In Hollywood, “power” for actors is defined by one thing: their ability to get films made. Attach someone like Robert Downey Jr. or Leonardo DiCaprio to your film and investors will rush to finance it. That’s because between them, their movies have grossed a total $12 billion at the global box office.
Downey, who ranks 20th on our Celebrity 100 list with $75 million, has yet to use his power to get movies into theaters that otherwise might have never seen the light of day. He’s happy to rake in million playing Tony Stark (in movies like the recent Iron Man 3 and The Avengers) and Sherlock Holmes in blockbuster franchises.
DiCaprio has taken more risks. Baz Luhrmann’s recent update of The Great Gatsby was not a slam dunk idea. The film is a very American period tale with a downer of an ending, not exactly the kind of film that screams huge international box office potential. Plus Luhrmann (whose most successful movie to date was 2008′s Australia) decided to film the lavish production in 3-D. The production budget easily surpassed $100 million.
It’s a gamble that paid off for DiCaprio, Luhrmann and Warner Bros., which distributed the film. The Great Gatsby grossed $300 million at the global box office. DiCaprio ranks 21st on our list with $39 million.
But both men are outranked by Hugh Jackman, who debuts on our list as the most powerful actor in 11th place on our overall Celebrity 100 list. Jackman, who earned an estimated $55 million between June 2012 and June 2013, helped get the film version of Les Miserables made and earned an Oscar nod for playing Jean Valjean. The profitable film took in $437 million on an estimated budget of $61 million.