The Unexpected Thing Robert Downey Jr., Lee Pace, and Will Smith Have In Common

Robert Downey Jr., Lee Pace, and Will Smith are three very accomplished Hollywood actors. They have been in countless movies and recognized as stars with real longevity in showbiz.

While Downey Jr., Pace, and Smith are everywhere these days, fans might be surprised to learn that they have never worked together before. Even so, these three men actually have something big in common. Read on below to find out what it is. 

The three actors have appeared in five films in a row that grossed $100 million

Will Smith attends Variety's Creative Impact Awards.
Will Smith | Jerod Harris/Getty Images

The movie industries have seen loads of successful actors over the years. However, it’s not every day that someone acts in five films consecutively that gross $100 million. Yet, Downey Jr., Pace, and Smith all did just that.

Sometimes, they did it by building an amazing reputation in Hollywood and making people all over the world want to see their movies. Other times, it is just about being a part of a successful franchise.

Robert Downey Jr.’s five films all came from the Marvel franchise

For Downey Jr., his success is partly due to the fact that he is one of the main faces of the hugely popular Marvel franchises. As such, his five films that grosses $100 million consecutively were Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), Captain America: Civil War (2016), Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Avengers: Endgame (2019).

This list of five movies could actually grow to seven in the coming year since many people believe that Downey Jr.’s two upcoming releases — Dolittle and Black Widow — have the potential to attract lots of attention at the box office. It is important to note that Dolittle is not a Marvel flick, so its performance will determine whether Downey Jr.’s star power alone is enough to keep his streak going.

Lee Pace’s five films mostly came from ‘The Hobbit’ trilogy

Like Downey Jr., Lee Pace has a role in the Marvel universe as well, but much of his success actually comes from another franchise. Since 2012, he has been playing the role of Thranduil the Elvenking in The Hobbit trilogy.

His five films that managed to gross a large sum of money in a row were The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012), The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013), Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).

Will Smith’s actually had eight consecutive movies that grossed $100 million

Will Smith was one of the most popular actors of the 2000s and it seems that he is still in a league of his own. The 51-year-old star managed to star in eight films in a row that all grossed $100 million. They were Men in Black II (2002), Bad Boys II (2003), I, Robot (2004), Shark Tale (2004), Hitch (2005), The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), I Am Legend (2007), Hancock (2008).

Smith’s success came a few years after he learned something crucial about being an actor in Hollywood — the importance of being true to oneself.

In the late 1990s, Smith had just come off of the popular series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He also starred in movies like Bad Boys (1996), Independence Day (1996), and Men In Black (1999) – all of which did extremely well at the box office. All the success definitely did go to Smith’s head for some time.

“I had so much success that I started to taste global blood and my focus shifted from my artistry to winning,” he said in 2016. “I wanted to win and be the biggest movie star, and what happened was there was a lag—around Wild Wild West time—I found myself promoting something because I wanted to win versus promoting something because I believed in it.”

Ever since then, Smith learned that he had to “be in tune” with what his fans wanted to see, and he chose films with stories that he liked. This moment of revelation helped put Smith’s career back on track and he was able to become the only actor with eight consecutive movies that grossed $100 million.