These leading ladies are more than just Hollywood stars — they're woman who bring major bank to the box office. Join Wonderwall.com as we take a look at the actresses who can claim the biggest box office numbers… starting with "Avengers: Endgame" star Scarlett Johansson. Not only has Scarlett topped the list of Hollywood's highest paid actresses — taking home more than $40.5 million in 2018 — but she's part of the wildly popular, $7.7 billion-grossing "Avengers" film franchise. Even more exciting is that ScarJo is filming her Marvel solo spin-off, "Black Widow," which is reportedly due in theaters sometime in 2020. Keep reading for more…
She might be petite but there's no denying Zoe Saldana packs a punch at the box office. While some actresses are happy to star in one blockbuster film franchise, Zoe is in four. Along with returning to the big screen in 2021 to reprise her role as Neytiri in the sci-fi fantasy "Avatar 2" (which already has a third, fourth and fifth sequel in the works), Zoe's also part of the rebooted "Star Trek" sequels and has starring roles in both the "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Avengers" film franchises. In total, all four of her film franchises have earned a combined $13.3 billion at the worldwide box office.
If you feel like you've seen Cate Blanchett everywhere, you're probably right. Her resume includes roles in major film franchises like "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" — which each earned more than $2.9 billion at the worldwide box office — as well as parts in wildly successful films like "Thor: Ragnarok," "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Ocean's 8" and "The Aviator." Cate's also voiced characters in two of the "How to Train Your Dragon" sequels, which, combined, earned more than $1 billion.
Emma Watson's career began with the eight-part "Harry Potter" film franchise — which, combined, earned more than $7.7 billion in worldwide ticket sales. She's continued to star in blockbuster hits like "Beauty and the Beast," which earned more than $1.2 billion at the global box office. The British actress, activist and global ambassador clearly knows her worth, because she reportedly commands paychecks of upwards of $15 million for her film roles, helping to break the glass ceiling for women in Hollywood.
Elizabeth Banks is a writer, director, producer and actress who's combined her talents to deliver some box office savagery. She starred in the $2.9 billion-grossing "The Hunger Games" franchise and the $588 million "Pitch Perfect" trilogy (she also produced the first two films in that franchise and directed the second), among other projects. You can next catch Elizabeth on the big screen on Nov. 15, 2019, when she co-stars in the reboot of "Charlie's Angels" — a film she also wrote, directed and produced.
She might have retired from acting in 2014, but Cameron Diaz remains one of the biggest box office stars in Hollywood. Cashing in with films like "There's Something About Mary," "Vanilla Sky" and "My Best Friend's Wedding," as well as recurring roles in the "Charlie's Angels" and the $2.9 billion-grossing "Shrek" film franchises, Cameron's star power has helped drive more than $4 billion in worldwide ticket sales.
The delightfully quirky Helena Bonham Carter has starred in some of Hollywood's most successful movies. From playing Bellatrix Lestrange in four "Harry Potter" franchise films (which earned a combined $7.7 billion at the worldwide box office) to acting in 2010's "Alice in Wonderland," which grossed more than $1 billion in global sales, Helena has a long history of making movies that audiences want to watch. She'll next be seen as Princess Margaret in the Netflix original series "The Crown" and in the 2020 mystery drama "Enola Holmes."
In 2017, Emma Stone was named the highest paid actress in America after she brought home a reported $26 million in a year, largely due to her work in the Oscar-winning musical "La La Land," which earned more than $446 million at the global box office. Throughout her 14-year career in Hollywood, Emma's starred in blockbuster films like "The Amazing Spider-Man" franchise, "The Croods," "The Help" and "Superbad," which have collectively earned more than $2 billion worldwide.
Since her Oscar-winning performance in "12 Years a Slave," actress Lupita Nyong'o has built a reputation as a driving force at the box office. With blockbuster hits like "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," "The Jungle Book," "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" and "Black Panther," Lupita's talent has helped bring in more than $5.7 billion in worldwide film sales.
Throughout Natalie Portman's 25-year career in Hollywood, she's starred in more than a few blockbuster hits. Not counting 2019's "Avengers: Endgame," which grossed $2.7 billion worldwide (Natalie appeared as her "Thor" character but didn't actually film any scenes for the film), her most successful movies to date were the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy that kicked off in 1999. Combined, those brought in more than $2.5 billion at the global box office. Coming in at a close second are the first two "Thor" films, which earned a healthy $1 billion worldwide.
Julia Roberts might not have a billion-dollar-grossing film in her portfolio, but throughout her more than 30-year acting career, she's become a sure thing at the box office. Her top films include "Ocean's 11" and "Ocean's 12," which earned a combined $813 million at the worldwide box office. Coming in next are her 1990 romantic dramedy "Pretty Woman," which grossed $463 million globally, and her two 1999 romantic comedies, "Notting Hill" and "Runaway Bride," which each earned more than $300 million worldwide.
Before Carrie Fisher's untimely passing in December 2016, she left a serious imprint on Hollywood. The Emmy-nominated actress, author and Broadway force made a name for herself as Princess Leia in the "Star Wars" saga. Reprising the role in 2015's "Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens" after a more than 30-year break proved to be one of the best moves for Carrie and the film franchise. That movie brought in more than $2 billion at the worldwide box office and went on to become both Carrie's and the franchise's top-grossing movie. Coming in at second place is "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," which debuted in theaters a year after Carrie's death and earned more than $1.3 billion at the box office.
Thanks to landing the role of Nebula in both the "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Avengers" film franchises, Scottish actress Karen Gillan has several high-grossing films in her portfolio. Her biggest box office hit to date is "Avengers: Endgame," which earned $2.7 billion worldwide. Coming in a close second is the film's predecessor, "Avengers: Infinity War," which earned more than $2 billion at the global box office. Of course there's more to Karen's success than the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In 2017, she also starred in "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" alongside Dwayne Johnson. The adventure comedy managed to gross almost $1 billion worldwide, setting the bar high for the sequel, "Jumanji: The Next Level," which hits theaters on Dec. 13, 2019.
Before she was cast as Wanda Maximoff aka the Scarlet Witch in the "Avengers" franchise, Elizabeth Olsen's biggest box office hit was 2014's "Godzilla," which earned about $529 million worldwide. Now she's a member of the billion-dollar-plus-grossing film club due to the massive success of both "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame." Fun fact: Elizabeth will also star in the Marvel television spin-off series "Wandavision," which will reunite her with "Avengers" co-star Paul Bettany (Vision) and is reportedly due to arrive on the small screen in late 2019.
The lovely Anne Hathaway has risen from relative obscurity to superstar status, thanks in part to her breakthrough performance in 2001's "The Princess Diaries," which earned a modest $165 million at the worldwide box office but set Anne on a path toward major blockbuster success. Today, Anne's top-grossing films include "The Dark Knight Rises" — which earned more than $1 billion at the box office — followed by the 2010 fantasy "Alice in Wonderland," which also broke the $1 billion threshold in worldwide sales.
Did you know that Sandra Bullock has been acting since 1987? The beloved film star has also amassed a rather impressive resume of blockbuster hits. Sandra's top-grossing film is one she didn't physically appear in but lent her voice to — we're talking about the 2015 animated adventure "Minions," in which Sandra played Scarlet Overkill. The film earned more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office, beating out Sandra's previous top-grossing film, "Gravity," which made just over $723 million.
In 2016 and 2017, Jennifer Lawrence was the highest paid actress in the world. Her success was directly tied to the blockbuster film franchise "The Hunger Games," which earned a combined $2.98 billion at the worldwide box office. The apocalyptic saga wasn't Jennifer's only box office success story though: Her 2014 film "X-Men: Days of Future Past" was also a blockbuster hit, bringing in more than $747 million in worldwide sales.
A legend in her own right, three time Oscar winner Meryl Streep has enjoyed numerous box office successes, including the musical comedies "Mamma Mia!" and "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again," which, combined, broke the $1 billion mark in global sales. Coming in next are her films "The Devil Wears Prada" and "Mary Poppins Returns" which each earned more than $300 million worldwide.
Being a bad a– has worked out well for Latina actress Michelle Rodriguez. Not only was she a co-star in the $2.7 billion box office titan "Avatar," but she cut her teeth on one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood: "The Fast and the Furious." She's appeared in a total of five films in the series, including the original with Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker, helping to bring in more than $4 billion worldwide. In 2020, she's back in action as Letty Ortiz in "Fast & Furious 9."
Starting from relative obscurity in films like "Drop Dead Gorgeous," Amy Adams has risen like a phoenix to become one of Hollywood's most popular actresses. Along with starring in the $413 million-grossing hit film "Night At the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," the $340 million-earning "Enchanted" and the Oscar-nominated drama "American Hustle," Amy has also starred in three DC Extended Universe films — "Man of Steel," "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and "Justice League," which, combined, brought in more than $2 billion at the worldwide box office.
Although her acting career didn't start until 2011, Letitia Wright has already helped bring in a lot of money at the box office. Her success is thanks in large part to her work as Shuri in the 2018 blockbuster hit "Black Panther," which grossed more than $1.3 billion at the global box office. That role continued in "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame" — two of Marvel's most popular films — which each earned more than $2 billion in worldwide sales. Outside of the MCU, Letitia's also appeared in the sci-fi action-adventure film "Ready Player One," which took home more than $582 million at the box office.
While Nicole Kidman has long been considered a top talent in Hollywood, she can thank a recent superhero role for her blockbuster success: She played the mother of Jason Momoa's title character in the DC Extended Universe's most popular film, "Aquaman." The movie grossed more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office and became the highest earning film of Nicole's nearly four-decade acting career. Before that, her top-grossing film was one she didn't even physically appear in: the animated adventure "Happy Feet," which brought in more than $384 million worldwide. There's no word yet on whether or not Nicole will reprise her role as Atlanna in the 2022 "Aquaman" sequel.
Even after spending a few years away from movie screens to focus on her family and advocacy work, Angelina Jolie remains a legendary blockbuster star. Although she's yet to break the $1 billion mark for an individual film, Angie's top-performing movies have done spectacularly well, with "Maleficent" coming in at No. 1 after earning more than $758 million at the worldwide box office. Her voice work in the "Kung Fu Panda" trilogy has also paid off, with each film raking in more than $520 million. On Oct. 18, 2019, Angelina will add more money to her tally when "Maleficent 2" is released.
She's been around Hollywood since 1998, but it took 21 years for Oscar-winning actress Brie Larson to land the role of a lifetime — the titular superhero in "Captain Marvel." The film brought in more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office, making it the highest grossing film ever headlined by a female star. She also appeared in the $2.7 billion-earning "Avengers: Endgame." Other notable films on Brie's resume include 2017's "Kong: Skull Island," which grossed $566 million worldwide, and the heartbreaking drama "Room," which might have earned just $36 million at the worldwide box office but helped Brie earn her first Academy Award.
We've got to pay Israeli actress Gal Gadot her due as a blockbuster success story, thanks in large part to 2017's "Wonder Woman," which earned more than $821 million at the worldwide box office. Gal's take on the popular DC Extended Universe character helped break a record when the flick became the top-grossing film led by a female star… a title it held until Brie Larson's "Captain Marvel" knocked it out of first place. Gal's also appeared in both "Justice League" and "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," which, combined, earned more than $1.5 billion worldwide. She also had a part in three films in the "Fast and Furious" franchise, which adds another $1.7 billion to her lifetime box office tally. Up next for Gal is "Wonder Woman 1984," which hits theaters on June 5, 2020.