Forbes names DiCaprio 2010’s highest-grossing star

Posted by · 7:07 am · December 21st, 2010

In last week’s year-in-review superlatives column, I closed things up as I always do by offering up my choice for “entertainer of the year.”  It generally goes to an individual or organization I think made the most significant popular and/or creative impact on cinema in a given year, kind of a tip of the hat to Entertainment Weekly’s annual feature.

In past years I’ve gone with George Clooney (2005), Clint Eastwood (2006), Phillip Seymour Hoffman (2007), Robert Downey Jr. (2008) and Weta Digital (2009), but for 2010, I couldn’t think of anyone more applicable than Leonardo DiCaprio, whose work in “Inception” and particularly “Shutter Island” raised his own bar and proved once again that he’s a star who wields his cachet smartly.

And now he’s been singled out by Forbes Magazine as the year’s highest-grossing star.  Both films have made over $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office, so it’s a natural choice.  And neither needed the added impact of inflated 3D ticket sales, the piece notes.


So far his box office this year hasn’t been followed up with award nominations. But DiCaprio can laugh all the way to the bank…Those box office riches will also line the actor’s pockets. DiCaprio will earn at least $50 million for his work on Inception alone (and likely more now that the film is selling on DVD) courtesy of a deal he struck for a share of first-dollar gross points.

Coming in second place to Leo was, of all people, Mia Wasikowska, due to her work in Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” (and the fact that she is in nearly every scene of the film, which seems to be the reasoning behind not considering Johnny Depp for the slot…odd).

Anyway, hats off to DiCaprio.  Keep doing what you do.  You can read the full Forbes piece here.

[Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures]

→ 22 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

22 responses so far

  • 1 12-21-2010 at 7:49 am

    Ben M. said...

    While he won’t get much awards attention, he really has had a great year. His work was the standout in Shutter Island IMO even if I was somewhat mixed on the movie itself, but I feel Inception was the most entertaining thrill ride type movie of the year, and Hubble 3D, the Imax documentary he narrated, was a really impressive experience.

  • 2 12-21-2010 at 8:00 am

    SJG said...

    In a just world, DiCaprio would be winning the Best Actor Oscar for Shutter Island.

    I guess he’ll just have to settle for a > $50 million income though, sigh. Poor guy.

  • 3 12-21-2010 at 8:40 am

    MovieFan said...

    Poor guy always ends up going up against performances that were simply better. Sure earned some good money though

  • 4 12-21-2010 at 9:07 am

    /3rtfu11 said...

    Maybe he should choose directors that on paper aren’t safe.

  • 5 12-21-2010 at 9:29 am

    Evan said...

    Well-deserved. Just wish he’d get a few noms for Shutter Island.

  • 6 12-21-2010 at 9:29 am

    Nicolas Mancuso said...

    It seems that Wasikowska is ahead of Depp only because “Alice”, combined with “The Kids Are All Right”, gives her a higher box office gross, but that Depp will overtake her when/if “The Tourist” overtakes “Kids”.

  • 7 12-21-2010 at 9:39 am

    James said...

    Props to him. As I always say I believe he tries to pick the best material possible or at least what he thinks is the best material not only as a whole, but what challenges there will be for him as an actor. He’s career really could have gone one way, but he’s avoided it and man he does not slack off which we wouldn’t judge him if he did every now and then. He’s taking his youthful looks and charisma and is either using them or wondefully going against them and defining what a star and an actor is. And this year he’s starred in two financially and generally critically successful films that are innovative, challenging, smart, and wondefully flawed in an odd way.

  • 8 12-21-2010 at 10:43 am

    Georgia said...

    Please excuse me for bringing up a small point, but it seems like the word “cachet” is one you use fairly often. “Cache” is a stockpile or hoard, something hidden. “Cachet” (the t is silent) is status, prestige, a distinguishing mark.

    And yes, DiCaprio does use his cachet in choosing excellent roles. Although I think he’s become a bit stagnant as an actor, I realize that it’s hard for a person to do everything that the job, the profession, and the business requires.

  • 9 12-21-2010 at 11:33 am

    Maxim said...

    Do we really need Forbes to name the highest grossing star for us? I mean is it that hard to add two numbers (or however many) together?

    Nevermind the fact that it is very likely that Depp might overtake DiCaprio in the combined worldwide gross once “The Toruist” starts playing internationally.

  • 10 12-21-2010 at 11:40 am

    Speaking English said...

    It’s not that simple though, Maxim. It’s highest PAID actors, which is why Daniel Radcliffe is on the list and not, say, Emma Watson.

  • 11 12-21-2010 at 11:57 am

    Maxim said...

    SE, I understand the difference perfectly. I just happened to go by the name of this site’s post “Forbes names DiCaprio 2010′s highest-grossing star.” It appears that naming him highest earning actor would have been more accurate.

  • 12 12-21-2010 at 12:12 pm

    interstellar said...

    “So far his box office this year hasn’t been followed up with award nominations. But DiCaprio can laugh all the way to the bank…”

    mh. Forbes didn’t get the irony of the quotation “CRYING all the way to the bank”..
    (Liberace? Hitchcock? don’t remember)

  • 13 12-21-2010 at 12:48 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    Not sure why so many people are praising him for his “boldness” or choice of roles. Working with the likes of Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan on hugely hyped studio projects, and essentially playing the same character in both of them (poorly, I might add), just doesn’t strike me as very noteworthy except financially.

  • 14 12-21-2010 at 12:59 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Indeed, Georgia. One of my blind spots.

  • 15 12-21-2010 at 3:04 pm

    Drew said...

    Maxim-Thinking of Social Network right now, when Zuckerberg makes sure that opposing council has done their math correctly.

  • 16 12-21-2010 at 5:17 pm

    Rashad said...

    hamer please

  • 17 12-21-2010 at 6:49 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    What an eloquent and compelling argument. I’m definitely going to rethink my original position because of Rashad’s numerous points. My criticisms of DiCaprio are usually greeted by terse, witless insults from unquestioning fans, but not you!

  • 18 12-22-2010 at 12:55 pm

    Maxim said...

    There is nothing weaker saucewise than an unprovoked sarcastic sololiquy, Robert.

    This isn’t it.

  • 19 12-22-2010 at 7:10 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    Unprovoked? Maxim, I don’t know what your little vendetta with me is, but I suggest you get over it.

  • 20 12-23-2010 at 7:42 am

    corran horn said...

    Leo will have another awards shot next year with J. Edgar.

    James: My thoughts exactly. It’s not an easy feat to make not one but two well-received but unorthodox hits back-to-back.

    /3rtfu11: So what? As long as he keeps making good films, Leo can work with the safest director on that planet as far as I’m concerned.

    Hamer: You’re free not to like Leo, but you don’t have to be obnoxious about it. I would also disagree that his characters were either the same or portrayed poorly. He was a little overraught in Shutter Island, but that didn’t stop it from being good, and I think that Inception was one of his best so far this decade (behind The Aviator).

  • 21 12-23-2010 at 11:05 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    How was I “obnoxious” about it? I simply gave my opinion on his choice of roles. Was Rashad not obnoxious with his snide remark? Your complaints strike me as merely disliking my opinion, regardless of how politely I put it forth.

  • 22 12-24-2010 at 1:01 am

    cecil said...

    Congratulations to Leo! All this moolah is well-deserved. He is one talented and hardworking man.