Estimating how valuable a celebrity can be is no easy task. While it is simple to look up how much actors, actresses, or directors have received for certain projects, it’s more difficult to assess the annual value that a person adds through the sum of his or her activities. But in the 1950s, the studio system actually did compensate Hollywood stars in that manner, rather than through a fixed series of contracts.
By assembling a massive graph of connections that displays personalities, movies, initiatives, projects, and everything else that makes money in Hollywood, the Hollywood Creative Graph is used to determine the annual value each big name brings to the table. Let’s take a closer look at the top 10 names on the Numbers Bankabiity Index — the most valuable names in Hollywood.
10. Kathleen Kennedy
In order to crack the top 10, you need to have an annual value of more than $18 million, just like Kathleen Kennedy. Though not by any means the most famous name on the list, Kennedy has been a producer on many Hollywood hits, including Jurassic Park, The Sixth Sense, and War of the Worlds.
9. Robert Downey Jr.
One of the best-known actors in Hollywood today, Robert Downey Jr.’s bankability, to use the index’s term, comes in at just over $19.5 million. Downey is one actor who has established himself in several of the biggest film franchises to come out in the past five years, including Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes.
8. Adam Sandler
Another actor, but this time one known exclusively for his comedy: Adam Sandler’s annual worth is estimated at more than $20.5 million. Sandler has also branched out into the production and screenwriting side of Hollywood, aiming to make money from every corner of the business. Some of his classic roles are in movies such as Grown Ups, The Longest Yard, and Mr. Deeds.
7. Brad Pitt
When you’re Brad Pitt, you make just under $21 million a year, according to the Numbers Bankabiity Index. Often seen as a masculine icon in Hollywood, Pitt got his start in cult classics like Fight Club and eventually headlined mainstream movies such as World War Z, Troy, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, showcasing his versatility as an actor.
6. Hans Zimmer
Zimmer’s value, at just more than $21.5 million, is noteworthy not just for the amount but also because of his role in Hollywood productions — he’s a composer. His composition resume is extensive, having created the music for titles as diverse as Inception (with frequent collaborator Christopher Nolan), Something’s Gotta Give, and parts of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.
5. Tom Cruise
Few actors have the reputation or the resume of Tom Cruise, who is known for his eccentric beliefs and his numerous leading roles. He has to be doing something right: His bankability comes in at more than $22.5 million. With massively popular films like Minority Report, Top Gun, War of the Worlds, and the Mission: Impossible series under his belt, his value isn’t going anywhere south anytime soon.
4. Tom Hanks
Another Tom who is one of the most respected names in Hollywood is Tom Hanks, known for his dramatic roles in movies like Castaway, Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, and, most recently, Captain Phillips, the tale of a ship captain targeted by pirates. In addition, Hanks has served as a producer for numerous titles and has directed films such as Larry Crowne, which he also starred in.
3. Johnny Depp
Though Johnny Depp’s most recent movie, The Lone Ranger, did not live up to box office expectations, it has not hurt his ranking, with a value of over $23 million. With the wide variety of roles that Depp has played, including Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean series — sure to make money for years to come — his value is fairly secure. It is more questionable what his performance in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory adds to his resume, though.
2. Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson has a reputation for portraying some of the toughest roles in Hollywood, all while maintaining enough style to be a badass the entire time. It hasn’t worked out so bad for him, either, financially speaking. Jackson, too, tops the $23 million mark in terms of bankability. While we could go on and on about his numerous roles in films such as Snakes on a Plane, Jumper, and Django Unchained, at a certain point, as he put it, “enough is enough.”
1. Steven Spielberg
Few names scream Hollywood as much as Steven Spielberg, the producer and executive producer who has been involved in many — if not most or all — of Hollywood’s biggest projects over the past few decades. From Jurassic Park to Lincoln, Spielberg has produced a series of some of the most famous movies of all time, and his name is sure to be remembered for generations to come. And his bankability rating, the best in all Hollywood, is nearly $26.7 million, more than $3 million above the second-place finisher.
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