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Biggest box office stars since 1980

Biggest box office stars since 1980
1/Robin Williams in 1998—Timothy A. Clary // Getty Images

Biggest box office stars since 1980

What does it take to be a big box office star? While many actors have appeared in big-name Hollywood blockbuster franchises like an “Avengers” film, “Hunger Games” or the “Twilight” series, many of them pack just as big a punch from smaller-budget films, like “Silver Linings Playbook.” (Can you guess which actress from that film made the list?)

Stacker has compiled the biggest box office stars since 1980 by using data from The Numbers. To determine the rankings, the highest-grossing star in each year is based on domestic box office sales of the movies in which they had a leading role, plus ticket sales for films in the two preceding years. Each “Star Score” below represents the number of points (as assigned by The Numbers), based on how well the movies performed at the box office. A fair number of actors and actresses appear more than once, thanks to movies and sales that span multiple years.

Think you know who appears on the list? Read on to find out.

RELATED: Most bankable actors of 2018

1980: Clint Eastwood
2/Public Domain

1980: Clint Eastwood

Star score: 359

Top contributing films: Every Which Way but Loose, Any Which Way You Can, Escape from Alcatraz

#2 Star: Jane Fonda (Star score: 341, Top contributing films: California Suite, The Electric Horseman, The China Syndrome)

#3 Star: Burt Reynolds (Star score: 262, Top contributing films: Hooper, Starting Over, The End)

In “Every Which Way But Loose,” Clint Eastwood stars as a tough trucker who has a pet orangutan and moonlights as a fighter (a premonition of his later work as a trainer in “Million Dollar Baby”). Workout queen Jane Fonda was also a big box office star, in part for her role in “California Suite,” a film based on Paul Simon’s screenplay of the same name that was nominated for an Oscar.

 

1981: Chevy Chase
3/Alan Light // Flickr

1981: Chevy Chase

Star score: 289

Top contributing films: Caddyshack, Modern Problems, Seems Like Old Times

#2 Star: Clint Eastwood (Star score: 262, Top contributing films: Any Which Way You Can, Escape from Alcatraz, Bronco Billy)

#3 Star: Harrison Ford (Star score: 257, Top contributing films: Star Wars Ep. V: The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, null)

Chevy Chase earned big bucks for his roles that included “Caddyshack,” playing a wealthy golf snob dealing with a brash new member to the club and a charismatic gopher. Harrison Ford also took on a number of roles that would become career-defining, including the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” series.

 

1982: Chevy Chase
4/Alan Light // Flickr

1982: Chevy Chase

Star score: 289

Top contributing films: Caddyshack, Modern Problems, Seems Like Old Times

#2 Star: Harrison Ford (Star score: 279, Top contributing films: Star Wars Ep. V: The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Blade Runner)

#3 Star: Sylvester Stallone (Star score: 266, Top contributing films: Rocky III, First Blood, null)

Chevy Chase was another high earner this year for his role alongside 80s darling Goldie Hawn in “Seems Like Old Times.” Chase plays Nick Gardenia, a writer who is wrongly accused of a bank robbery. He seeks assistance from his ex-wife, played by Hawn, who is a lawyer. The film was another Neil Simon blockbuster.

 

1983: Harrison Ford
5/Harrison Ford in "Star Wars: Epsiode VI—Return of the Jedi"—Lucasfilm

1983: Harrison Ford

Star score: 279

Top contributing films: Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Blade Runner

#2 Star: Sylvester Stallone (Star score: 266, Top contributing films: Rocky III, First Blood, null)

#3 Star: Chevy Chase (Star score: 261, Top contributing films: National Lampoon’s Vacation, Modern Problems, null)

Stallone was a big earner this year for his role in “Rocky III,” which chronicles Rocky’s fall from grace following his win of the ultimate title. The film was nominated for an Oscar. Ford and Chase also made the cut once more.

 

1984: Clint Eastwood
6/Clint Eastwood in "Tightrope"—Warner Bros.

1984: Clint Eastwood

Star score: 347

Top contributing films: Sudden Impact, Tightrope, Firefox

#2 Star: Eddie Murphy (Star score: 337, Top contributing films: Beverly Hills Cop, Trading Places, 48 Hours)

#3 Star: Harrison Ford (Star score: 277, Top contributing films: Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Blade Runner)

“He’s been chased, thrown through a window and arrested.” That’s the tagline for this Eddie Murphy movie about a freewheeling Detroit cop on vacation in “Beverly Hills Cop” who must adjust to life in Beverly Hills. The legendary Clint Eastwood also made the list this year for his role in “Sudden Impact.”

 

1985: Chevy Chase
7/Chevy Chase in "Fletch"—Universal Pictures

1985: Chevy Chase

Star score: 395

Top contributing films: National Lampoon’s Vacation, Spies Like Us, National Lampoon's European Vacation

#2 Star: Clint Eastwood (Star score: 343, Top contributing films: Sudden Impact, Tightrope, Pale Rider)

#3 Star: Kathleen Turner (Star score: 295, Top contributing films: Romancing the Stone, The Jewel of the Nile, Prizzi's Honor)

Kathleen Turner teams up with Michael Douglas in “Romancing the Stone.” She plays a romance novelist and big city girl who sets off for Colombia to ransom her kidnapped sister. Chase also makes the list again for his role as the quirky Clark Griswold in the “National Lampoon’s” films.

 

1986: Steve Guttenberg
8/Steve Guttenberg in "Police Academy 3: Back in Training"—Warner Bros.

1986: Steve Guttenberg

Star score: 442

Top contributing films: Police Academy, Cocoon, Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment

#2 Star: Tom Hanks (Star score: 371, Top contributing films: Splash, Bachelor Party, The Money Pit)

#3 Star: Chevy Chase (Star score: 340, Top contributing films: Spies Like Us, National Lampoon's European Vacation, Fletch)

Tom Hanks fell in love with a mermaid in “Splash” and had his last hurrah in “Bachelor Party,” while Steve Guttenberg took on his role in the “Police Academy” series. The latter made $8.5 million in opening weekend but went on to gross an astounding $81 million.

 

1987: Steve Guttenberg
9/Steve Guttenberg in "3 Men and a Baby"—Interscope Communications

1987: Steve Guttenberg

Star score: 531

Top contributing films: 3 Men and a Baby, Cocoon, Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment

#2 Star: Chevy Chase (Star score: 340, Top contributing films: Spies Like Us, National Lampoon's European Vacation, Fletch)

#3 Star: Sylvester Stallone (Star score: 320, Top contributing films: Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rocky IV, Cobra)

Guttenberg had another successful year, in part for his role in “Three Men and a Baby,” about three men who take care of an unexpected addition. The film was the biggest American box office hit of that year, surpassing even “Fatal Attraction.”

 

1988: Tom Cruise
10/Tom Cruise in "Rain Man"—United Artists

1988: Tom Cruise

Star score: 429

Top contributing films: Top Gun, Rain Man, Cocktail

#2 Star: Bette Midler (Star score: 427, Top contributing films: Ruthless People, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Beaches)

#3 Star: Steve Guttenberg (Star score: 397, Top contributing films: 3 Men and a Baby, Police Academy 3: Back in Training, Short Circuit)

Tom Cruise lands on the list with a trifecta of some of his most memorable performances. He plays a hot shot fighter pilot in “Top Gun,” an older brother to Dustin Hoffman’s “Rain Man” (which won four Oscars) and a lovable bartender in “Cocktail.”

 

1989: Tom Hanks
11/Tom Hanks in "The 'Burbs"—Imagine Entertainment

1989: Tom Hanks

Star score: 393

Top contributing films: Big, Turner & Hooch, Dragnet

#2 Star: Eddie Murphy (Star score: 357, Top contributing films: Beverly Hills Cop II, Coming to America, Harlem Nights)

#3 Star: Michelle Pfeiffer (Star score: 335, Top contributing films: The Witches of Eastwick, Tequila Sunrise, Dangerous Liaisons)

“Dangerous Liaisons” was so successful that it won three Oscars, helping catapult the career of Michelle Pfeiffer. The film is about the tragedy that ensues when a scheming widow (Glenn Close) and her ex-lover (John Malkovich) make a bet over a newly married woman (Pfeiffer).

 

1990: Tom Hanks
12/Tom Hanks in "Joe Versus the Volcano"—Warner Bros.

1990: Tom Hanks

Star score: 399

Top contributing films: Big, Turner & Hooch, Joe Versus the Volcano

#2 Star: Mel Gibson (Star score: 366, Top contributing films: Lethal Weapon 2, Bird on a Wire, Tequila Sunrise)

#3 Star: Tom Cruise (Star score: 365, Top contributing films: Rain Man, Days of Thunder, Cocktail)

Tom Hanks played a boy who made a wish and landed in the body of an adult man in “Big,” directed by Penny Marshall. Mel Gibson also made the list for his role in “Lethal Weapon 2,” an action film that received an Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects.

 

1991: Robin Williams
13/Robin Williams in "Hook"—Amblin Entertainment

1991: Robin Williams

Star score: 391

Top contributing films: Hook, Dead Poets Society, Awakenings

#2 Star: Kevin Costner (Star score: 389, Top contributing films: Dances with Wolves, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, JFK)

#3 Star: Michael J. Fox (Star score: 355, Top contributing films: Back to the Future Part II, Back to the Future Part III, Doc Hollywood)

In “Dead Poets Society,” a Best Original Screenplay Oscar winner, comedian Robin Williams plays an inspiring English teacher who encourages his students to challenge the status quo. Michael J. Fox also earned big points for his role as Marty McFly in the “Back to the Future” series, an 80s sci-fi classic.]

 

1992: Kevin Costner
14/Kevin Costner in "The Bodygaurd"—Warner Bros.

1992: Kevin Costner

Star score: 401

Top contributing films: Dances with Wolves, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Bodyguard

#2 Star: Steve Martin (Star score: 379, Top contributing films: Father of the Bride, Housesitter, Grand Canyon)

#3 Star: Mel Gibson (Star score: 365, Top contributing films: Lethal Weapon 3, Bird on a Wire, Forever Young)

Kevin Costner’s role as a bodyguard for Whitney Houston was an unusual role for the actor, who had typically focused on action films. “I Will Always Love You” was a top hit from the film. It was Costner's idea for Houston to start the song a capella.

 

1993: Wesley Snipes
15/Wesley Snipes in "White Men Can't Jump"—Twentieth Century Foxq

1993: Wesley Snipes

Star score: 446

Top contributing films: White Men Can't Jump, Rising Sun, Demolition Man

#2 Star: Julia Roberts (Star score: 339, Top contributing films: Hook, Sleeping with the Enemy, The Pelican Brief)

#3 Star: Steve Martin (Star score: 328, Top contributing films: Father of the Bride, HouseSitter, Grand Canyon)

America’s sweetheart Julia Roberts did a number of films that were successful in the early 90s, including “The Pelican Brief,” which also starred Denzel Washington and is based on a John Grisham book about a law student who uncovers a conspiracy. She also took on a lighter role as Tinkerbell in “Hook.”

 

1994: Wesley Snipes
16/Wesley Snipes in "Drop Zone"—Paramount Pictures

1994: Wesley Snipes

Star score: 391

Top contributing films: White Men Can't Jump, Rising Sun, Demolition Man

#2 Star: Tom Hanks (Star score: 375, Top contributing films: Forrest Gump, Sleepless in Seattle, A League of Their Own)

#3 Star: Tom Cruise (Star score: 363, Top contributing films: The Firm, A Few Good Men, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles)

“Forrest Gump” swept the Oscars, winning six awards, including Best Actor for Tom Hanks, who plays a role as a simple man with equal parts bravery and good intentions. The film chronicles the presidencies of Kennedy and Johnson, as well as other historical references like Vietnam and Watergate. Wesley Snipes also made it big with his sports comedy film “White Men Can’t Jump.”

 

1995: Jim Carrey
17/Jim Carrey in "Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls"—Morgan Creek Entertainment Group

1995: Jim Carrey

Star score: 467

Top contributing films: Batman Forever, Dumb & Dumber, The Mask

#2 Star: Tom Hanks (Star score: 382, Top contributing films: Forrest Gump, Apollo 13, Sleepless in Seattle)

#3 Star: Sylvester Stallone (Star score: 343, Top contributing films: Cliffhanger, Demolition Man, The Specialist)

The “Batman” series lived on with Val Kilmer in the leading role and Jim Carrey as bad guy The Riddler. Carey also had lighter roles in films “Dumb & Dumber” and “The Mask.” He was even nominated for a Golden Globe for his role in the latter.

 

1996: Jim Carrey
18/JIm Carrey in "The Cable Guy"—Columbia Pictures Corporation

1996: Jim Carrey

Star score: 545

Top contributing films: Batman Forever, Dumb & Dumber, The Mask

#2 Star: Mel Gibson (Star score: 365, Top contributing films: Pocahontas, Ransom, Maverick)

#3 Star: John Travolta (Star score: 337, Top contributing films: Phenomenon, Michael, Get Shorty)

This year, Mel Gibson voiced the role of Englishman John Smith in “Pocahontas,” Walt Disney’s animated musical drama that received some backlash for its racial overtones. Gibson’s earnings also got a boost from his other two films, “Ransom” and “Maverick.”

 

1997: Robin Williams
19/Robin Williams and Matt Damon in "Good Will Hunting"—Miramax

1997: Robin Williams

Star score: 471

Top contributing films: Good Will Hunting, The Birdcage, Jumanji

#2 Star: John Travolta (Star score: 428, Top contributing films: Face/Off, Phenomenon, Michael)

#3 Star: Jim Carrey (Star score: 370, Top contributing films: Batman Forever, Liar Liar, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls)

“It’s not your fault,” Robin Williams tells Matt Damon in “Good Will Hunting,” a movie about a janitor-slash-whiz kid who finds his life’s direction with the help of a therapist. It launched the careers of Damon and Ben Affleck, who won an Oscar for best screenwriting. Williams picked up an Oscar (his first win) for his performance, as well.  

 

1998: Robin Williams
20/Robin Williams in "What Dreams May Come"—Polygram Filmed Entertainment

1998: Robin Williams

Star score: 529

Top contributing films: Good Will Hunting, Patch Adams, The Birdcage

#2 Star: John Travolta (Star score: 456, Top contributing films: Face/Off, Phenomenon, Michael)

#3 Star: Nicolas Cage (Star score: 410, Top contributing films: The Rock, Face/Off, Con Air)

The hit “Face/Off” boosted earnings for both John Travolta and Nicolas Cage this year. The film is a sci-fi action flick about an FBI agent played by Travolta and a terrorist (Cage). The two are enemies who end up taking on each other's physical appearance.

 

1999: Bruce Willis
21/Bruce Willis in "The Sixth Sense"—Hollywood Pictures

1999: Bruce Willis

Star score: 462

Top contributing films: The Sixth Sense, Armageddon, The Fifth Element

#2 Star: Julia Roberts (Star score: 434, Top contributing films: Runaway Bride, My Best Friend's Wedding, Notting Hill)

#3 Star: Robin Williams (Star score: 421, Top contributing films: Good Will Hunting, Patch Adams, Flubber)

When it comes to romantic comedies, no one does it better than Julia Roberts, who starred in “Runaway Bride,” about a woman who can’t seem to make it down the aisle. She also starred in the quirky English film “Notting Hill” alongside Hugh Grant, as well as “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” which also featured Cameron Diaz.

 

2000: Bruce Willis
22/Bruce Willis in "The Kid"—Walt Disney Pictures

2000: Bruce Willis

Star score: 518

Top contributing films: The Sixth Sense, Armageddon, Unbreakable

#2 Star: Tom Hanks (Star score: 375, Top contributing films: Cast Away, Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile)

#3 Star: Julia Roberts (Star score: 346, Top contributing films: Runaway Bride, Erin Brockovich, Notting Hill)

Hanks’ role in action films boosted his earnings this year. “Saving Private Ryan,” which won five Oscars, follows the Normandy landings when a group of U.S. soldiers sets out to retrieve a paratrooper whose brothers have been killed in action. Many critics called it one of the best war films ever made.

 

2001: Julia Roberts
23/Julia Roberts in "Ocean's Eleven"—Warner Bros.

2001: Julia Roberts

Star score: 408

Top contributing films: Runaway Bride, Erin Brockovich, Notting Hill

#2 Star: Bruce Willis (Star score: 370, Top contributing films: The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, The Kid)

#3 Star: Robert De Niro (Star score: 317, Top contributing films: Meet the Parents, Analyze This, The Score)

“Erin Brockovich” earned Roberts her first Oscar for her role as a single mom and scrappy legal clerk who helps build a case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California in 1993. Robert De Niro also appeared as an overbearing father figure in the cult classic “Meet the Parents.”

 

2002: Ben Affleck
24/Ben Affleck in "Pearl Harbor"—Touchstone Pictures

2002: Ben Affleck

Star score: 300

Top contributing films: Pearl Harbor, The Sum of All Fears, Changing Lanes

#2 Star: Ian McKellen (Star score: 291, Top contributing films: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, X-Men)

#3 Star: Robert De Niro (Star score: 286, Top contributing films: Meet the Parents, The Score, Men of Honor)

Following his launch in “Good Will Hunting,” Affleck took on big roles in “Pearl Harbor” and “The Sum of All Fears,” an American spy thriller based on Tom Clancy's novel. Ben Affleck was actually on the set of “Pearl Harbor” when the role of Jack Ryan was offered to him.

 

2003: Ian McKellen
25/Ian McKellen in "Lord of the Rings"—New Line Cinema

2003: Ian McKellen

Star score: 392

Top contributing films: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

#2 Star: Ben Affleck (Star score: 376, Top contributing films: Pearl Harbor, The Sum of All Fears, Daredevil)

#3 Star: Keanu Reeves (Star score: 324, Top contributing films: The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Something's Gotta Give)

English actor Ian McKellen did well for his role in “The Lord of the Rings” films, as did Keanu Reeves for his role in the “Matrix” movies, in which he plays a computer hacker who uncovers the true nature of his reality. The film was incredibly popular and grossed around $464 million worldwide.

 

2004: Tom Hanks
26/Tom Hanks in "The Terminal"—DreamWorks

2004: Tom Hanks

Star score: 351

Top contributing films: The Polar Express, Catch Me if You Can, Road to Perdition

#2 Star: Ben Stiller (Star score: 328, Top contributing films: Meet the Fockers, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Starsky & Hutch)

#3 Star: Ian McKellen (Star score: 293, Top contributing films: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, X2)

Hanks plays a seasoned FBI agent out to get Leonardo DiCaprio in the 1960s flick “Catch Me If You Can.” DiCaprio plays Frank Abagnale Jr., who forges millions of dollars' worth of checks. He also appeared in the animated film “The Polar Express,” based on the classic children’s book.

 

2005: Keanu Reeves
27/Keanu Reeves in "Constantine"—Warner Bros.

2005: Keanu Reeves

Star score: 347

Top contributing films: The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, Something's Gotta Give

#2 Star: Will Ferrell (Star score: 336, Top contributing films: Elf, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Old School)

#3 Star: Orlando Bloom (Star score: 329, Top contributing films: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Troy)

The year 2005 was good for Will Ferrell, who found success in a Christmas-themed flick as an elf who learns how to be human after leaving the North Pole. Jim Carrey was originally cast as Buddy in “Elf,” which also inspired a Broadway musical.

 

2006: Ben Stiller
28/Ben Stiller in "Night at the Museum"—Twentieth Century Fox

2006: Ben Stiller

Star score: 427

Top contributing films: Meet the Fockers, Night at the Museum, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

#2 Star: Matt Damon (Star score: 345, Top contributing films: The Bourne Supremacy, The Departed, Ocean's Twelve)

#3 Star: Vince Vaughn (Star score: 335, Top contributing films: Wedding Crashers, The Break-Up, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story)

Matt Damon had a breakout year with three popular films. In “The Departed,” he plays a cop who is secretly part of an Irish gang in South Boston. The film earned the Oscar for Best Picture.

 

2007: Johnny Depp
29/Johnny Depp in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End"—Walt Disney Pictures

2007: Johnny Depp

Star score: 343

Top contributing films: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

#2 Star: Matt Damon (Star score: 335, Top contributing films: The Bourne Ultimatum, The Departed, Ocean's Thirteen)

#3 Star: Will Ferrell (Star score: 299, Top contributing films: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Blades of Glory, Bewitched)

Johnny Depp’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” series did well, making him the biggest box office star this year. Depp stars as Captain Jack Sparrow, an eccentric pirate. His co-star Keira Knightley almost missed her audition because she got stuck in traffic.

 

2008: Will Smith
30/Will Smith in "Seven Pounds"—Columbia Pictures Corporation

2008: Will Smith

Star score: 338

Top contributing films: I Am Legend, Hancock, The Pursuit of Happyness

#2 Star: Shia LaBeouf (Star score: 336, Top contributing films: Transformers, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Eagle Eye)

#3 Star: Adam Sandler (Star score: 315, Top contributing films: Click, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Bedtime Stories)

“Welcome to Earth. Population one.” So goes the tagline for “I Am Legend,” which stars Will Smith as the sole survivor of a plague that kills most of humanity, desperate to find a cure. Smith also starred in “The Pursuit of Happyness,” for which he received an Oscar nomination.  

 

2009: Shia LaBeouf
31/Shia LaBeouf in "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen"—Paramount Pictures

2009: Shia LaBeouf

Star score: 435

Top contributing films: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Transformers, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

#2 Star: Gerard Butler (Star score: 307, Top contributing films: 300, The Ugly Truth, Law Abiding Citizen)

#3 Star: Robert Downey, Jr. (Star score: 300, Top contributing films: Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes, Tropic Thunder)

Gerard Butler made the list this year for a number of different roles, including “300,” where he endured six-hour workouts to get in shape for the role. He also happened to break a couple of bones in his neck while filming. Butler stars as King Leonidas of Sparta, who leads the battle against the Persians at Thermopylae in 480 B.C.

 

2010: Robert Downey, Jr.
32/Robert Downey Jr. in "Iron Man 2"—Marvel Studios

2010: Robert Downey, Jr.

Star score: 449

Top contributing films: Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Sherlock Holmes

#2 Star: Taylor Lautner (Star score: 365, Top contributing films: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Twilight)

#3 Star: Jeff Bridges (Star score: 316, Top contributing films: Iron Man, Tron: Legacy, True Grit)

The “Iron Man” and “Twilight” series boosted the box office star status of Robert Downey Jr. and Taylor Lautner, respectively. Jeff Bridges also made the list for “Iron Man” and his role in “Tron,” playing a man who designs a corrupted digital world.

 

2011: Bradley Cooper
33/Bradley Cooper in "The Hangover: Part II"—Warner Bros.

2011: Bradley Cooper

Star score: 470

Top contributing films: The Hangover, The Hangover Part II, Valentine's Day

#2 Star: Taylor Lautner (Star score: 369, Top contributing films: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1)

#3 Star: Robert Downey, Jr. (Star score: 364, Top contributing films: Iron Man 2, Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows)

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. That’s where Bradley Cooper goes for his bachelor party in “The Hangover,” but unfortunately he can’t remember anything when he and his crew wake up missing one friend. The film won a Golden Globe for Best Comedy.

 

2012: Kristen Stewart
34/Kristen Stewart in "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2"—Summit Entertainment

2012: Kristen Stewart

Star score: 374

Top contributing films: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1

#2 Star: Bradley Cooper (Star score: 369, Top contributing films: The Hangover Part II, Silver Linings Playbook, Valentine's Day)

#3 Star: Taylor Lautner (Star score: 367, Top contributing films: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1)

The “Twilight” movies shot Kristen Stewart to fame and made her a big box office star this year. In “Eclipse,” Seattle is gripped by a string of mysterious killings, and Bella must choose between vampire Edward and werewolf Jacob. The “Twilight” films took in a collective $3.3 billion at the box office collectively.

 

2013: Jennifer Lawrence
35/Jennifer Lawrence in "American Hustle"—Columbia Pictures Corporations

2013: Jennifer Lawrence

Star score: 454

Top contributing films: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games, American Hustle

#2 Star: Chris Hemsworth (Star score: 421, Top contributing films: The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Thor)

#3 Star: Dwayne Johnson (Star score: 392, Top contributing films: Fast and Furious 6, Fast Five, G.I. Joe: Retaliation)

Jennifer Lawrence saw her star status rise with “The Hunger Games” series. She was also nominated for an Oscar for her role as the loose cannon wife of Christian Bale in “American Hustle.” The film was nominated for 10 total Oscars.

 

2014: Jennifer Lawrence
36/Jennifer Lawrence in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1"—Lionsgate

2014: Jennifer Lawrence

Star score: 561

Top contributing films: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

#2 Star: Channing Tatum (Star score: 460, Top contributing films: 22 Jump Street, 21 Jump Street, The Vow)

#3 Star: Dwayne Johnson (Star score: 352, Top contributing films: Fast and Furious 6, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island)

Channing Tatum starred in the action comedy films “22 Jump Street” and “21 Jump Street,” about a pair of underachieving cops. Tatum acts alongside Jonah Hill in the films, which were a reboot of the 80s TV series.

 

2015: Jennifer Lawrence
37/Jennifer Lawrence in "Joy"—Fox 2000 Pictures

2015: Jennifer Lawrence

Star score: 518

Top contributing films: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2

#2 Star: Dwayne Johnson (Star score: 362, Top contributing films: Fast and Furious 6, San Andreas, G.I. Joe: Retaliation)

#3 Star: Melissa McCarthy (Star score: 330, Top contributing films: The Heat, Identity Thief, Spy!)

Melissa McCarthy earned her fame with stints on “Saturday Night Live” and in the film “Bridesmaids.” She did well this year partly because of her role in “The Heat.” In the film, Sandra Bullock plays an uptight FBI agent, while McCarthy lets her comedy chops fly playing a Boston cop as the two set out to bust a drug lord.

 

2016: Jennifer Lawrence
38/Jennifer Lawrence in "X-Men: Apocalypse"—20th Century Fox

2016: Jennifer Lawrence

Star score: 489

Top contributing films: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past

#2 Star: Kevin Hart (Star score: 437, Top contributing films: Ride Along, Central Intelligence, Ride Along 2)

#3 Star: Samuel L. Jackson (Star score: 384, Top contributing films: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Kingsman: The Secret Service)

The “Avengers” and “Captain America” films boosted Samuel L. Jackson’s rankings in 2016. Jackson, who has a trademark deep, authoritative voice, has appeared in more than 100 films over the course of his career.

 

2017: Samuel L. Jackson
39/Samuel L. Jackson in "The Hitman's Bodyguard"—Summit Entertainment

2017: Samuel L. Jackson

Star score: 428

Top contributing films: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Kong: Skull Island, Kingsman: The Secret Service

#2 Star: Dwayne Johnson (Star score: 399, Top contributing films: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, The Fate of the Furious, San Andreas)

#3 Star: Kevin Hart (Star score: 368, Top contributing films: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Central Intelligence, Ride Along 2)

Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson solidified their box office star status with roles in “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” The film had a stunning backdrop, as a good portion was filmed in Hawaii.

 

2018: Dwayne Johnson
40/Dwayne Johnson in "Skyscraper"—Universal Pictures

2018: Dwayne Johnson

Star score: 478

Top contributing films: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, The Fate of the Furious, Central Intelligence

#2 Star: Chris Pratt (Star score: 432, Top contributing films: Avengers: Infinity War, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2)

#3 Star: Chris Hemsworth (Star score: 371, Top contributing films: Avengers: Infinity War, Thor: Ragnarok, Ghostbusters)

“Avengers” and “Jurassic World” spelled success for Chris Pratt, who starred in both films. In the “Jurassic” movie, a reboot of the 90s film, Pratt’s character is tasked with rescuing dinosaurs from the island after its dormant volcano erupts. The film made more than $1 billion at the box office.

 

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