Jay-Z, Denzel Washington, and more on EW's countdown of influential stars
U.S. ALBUMS SOLD 28 million
U.S. DIGITAL TRACKS SOLD 21.9 million.
More than a consummate hip-hop entrepreneur, Jay-Z is a beloved artist who is creating his biggest pop hits yet (the Alicia Keys collaboration ”Empire State of Mind”) after 15 years in the game. NEXT He just signed Will Smith’s 9-year-old daughter, Willow, to a deal with his Roc Nation label.
27. Tina Fey
AVG. VIEWERSHIP 6.8 million
SALARY $350,000 per episode, reported.
While 30 Rock lost the Emmy this year to Modern Family, Fey’s absurdist sitcom is still TV’s smartest show. Her big-screen jaunt with Steve Carell (No. 33), Date Night, opened to $25.2 million and proved that her reach extends beyond the small screen. NEXT Mommy & Me opposite Meryl Streep.
28. Denzel Washington
CAREER B.O. $2.9 billion
LAST THREE FILMS $337.5 million
AVG. OPENING WEEKEND $21.3 million
AVG. OPENING LAST THREE FILMS $33.3 million.
Over Washington’s long film career, the two-time Oscar winner has fashioned a sterling reputation with audiences and studios as Hollywood’s most reliable star, elevating every project he’s in. Now he’s never been more bankable. This year’s The Book of Eli was his best solo opening weekend ever ($32.8 million). NEXT The Tony Scott thriller Unstoppable (Nov. 12).
29. Daniel Craig
CAREER B.O. $2.3 billion
LAST THREE FILMS $1 billion
AVG. OPENING WEEKEND $26.5 million
AVG. OPENING LAST THREE FILMS $31.1 million.
The Bond series remains stalled, but Craig has moved on to another hot literary franchise: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. He’s not always a box office sure thing (Defiance), but in a Hollywood starved for men who can play both lover and fighter, he’s rapidly becoming agent 001. NEXT Cowboys & Aliens opposite Harrison Ford (July 29, 2011).
30. Hugh Laurie
AVG. VIEWERSHIP 12.8 million
SALARY $400,000 per episode, reported.
He’s now the highest-paid dramatic actor on television. But despite five Emmy nods, Laurie’s never won for his turn as the caustic Dr. House, and House‘s season 7 premiere was down 37 percent from last year’s launch. With his contract up after next season, the actor could choose to retire his cane and let the new show offers roll in.
31. Will Ferrell
AGE 43 CAREER B.O. $1.4 billion
LAST THREE FILMS $329.4 million
AVG. OPENING WEEKEND $23.7 million
AVG. OPENING LAST THREE FILMS $28.4 million.
After Land of the Lost landed with a thud in 2009, things looked shaky for Ferrell. But with this summer’s $132.5 million-grossing buddy-cop movie The Other Guys, he reminded audiences — and the industry — that he still has a special brand of wackadoodle mojo the other guys can’t match. NEXT Voicing the alien villain in the animated Megamind (Nov. 5).
32. Jay Leno
AVG. VIEWERSHIP 4 million
SALARY $25 million per year, reported.
Yes, his 10 p.m. show on NBC was a disaster, but it confirmed his power. If Leno weren’t the true king of late night, would the network have gone through the ugly public mulligan that sent Conan O’Brien packing to put Leno back at the Tonight Show desk?
33. Steve Carell
CAREER B.O. $1.6 billion
LAST THREE FILMS $462 million
AVG. OPENING WEEKEND $30.1 million
AVG. OPENING LAST THREE FILMS $29.1 million.
Because of his now-sunsetting role on The Office, Carell hasn’t been as prolific on movie screens as his comic peers. His box office hits (Date Night, Dinner for Schmucks) have been just dependable, though, not dazzling. Yet. NEXT Crazy, Stupid, Love with Julianne Moore (April 22, 2011).
34. Julia Roberts
CAREER B.O. $4.9 billion
LAST THREE FILMS $390.4 million
AVG. OPENING WEEKEND $25.1 million
AVG. OPENING LAST THREE FILMS $31.1 million.
Once Hollywood’s biggest female draw, Roberts has been picking riskier projects lately. Charlie Wilson’s War and Duplicity underwhelmed, and Eat Pray Love didn’t travel past $80 million domestically. But few doubt the queen can reclaim her throne when she’s ready. NEXT Larry Crowne with Tom Hanks (2011).
35. Tyler Perry
CAREER B.O. $451.3 million
LAST THREE FILMS $202.3 million
AVG. OPENING WEEKEND $26.1 million
AVG. OPENING LAST THREE FILMS $31.2 million.
The quintessential one-man brand, Perry writes, directs, and produces for TV (Meet the Browns), film (Why Did I Get Married Too?), and stage (Madea’s Big Happy Family). He lacks global reach, but his imprint on African-American culture is indelible. NEXT Directing For Colored Girls (Nov. 5).
36. Matt Damon
CAREER B.O. $4.1 billion
LAST THREE FILMS $258.7 million
AVG. OPENING WEEKEND $23.9 million
AVG. OPENING LAST THREE FILMS $11.1 million.
He’s likely left the Bourne franchise behind, and although Damon remains in demand, his career has downshifted to well-regarded if low-grossing films (The Informant!, Invictus). But he’s that rare elixir of Everyman and action hero. In the right project, he’s golden. NEXT Hereafter (Oct. 15) and True Grit (Dec. 25).
37. Justin Timberlake
U.S. ALBUMS SOLD 8.1 million.
No multihyphenate on this list requires more hyphens than this ball of energy, who is a star in every sphere: singing, acting, and even cutting up on Saturday Night Live. And The Social Network‘s success has significantly enhanced his Hollywood cred. NEXT Bad Teacher with Cameron Diaz (April 1, 2011).
38. Shia LaBeouf
CAREER B.O. $3.3 billion
LAST THREE FILMS $1.8 billion
AVG. OPENING WEEKEND $49.8 million
AVG. OPENING LAST THREE FILMS $52.4 million.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps marked his first non-action film in three years, and it was his highest-opening drama to date. Plus, he’s got the confidence of Michael Bay (Transformers) and Steven Spielberg (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). NEXT Transformers 3 (July 1, 2011).
39. Tom Hanks
CAREER B.O. $5.9 billion
LAST THREE FILMS $605.8 million
AVG. OPENING WEEKEND $30.4 million
AVG. OPENING LAST THREE FILMS $44.3 million.
It’s been a quiet decade for Hanks, but the Da Vinci Code franchise still added another $1.2 billion to his career coffer, and he and BFF Steven Spielberg persuaded HBO to pony up $200 million for The Pacific. NEXT Directing and starring in Larry Crowne opposite Julia Roberts (2011).
40. Reese Witherspoon
CAREER BOX OFFICE $1.2 billion
LAST THREE FILMS $211.9 million
AVERAGE OPENING WEEKEND $20.6 million
AVERAGE OPENING OF LAST THREE FILMS $19.2 million.
Her post-Oscar foray into topical drama (Rendition) may have flopped, but her holiday romp Four Christmases opened to a cheery $31.1 million and proved she’s still a serious contender for the romantic-comedian crown. NEXT James L. Brooks’ romance How Do You Know, with Paul Rudd (Dec. 17).
41. George Clooney
CAREER B.O. $3.1 billion
LAST THREE FILMS $395.9 million
AVG. OPENING WEEKEND $21.7 million
AVG. OPENING LAST THREE FILMS $15 million.
His box office hasn’t been up in the air of late, but Clooney has Hollywood’s most coveted prize: He gets to pick projects because they inspire him (The American) and remain a star. That may not make him the most bankable star, but it does make him free. NEXT Alexander Payne’s The Descendants (2011).
42. Katherine Heigl
CAREER B.O. $934.4 million
LAST THREE FILMS $457.7 million
AVG. OPENING WEEKEND $18.8 million
AVG. OPENING LAST THREE FILMS $22.1 million.
She’s poised to be America’s next sweetheart, but Killers disappointed at the box office, and her rocky departure from Grey’s Anatomy didn’t help. Even so, she’s one of Hollywood’s few sure-thing actresses. Smart choices could shoot her straight to the top. NEXT Crime thriller One for the Money (July 8, 2011).
43. Hugh Jackman
CAREER BOX OFFICE $2.5 billion
LAST THREE FILMS $602.1 million
AVG. OPENING WEEKEND $40.9 million
AVG. OPENING LAST THREE FILMS $34.1 million.
The Fountain and Australia didn’t connect with U.S. audiences or Oscar, but the $373.1 million gross of X-Men Origins: Wolverine, plus his sparkling reputation in the industry, keeps this Aussie hunk on every studio short list. NEXT Robot boxing drama Real Steel (Nov. 18, 2011).
44. Kyra Sedgwick
AVG. VIEWERSHIP 8.6 million
SALARY $350,000 per episode, reported.
Sedgwick not only paved the way for fortysomething film actresses to make a graceful (and lucrative) transition to the small screen, she also recently nabbed an Emmy for her lead role as Deputy Chief Brenda Johnson on The Closer, which just wrapped its most watched summer ever on TNT.
45. Robert Pattinson
CAREER B.O. $2.7 billion
LAST THREE FILMS $1.5 billion
AVG. OPENING WEEKEND $77.6 million
AVG. OPENING LAST THREE FILMS $71.9 million.
Tween girls swoon over him as Edward Cullen, but they haven’t yet declared their love for him outside the Twilight franchise. A few more movies and Hollywood will know for sure whether he’s better off undead. NEXT Water for Elephants with Reese Witherspoon (April 15, 2011).
46. Jake Gyllenhaal
CAREER B.O. $1.4 billion
LAST THREE FILMS $405.1 million
AVG. OPENING WEEKEND $25.6 million
AVG. OPENING LAST THREE FILMS $14.6 million.
Viable leading men under 30 are hard to find, but Gyllenhaal has crafted an enviable career consisting of global blockbusters (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time) and critical darlings (Brokeback Mountain). If he can just find the right franchise, he’s glory-bound. NEXT Love and Other Drugs with Anne Hathaway (Nov. 24).
47. Justin Bieber
U.S. ALBUMS SOLD 3.3 million
U.S. DIGITAL TRACKS SOLD 10.1 million.
YOUTUBE PLAYS 1.1 billion.
He’s the latest in a long line of heartthrobs with candy-floss ditties and fantastic hair, but also one who reportedly owns a whopping 3 percent of all Twitter traffic, including 5.6 million followers on his own official page. NEXT A 3-D biopic (Feb. 11, 2011).
48. Christian Bale
CAREER B.O. $2.6 billion
LAST THREE FILMS $1.6 billion
AVG. OPENING WEEKEND $42.6 million
AVG. OPENING LAST THREE FILMS $75.4 million.
His Dark Knight heat cooled a bit when Terminator Salvation failed to set the box office on fire, but no matter: Bale seems most interested in intense character fare (Public Enemies), and being Batman gives him more than enough juice to make any art-house film he wants. NEXT The Fighter with Mark Wahlberg (Dec. 10).
49. Ryan Reynolds
CAREER B.O. $1.2 billion
LAST THREE FILMS $690.5 million
AVG. OPENING WEEKEND $22.9 million
AVG. OPENING LAST THREE FILMS $42.8 million.
The Proposal made him a leading man. Green Lantern could make him a superstar. He’s charming, handsome, and a tireless promoter, plus he’s packing a heart for indies (Buried) and a cool wife (Scarlett Johansson). He’s kinda perfect. Jerk. NEXT Green Lantern (June 17, 2011).
50. Katy Perry
U.S. ALBUMS SOLD 1.7 million
U.S. DIGITAL TRACKS SOLD 14.9 million.
She defied the sophomore slump with this summer’s smash ”California Gurls,” and while physical sales of her Teenage Dream haven’t been spectacular so far, its titular second single also shimmied straight to No. 1. Take that, Elmo. NEXT Voicing Smurfette in the Smurfs movie (Aug. 3, 2011) and an upcoming world tour.
(DIS)HONORABLE MENTION: The Situation
AVG. VIEWERSHIP 6.6 million
SALARY $20,000-$30,000 per episode, reported.
He held an entire network hostage while negotiating a raise for his Jersey Shore contract; he’s on Dancing With the Stars; and he’s branding himself via a workout video, clothing line, and vitamins. The Situation truly is our gross national product.
SOURCE: BoxOfficeMojo.com; figures as of Oct. 3, 2010
10 Power Authors
By the Numbers
Sookie Stackhouse scribe Charlaine Harris is the only author ever to have 9 titles simultaneously on the New York Times best-seller list.
More than 400 million of J.K. Rowling‘s Harry Potter books have been sold.
10 mil people listen to Glenn Beck‘s radio show each week — and a sizable percentage buy the books he recommends. Is he the next Oprah?
312 weeks That’s how long Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point has stayed on the Best-Sellers list
If that manuscript Stieg Larsson left behind is another Dragon Tattoo novel, it’s worth at least $25 mil
27 Nora Roberts books are sold every minute.
$40 Million What Stephen King takes home in a good year.
Fans snapped up 1.3 Million copies of Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn in its first 24 hours on sale.
Random House lured Janet Evanovich away from longtime publisher St. Martin’s with a sweet 3-book, $40 million deal — the year’s biggest.
56 of James Patterson’s novels have been New York Times Best-Sellers. Since 2008; 11 of them have hit No. 1.