Forbes Magazine always likes to put together all kinds of “most successful” lists. Of course, Forbes’ latest list, which is supposed to list the Hardest Working Actors in Show Business, has interesting criteria. “To come up with our list we looked at all movies that earned more than $20 million since 2007” and picked the actors who have appeared in the most $20 million+ grossing films since (not counting animated films).
Some of the choices are the usual suspects, but there are also some surprises.
1) Jason Bateman (12 movies). Bateman’s rode his cult comedic role on TV’s soon-to-return Arrested Development lead him to success in big screen comedies like Paul, Horrible Bosses and The Change-Up (which were all released in 2011). Bateman also appeared in Juno, Up in the Air, Hancock, and The Kingdom. He’s the runaway winner on this list,
2) George Clooney (10 movies). Clooney has appeared in a lot of low-grossing but award winning films over the last five years. Nonetheless, his highest grossing of this period is Ocean’s Thirteen. (The Forbes list doesn’t include The Descendants, which just recently crossed the $20 million threshold).
3) Matt Damon (9 movies). In 2007 alone Damon appeared in two high-grossing threequels (Ocean’s Thirteen and The Bourne Ultimatum). Like Clooney though, most of his films garner major awards but don’t have high grosses, he appeared in True Grit, which hit $171 million at the domestic box office.
4) Morgan Freeman (8 movies). Of course, Freeman appeared in The Dark Knight, one of the highest grossing films in history. He also appeared in the high-grossing comic book adaptions Red and Wanted, as well as the non-comic The Bucket List and Evan Almighty.
5) Mark Wahlberg (8 movies). Though 2006’s The Departed doesn’t make the list from predating the cutoff, the $90 million+ grossing Date Night, The Other Guys, and The Fighter — his last three films — all do.
6) Jonah Hill (8 movies). I always thought Jonah Hill played the same character in every film — except for Moneyball, in which he thankfully tried something different — but it apparently works. In 2007 alone Hill appeared in Knocked Up, Evan Almighty, and Superbad.
7) Bradley Cooper (8 movies). A pair of Hangovers beats nearly everything, but Cooper also had great success with the romantic comedies He’s Just Not Into You and Valentine’s Day and the action films A-Team and Limitless. He’s definitely the most versatile on the list.
8) Seth Rogen (8 movies). Like buddy Jonah Hill, Rogan’s done well with the same comic persona in Knocked Up, Superbad, Pineapple Express, and Zack and Miri Make a Porno, but he’s also done some work that has leaned toward drama, Funny People and 50/50. Rogen would likely top the list if animated films were included: he’s voiced characters in Horton Hears a Who, Monsters Vs. Aliens, and Kung Fu Panda 2.
9) Amy Adams (8 movies). Surprisingly, there is only one woman on this list, but unsurprisingly its Amy Adams. She’s best known for her cutesy roles (Enchanted, Leap Year, The Muppets), but she’s also appeared in Doubt and The Fighter, earning Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominations for both.
10) Owen Wilson (7 movies). Though his most recent film, The Big Year, bombed big-time, Wilson has appeared in a number of comedies that have performed well, including the sequels Little Fockers, Cars 2, and Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.