Hollywood's Highest-Grossing Actors of 2010. It's the No. 2 finisher who will surprise you.

inceptionImage Credit: Melissa Moseley2010 is nearly over, which means plenty of publications (including ours) are releasing an endless supply of year-end lists. (People of the year, celebrities of the year, movies of the year, squirrels in your backyard of the year, etc.) And today, Forbes has released their list of Hollywood’s Highest-Grossing Actors in 2010.

Quite predictably, blockbuster king Leonardo DiCaprio tops this year’s list — which is purely based on box office intake, and does not count animated films — with $1.1 billion, thanks to turns in the highly successful Shutter Island and Inception. But the list’s No. 2 finisher is the most shocking: 21-year-old up-and-coming Aussie actress Mia Wasikowska. Of course, the reason for her $1.0 billion gross over the year is mostly due to the list’s No. 3 finisher — Johnny Depp, who served as the main draw for Wasikowska’s summer film, Alice in Wonderland — and critical darling The Kids Are All Right, but it’s an impressive distinction to hold, considering most Americans don’t even know her name. (Not to mention how to spell it.)

Yes, Depp will soon top Wasikowska, as soon as The Tourist‘s gross exceeds Kids‘ (which it likely will), but even Iron Man, Harry Potter, and Twilight have got nothing on the actress’ Alice: Robert Downey Jr. comes in at No. 4 with $807 million, Daniel Radcliffe at No. 5 with $780 million, and Robert Pattinson at No. 6 with $749 million. (Thanks to Remember Me, Pattinson tops Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart, who sits at No. 7 with $698 million.) And rounding out the top 10: Clash of the Titans‘ Sam Worthington with $494 million, and The Karate Kid‘s Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan with $359 million.

Surprised with the results, PopWatchers? And wondering which young ingenue will make the top five next year? (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo‘s Rooney Mara, anyone?)

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Comments (61 total) Add your comment
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  • dusen

    This is kind of dumb.

    Obviously, nobody saw Alice in Wonderland because of Mia Whatsername.

    That’s like saying Sam Worthington was the main selling point of Avatar, not the blue furries (or 3-D).

    Good for her for making the list, but it means nothing.

    • Tag

      Agreed. It’s great for her career, but she was not the draw.

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      • Liz.

        Yea everyone went to see Johnny Deep and he was GREAT!

    • Erin

      What?? How is this misleading? It’s the top highest grossing actors. It doesnt say anything about being the top 10 biggest drawcards nor that they’re the reason people saw the movies. Just that they managed to star in some damn sucessful money earners.

      Good on them!

      • musica1

        Yeah, technically it’s correct. But to make it mean anything, they would need to list only the actors who brought people into the theatres. The percentage of people who saw Alice in Wonderland because of what’s her name is 0. I saw it because of Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter. Without him, I would’ve passed on the movie.

      • DJ

        It’s a meaningless list. They’re guessing that someone saw the movie because of the lead actor even though they admit that Depp was the attraction for ‘Alice’, not Mia. They might as well put Joseph Gordon Levitt and Marion Cotillard and Michael Caine on the list too. They were all in Inception.

    • Daryl

      How can it be misleading if the actress is seen in a blockbuster? That’s how people get their breaks and can lead to them drawing box office bucks in earnest once they are established. Maybe she wasn’t the draw but saying it means nothing doesn’t make sense either.

      • Anna

        The list means nothing because the extras in that film stared in a billion dollar movie but you cannot credit the success to them much less than than you can to her. People didn’t go for her. They went because of Depp and it is a well known story. Crediting her with a billion off a team effort when she was not a major part of the success is pointless. It is no accomplishment on her part.

      • Jenny

        If Mia is being given credit for Alice’s box office totals, then the number one actor should be Helena Bonham Carter. She was in both Alice in Wonderland and Harry Potter.

    • Summer

      To be fair, I only watched Alice in Wonderland after having seen her in The Kids Are Alright…

    • KarlHall

      No, @dusen James Cameron.

      I watched Alice in Wonderland for the STORY, not for her, but now that she’s made it in the big leagues I’ll be keeping my eyes out for her.

    • Roger

      I had seen her previously on “In Treatment” and she was terrific. I knew she would breakout.

      • aleksa

        Agreed. She was excellent in that.

    • tvfan

      Is anyone reading the article? It is giving the main actors credit for the box office, but since Avatar and Sherlock Holmes opened in Dec 2009 none of the money they made in 2010 is credited to Sam Worthington (Avatar) or Downey (Holmes). So this list of Money makers by year will never include movies that open in December. This is totally bogus.

  • John B.

    What a totally misleading list. Leonardo DiCaprio had less to do with Shutter Island’s success than Scorcese’s post-Oscar-win lustre, and Inception was blockbuster that had more to do with Nolan’s post-TDK sheen and the critical raves the film got. And Twilight is definitely a huge property that would’ve made a killing with or without Stewart and Pattison. If we went by box office alone, then Sam Worthington would be the biggest draw of the past 5 years, but seriously, nobody went to see Avatar, Termination:Salvation and COTT because “that’s the new Worthington film”. Out of the list, Depp is probably the only one who is unquestionably a draw (However, AIW’s megs-success was a case of being in the right place at the right time…the first 3D film to come immediately after Avatar made 3D huge again was bound to be a hit…

    • Ry

      You can’t break it down any better than that. In fact, you reminded me why AIW was so big when it was so obviously a terrible movie and sacrilege to anyone who adores the books. I was loosing hope for america’s taste, but that’s a perfect description of what actually happened. I wont loose hope just yet.

    • moi

      I do not agree about Leonardo. He and He alone is the reason I saw Inception. He as an actor, like Johnny, is a box office draw. All these other people happen to star in blockbusters and are interchanable. leo’s not. sorry.

    • Kylla

      John, could you not come up 5-7 degrees of Kevin Bacon reason for the success of any movie?

      The relative low draw of The Tourist is evidence that you are incorrect about Johnny Depp. I love me some Depp, but his movies that don’t involve Disney are not exactly blockbusters.

      • Amanda

        For me, the Tim Burton-Johnny Depp team is what draws me to movies, including AIW. I have no interest in going to see the Tourist.

    • Mr. Holloway

      John B.

      You bring up some good points.

      However, even though I agree about the directors of “Shutter Island” and “Inception” being draws as well, I think it’s absolutely a mistake to lump DiCaprio in with the other people on the list who are franchise players (Pattinson, Stewart, Radcliffe) or someone who just happened to be the lead in a huge movie, but wasn’t necessarily a draw (Wasikowskha).

  • poppy

    ha right before i clicked on the article i totally guessed mia wasikowski

  • yonathan

    Dear John B.
    Leonardo has every thing to do with the blockbuster success of shutter island or inception. No body will go and see a horror thriller film if had B list actor. Scorsses is known for lack of blockbuster. Since he had teamed up with Leo, Leonardo single handedlly took him to were he is now. Don’t get me wrong he had made lots of great movies, but it took to have leonardo to give his first Oscar and it took leonardo to make his film money on his recent success. Christopher Nolan could have picked his usual go guy Christian bale, but remember The Prestige fall out? He begged Leo for a long time to make film with him and he finally say yes to him and the rest is history. If am i wrong, let me know a movie were christopher made money besides super hero movie and let me know of scoresese other blockbuster movie. Please write me back.

    • Will


      Poor word choices and grammar aside..Leonardo DiCaprio was not the only reason Inception was a success. Christopher Nolan had as much to do, if not more, with Inception’s success than Leo D.

    • Chandler02

      Will, I agree with yonathan to a certain extent. These were very big films, and I think the directors chose Leo for a reason. Not many actors could take the audience through the complicated layers of Inception or Shutter Island the way Leo did. Just because he makes it look easy, doesn’t mean that it is.

    • KarlHall

      Uh, hello, how about a good STORY?

      Inception’s plot had people talking for months… that was the thing that drew people.

      Now, granted, Leo was a draw for Shutter Island, but for Inception? There was an Oscar winner, a couple of Oscar nominees, an actor from Nolan’s Batman franchise… Leo was equally matched.

    • Ry

      John B. didn’t say Leo had little to do with the B.O. draw, and he didn’t say Leo WASN’T a big part of the draw. What he said was that Leo’s draw was minor at best COMPARED to the draw of Scorcese post scars and Nolan post Dark Knight. I wouldn’t have seen those movies, nor would anyone else, if they had different directors but still had Leo. The guy had only flops before he teamed up with Scorcese, and plenty of flops in between.

    • Rachel

      Inception had amazing visuals and an interesting and unique story. It also had good word of mouth and a lot of “buzz”. That being said, I may not have given it a chance if it didn’t have Leo, and I certainly wouldn’t have bothered with Shutter Island. His movies may succeed for a myriad of reasons, but you can’t deny that Leonardo DiCaprio gets butts in seats. Hmm…that sounded less strange in my head…

    • Ry

      I also meant to say that it should be a list of directors, because this is a new world of cinema, where audiences finally realize that the power of the art itself is in the auteur, where it should be, not the overpaid actor who is usually just a representation of the auteur him/herself

    • Anna

      “but it took to have leonardo to give his first Oscar”

      Congratulations!!!!! This has to be the most foolish statement I have ever read on EW. You think Scorceses would not have won an Oscar without Leonardo. LMAO!!!!

  • jon

    well that was surprising but Leo is the king.

    ‘find hollywood jobs on careerDaddy com’

  • tipsy

    leo makes sense cause he is a draw. However, Wasikowska, Harry Potter and tweilight people, sorry but no. Those huge brand names draw audience, not those actors who are just lucky to be in those movies. And this is from Dan Rad and K-Stew fan.

    Worthington was a draw in CotT since he became a familar name from Avatar exposure, and Jackie Chan was for Karate Kid.

    • The Dream Police

      Sam Worthington is no draw. He’s just being pushed down our throats. Tough to believe that there are people saying “Did you hear? The new Sam Worthington movie is out.” Highly dubious.

  • true

    who ever you are robert p and kristen s, have everything, to do with twilight sucess if not why didn’t summit, replace them, you sound like vaq typical hater!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

    • Will

      true you are wrong. If they had “everything” to do with Twilight’s success, than why have all of Robert P. and Kristen Stewart’s recent movies bombed? Remember Me? Adventureland?

      • duh

        The runaways

  • Colin

    I would expect Radcliffe to climb a bit before the year is over as Harry Potter keeps making money overseas

  • therealeverton

    I don’t see how Jaden SMith and Jackie Chan are =, when Jacki Chan was in other films that made money in 2010 and Jaden wasn’t.????

  • vincey

    How can Daniel Radcliffe be in the top ten, and not the entire cast of Harry Potter? It’s not like he did anything else.

    (This list is more than slightly meaningless).

    Now the highest PAID actors of 2010 would be more interesting.

    • Mary Anne

      I agree that others in Harry Potter should have been included. How do you say both Pattinson and Stewart but not include Emma Watson and Radcliffe? If you go down deeped into the cast, why not include Helena Bottam Carter, who was in Alice and Harry Potter and should therefore be number one!!! Which really makes this a totally inaccurate and useless list.

      • Mary Anne

        Helena Bonham Carter

      • Dean

        Mary Anne I was going to say the same thing. This thing makes no sense to me. Why is Mia #2 on this list by herself and none of the other well-known actors in that movie, like Carter? Same with the other movies like Potter. So why are Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan listed together?

      • AltDave

        Even though they don’t spell it out, they obviously are looking only at the top-billed stars of each movie and not all of the major cast members. As far as meaning, a list like this has as much, or as little, meaning as any other ranking. It tells you of one aspect of a movie, it doesn’t pretend to be the total picture of a film’s success.

  • MultiPass

    Stupid worthless statistic.

  • Gabby

    Why is DanRad on the list, but Rupert and Emma are missing? Rupert had 2 films released this year in addition to Deathly Hallows. Plus DH has earned over 820 million worldwide, which means Dan should be hire on the list. Come on, Forbes get it right.

  • emaul

    i think depp is one of the best actor in this planet

    • rule

      sure, go to see the tourist, amazing movie… hahaha. Johnny please no more terrible movies, and no more pirates.

  • anti

    rob pattinson is the reason we watch twilight and remember me. not because of the other cast.
    while shutter island and inception is a director movie regardless who star in it. I watch inception because of christopher nolan reputation.

  • Minerva

    Why you hate so much Daniel Radcliffe?
    It is a simple statistic in a magazine

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