When movie makers are casting for a film, an actor’s box office performance in previous films as well as his or her fitness for a role is considered. And besides the ability to draw at the domestic box office, studios also have to weigh an actor’s bankability worldwide.
To determine the most bankable actors in terms of potential global box office earning power, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data from industry site Opus Data, a product of Nash Information Services. Actors were ranked based on the amount they are forecasted to add to the average non-franchise film at the global box office as of October 2022. The estimated added value at the global box office is a component of The Numbers Bankability Index, and is based on past box office performance.
Data on each actor’s age and on global box office used to determine an actor’s highest-grossing film came from Opus Data and was adjusted for inflation using data on historical ticket prices from the National Association of Theatre Owners. To determine an actor’s highest-rated film, 24/7 Tempo developed an index based on user scores on IMDb, an online movie and TV database owned by Amazon, and audience and critics’ Tomatometer scores on Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator, weighting all measures equally. Only films for which an actor was listed among the top-four billed actors on IMDb were included.
Movie makers care about an actor’s bankability because of what’s at stake. The costs of producing and marketing a motion picture have driven the average cost of making a movie to an average of about $100 million. With the escalating costs of movies in mind, movie makers try to avoid what the industry calls “box-office poison,” an age-old industry phrase that refers to overpaid actors whose motion pictures are not hits. (Here are some examples of some A-list actors’ biggest box office flops.)
All but seven of the 50 most bankable actors at the global box office on our list are men, and 14 of these actors are from other countries, mostly from the United Kingdom and Australia. They can potentially add anywhere from $13.6 million to $36.8 million to a future non-franchise film’s domestic ticket sales. (See every movie genre’s top-grossing actor.)
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