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Forbes’ Top-Grossing Actors of 2012: Robert Downey Jr., Kristen Stewart and Christian Bale

Forbes' Top-Grossing Actors of 2012: Robert Downey Jr., Kristen Stewart and Christian Bale

Forbes names the Top Grossing Actors of 2012, based on the global box office take of their films. Robert Downey Jr. takes the top spot; Forbes credits the worldwide success of “The Avengers” ($1.5 billion) to his “charm and humor” while noting that he’ll be walking away with more money than his co-superheroes.

As to be expected, the rest of the top ten includes other superheroes–from Christian Bale’s Batman to Andrew Garfield’s “Spider-Man”– vampires (the stars of “Twilight”), Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss Everdeen of “The Hunger Games,” Will Smith’s return to “Men in Black” and Britain’s Bond, James Bond.

The most earth-bound entry on the list is #10 — Mark Wahlberg for “Ted” and “Contraband.” Check out Forbes’ stats below. Only one of these stars can also expect an Oscar nomination this year: Lawrence.

Robert Downey Jr. – $1.5 billion

Thanks to The Avengers, Downey is the top-grossing actor of the year. The film is the third highest-grossing of all time behind Titanic and Avatar. Although the movie was an ensemble, we only counted Downey as the star because he is the star who will walk away with the biggest payday from the film.

Kristen Stewart – $1.2 billion

The majority of the money Stewart brought in at the box office this year came from Twilight. Breaking Dawn Part 2 (which is still in theaters) has earned $779 million at the box office so far. But she tops her Twilight co-stars thanks to Snow White and the Huntsman which earned a healthy $396 million at the global box office.

Christian Bale – $1 billion

Batman is still one of the most popular superheroes around. The final (?) film in director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy earned $1 billion at the box office. Bale added a tiny bit to that, $300,000, from The Flowers of War.

Daniel Craig – $951 million

James Bond has always been popular but no one could have anticipated the success of Skyfall, the 23rd film in the Bond franchise. Until now, 2006’s Casino Royale was the highest-grossing Bond film with $600 million at the global box office. Skyfall has surpassed that by $350 million and it is still in theaters.

Robert Pattinson – $793 million

Like costar Kristen Stewart, most of Pattinson’s gross comes from the final Twilight movie. But unlike Stewart, Pattinson didn’t have another successful film this year to boost his numbers. His two non-Twilight films, Cosmopolis and Bel Ami, earned only $14 million between them.

Taylor Lautner – $779 million

Lautner is the only one of the three Twilight stars to earn all of his box office gross from Twilight this year. The stars last non-Twilight movie, 2011’s Abduction, earned $82 million at the global box office.

Andrew Garfield – $752 million

Any concerns about rebooting Spider-Man just five years after the last Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movie were swept away when the new movie earned $752 million at the global box office. The next film is slated for 2014.

Jennifer Lawrence – $748 million

This year the star proved that not only is she a great actress (Hollywood already knew that from the Oscar nominated Winter’s Bone) but that she can carry a franchise. The first Hunger Games movie earned $687 million. The rest of her gross comes from the horror film House At The End Of The Street and the recent Silver Linings Playbook.

Will Smith – $624 million

Men In Black might be a little long in the tooth but the third movie was the highest-grossing of the franchise at the global box office. It was the lowest grossing domestically though earning $180 million of its $624 million in the U.S.

Mark Wahlberg – $598 million

One of the most surprising hits of the year was Ted, a comedy about a raunchy teddy bear who comes to life. Ted’s $502 million box office gross accounted for most of Whalberg’s box office this year. But he also had a small hit with Contraband which brought in $96 million.

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Jennifer is not a great actress. Please, stop the hype.

Joey the Accountant

Did an intern write this article? Why are they listing the amount that the movie grossed next to the actors name and titling the article as if these figures are what the actor brought in as a paycheck?

I guess they'll publish anything and anybody these days…..


None of this makes sense. Only one actor should claim one movie. in The case of Twilight, shouldn't you split the gross between it's two stars. And why is Launter even in the equation? So if I was an extra in Iron Man 2, Avengers and the horrible Snow White I would have been in a movie that outgrossed everything above. Forbes you need to rethink this list. and YUP is right. According to the way you calculate this, Hemsworth should be somewhere on the list.


Hemsworth starred in Avengers and Snow White should he not be #1?


While not denying Robert Downey Jr.'s 'charm and humor', I think the success of The Avengers owes a great debt to Joss Whedon's script and direction, too.


1 billion $ + 300 000 $ = 1 billion $ ?


Miss Stewart is still on the list because of her Snow film…let's see what will happen next year. She doesn't have promising project after her indiscretion apart from Snowy sequel (if there's any) or that comedy thing.


Stupid article very confusing article…this is how much the film brought in not necessarily the actor themselves, why not entitle it highest grossing films?

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