Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has been on a bit of an uptick when it comes to selling movies by the power of his own inherent charisma alone. From leading the pack in the ever-lucrative Fast & Furious franchise, to lending his comedic chops to this past summer’s studio comedy contender Central Intelligence, “The Rock” is a Hollywood powerhouse all on his own.
Following the box office success of his starring turn in disaster movie San Andreas last summer, Johnson is lined up to star in a wide array of movies in the near future, including San Andreas 2, the original Disney animated feature Moana, and the much talked about continuations of the Jumanji and Baywatch franchises. Love him or hate him, “The Rock” is a blockbuster movie star that often shines brighter than the most critically-acclaimed and Oscar-nominated performers. Furthermore, the latest word has it that Johnson is also the biggest earner.
According to Forbes, Johnson netted a grand total of $64.5 million in earnings this year, which is double the amount he made in 2015, and outranks former heavyweight salary-wrangler Robert Downey Jr. (Captain America: Civil War). Johnson’s unprecedented success is due in no small part to his upfront fees while working on movies such as Central Intelligence and Fast 8, placing him just above Jackie Chan, whose total earnings stand at $61 million thanks to the Chinese box office.
It should perhaps come as no surprise that someone as inimitably likable as Dwayne Johnson would outpace Iron Man himself at the box office. Speaking to Forbes about his continuing big screen success back in 2012, Johnson offhandedly boosted his own self-worth by stating, “I can kick ass better than anyone on the planet. And I have a decent smile.” Downey Jr. might be a key mover and shaker within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Johnson’s versatility as a performer across genres makes him a key player who can appeal to many different kinds of audiences and moviegoers.
With Matt Damon standing in third place at $55 million (thanks to his starring turn in the Oscar nominated blockbuster event The Martian from last year), the best of the best when it comes to making money are undoubtedly some of the hardest hitters in the business. Johnson has worked hard to get where he is, making his ranking over the likes of Downey Jr. a well-earned feat.