs. Doubtfire
Acting Oscars: 1

3. Eddie Murphy
Total film gross: $5.9 billion
Average film gross: $154.6 million
Films: 38
Top grossing film: Shrek 2
Acting Oscars: 0

2. Harrison Ford
Total film gross: $7.4 billion
Average film gross: $218.3 million
Films: 34
Top grossing film: Star Wars
Acting Oscars: 0

1. Tom Hanks
Total film gross: $6.2 billion
Average film gross: $155.4 million
Films: 40
Top grossing film: Forrest Gump
Acting Oscars: 2


 

This article is related to: Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford, Robin Williams, Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood, Box Office, Box Office


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Thompson on Hollywood

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.