Special Report

Highest Grossing Stars of 2018

Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

Today’s Hollywood blockbusters are big business. A major production can easily cost millions of dollars and employ a cast and crew in the thousands. To ensure success, Hollywood often relies on actors known to draw in the crowds and help sell movie tickets and merchandise.

Despite the large number of people who work on these movies, audiences often associate the final project with only one or two faces. For instance, the Mission: Impossible franchise brings to mind Tom Cruise. The Iron Man films – and to a large extent the related Avengers flicks – rely on the familiar face of Robert Downey Jr.

Hollywood’s top talent has led multiple movies to box office success in 2018, with 50 different movies grossing over $50 million each at the domestic box office so far. 24/7 Wall St. has identified the lead actors who spearheaded the year’s highest-grossing films.

Many of the top actors of today have long, storied histories in the limelight. Cruise helped “Mission: Impossible – Fallout” gross over $220 million at the box office this year. This is the 56-year-old’s 33rd leading role in his lifetime, according to the Internet Movie Database. When combined, all of the films with Cruise as the lead star have grossed more than $3.5 billion.

Other accomplished actors behind some of this year’s highest grossing films include the seemingly workaholic Adam Sandler, who voices Dracula in the animated feature “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” and Denzel Washington, who plays Robert McCall in “The Equalizer 2.” Including these roles, the actors have appeared in 35 and 33 leading roles in their lifetimes, respectively.

Not all of the actors starring in the highest grossing films of 2018 have had such storied careers. Constance Wu was perhaps best known for her work on the ABC television series “Fresh Off the Boat” before striking box office gold with her performance as Rachel Chu in “Crazy Rich Asians,” which grossed over $173 million. Twenty-nine-year-old Alden Ehrenreich also appeared in his first leading role in a feature film, playing Han Solo in Ron Howard’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” which grossed more than $213 million.

Methodology

To determine the stars who helped movies become the highest grossing films of 2018, 24/7 Wall St. combined the domestic box office grosses for all of the films in which an actor starred in the leading role in 2018, according to the Internet Movie Database as of Nov. 26. To be included in this data, each film needed to have at least 10,000 user ratings on IMDb. “Leading role” refers to the first-billed among each movie’s cast.

Click here to see the highest grossing stars of 2018.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

25. Dakota Johnson
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $100.4 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Anastasia Steele in “Fifty Shades Freed”
> Lifetime leading roles: 4
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $427.8 million

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Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

24. Storm Reid
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $100.5 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Meg in “A Wrinkle in Time”
> Lifetime leading roles: 1
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $100.5 million

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures Corporation

23. Denzel Washington
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $102.1 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Robert McCall in “The Equalizer 2”
> Lifetime leading roles: 33
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $2.1 billion

Source: JJPaden / Getty Images

22. James Corden
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $115.3 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Peter Rabbit in “Peter Rabbit”
> Lifetime leading roles: 2
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $115.3 million

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Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

21. Demián Bichir
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $117.4 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Father Burke in “The Nun”
> Lifetime leading roles: 3
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $119.2 million

Source: gageskidmore / Flickr

20. Lily James
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $120.6 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Sophie in “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”
> Lifetime leading roles: 3
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $332.7 million

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Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

19. Rami Malek
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $130.1 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody”
> Lifetime leading roles: 1
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $130.1 million

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

18. Tye Sheridan
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $137.0 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Parzival / Wade in “Ready Player One”
> Lifetime leading roles: 2
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $140.7 million

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

17. Sandra Bullock
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $139.4 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Debbie Ocean in “Ocean’s Eight”
> Lifetime leading roles: 20
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $1.9 billion

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Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

16. Jason Statham
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $143.0 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Jonas Taylor in “The Meg”
> Lifetime leading roles: 21
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $516.3 million

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

15. Jamie Lee Curtis
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $158.9 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Laurie Strode in “Halloween”
> Lifetime leading roles: 7
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $402.3 million

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Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

14. Dwayne Johnson
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $167.2 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Davis Okoye in “Rampage”
> Lifetime leading roles: 19
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $1.7 billion

Source: Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com

13. Adam Sandler
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $167.5 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Dracula in “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation”
> Lifetime leading roles: 35
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $2.7 billion

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

12. Constance Wu
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $173.8 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Rachel Chu in “Crazy Rich Asians”
> Lifetime leading roles: 1
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $173.8 million

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Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

11. Lady Gaga
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $186.3 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Ally in “A Star Is Born”
> Lifetime leading roles: 1
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $186.3 million

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

10. Emily Blunt
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $188.0 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Evelyn Abbott in “A Quiet Place”
> Lifetime leading roles: 5
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $321.3 million

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Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures Corporation

9. Tom Hardy
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $210.4 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Eddie Brock / Venom in “Venom”
> Lifetime leading roles: 9
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $430.3 million

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

8. Alden Ehrenreich
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $213.8 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Han Solo in “Solo: A Star Wars Story”
> Lifetime leading roles: 1
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $213.8 million

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

7. Paul Rudd
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $216.7 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Scott Lang / Ant-Man in “Ant-Man and the Wasp”
> Lifetime leading roles: 10
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $629.6 million

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Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

6. Tom Cruise
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $220.2 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Ethan Hunt in “Mission: Impossible – Fallout”
> Lifetime leading roles: 33
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $3.6 billion

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

5. Ryan Reynolds
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $318.5 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Wade Wilson / Deadpool / Voice of Juggernaut in “Deadpool 2”
> Lifetime leading roles: 18
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $1.2 billion

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Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

4. Chris Pratt
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $416.8 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Owen Grady in “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”
> Lifetime leading roles: 5
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $2.0 billion

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

3. Craig T. Nelson
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $608.4 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible in “Incredibles 2”
> Lifetime leading roles: 2
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $869.9 million

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

2. Robert Downey Jr.
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $678.8 million
> Biggest role in 2018: Tony Stark / Iron Man in “Avengers: Infinity War”
> Lifetime leading roles: 14
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $3.4 billion

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Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

1. Chadwick Boseman
> Total 2018 gross of movies with actor as lead: $700.1 million
> Biggest role in 2018: T’Challa / Black Panther in “Black Panther”
> Lifetime leading roles: 4
> Lifetime gross of movies with actor as lead: $835.6 million

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