Iron Man 3 is the highest-grossing movie of 2013 so far with $1.2 billion. But that’s not enough to put its star, Robert Downey Jr., on top of our list of the top-grossing actors. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson beat him this year by working more.
With another Fast & Furious movie slated to hit theaters next summer, Johnson should have another banner year in 2014. He could do even better thanks to Hercules. The film, about the mythological hero’s life after he completes his famous 12 labors, has franchise potential written all over it. If it’s also a big hit, Johnson’s 2014 box office grosses should be huge.
Fast & Furious 6 helped place two other actors high on our list: Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker. Diesel lands in fourth place with $887 million. Fast & Furious 6 earned $789 million at the box office worldwide. The third movie in his Riddick franchise hit theaters just a few months after. It only pulled in $98 million, but that was enough to put Diesel ahead of his co-star Walker on our list.
Wallker places sixth thanks to Fast & Furious 6, the biggest hit of his career. He had finished shooting much of Fast & Furious 7 before the tragic car accident that took his life. Word is Universal won’t reshoot the film and will work around the actor’s death.
Note that grosses are not the same thing as earnings. Downey outearned Johnson by $29 million with $75 million in estimated earnings between June 2012 and June 2013, the period we used for the latest edition of our Celebrity 100 list. The numbers we’re looking at here are how many dollars each star’s movies brought in at the box office worldwide this year.
Although Downey has a few movies coming out next year, they’re much smaller than his superhero films. He won’t see another huge payday until 2015 when Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theaters.
Ranking third on our Top-Grossing list is Steve Carell. Despicable Me 2 was a huge hit this year, bringing in $919 million at the box office. Overall, the franchise has earned $1.4 billion at the box office worldwide and a third movie, Minions, is on the way. Carell also appeared this year in the small indie The Way Way Back and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. The latter failed to earn back its production budget at the box office but we’re only looking at ticket sales here — the film put another $22.5 million in Carell’s column for 2013.
Rounding out our top five is Sandra Bullock, one of only two women on our list (the other is Jennifer Lawrence in 10th place). Bullock had two big hits this year in two very different genres: Gravity was a tense thriller that will likely earn her another Oscar nomination, while The Heat was a cop comedy that kicked butt at the box office, bringing in $230 million globally.