While some would argue that in terms of quality entertainment, aside from a few stellar standouts, 2016 was a rather lackluster year for going to the movies. What’s more, the entire year was filled with the deaths of numerous beloved celebrities, creating an atmosphere in which audiences headed to theaters for some much needed escapism. Whether or not people got what they were looking for this year from Hollywood, we do know that some of its biggest actors were kept busy.
From comic book fare to drama, to comedy, the likes of Ben Affleck, Margot Robbie, Paul Rudd, Scarlett Johansson, Johnny Depp and more popped up several times over the year in a variety of different roles. In fact, for some actors, 2016 was on of their biggest years on record. Scarlett Johansson was a hot commodity indeed as she managed to squeeze in four different films with Hail, Caesar!, The Jungle Book, Captain America: Civil War and the animated Sing – all of which performed well at the box office.
Beyond the frequency with which audiences saw Johansson, however, a new report from Forbes reveals that the A-lister also secured the title of top-grossing actor for 2016. Johansson managed to bring in an impressive $1.2 billion at global ticketing booths. Captain America: Civil War was the highest grossing movie of the year with a worldwide total in excess of $1.15 billion, a tally which owes at least some credit to Johansson’s portrayal of fan-favorite Black Widow. But despite Johansson’s involvement in Sing as well as that film’s success, Forbes does not count earnings from animated films, instead using only films where an actor received top billing.
In addition to Johansson, the vast majority of the Forbes list is made up of actors who starred in comic book movies in 2016. Chris Evans tied for second place with $1.15 billion worldwide, alongside his Captain America co-star Robert Downey Jr. Though Marvel was the big winner at the global box-office in 2016 thanks to Captain America, only four actors from Marvel properties - Ryan Reynolds (No.8), Johansson, Evans and Downey Jr - made the list. The remaining comic book movie actors on the list are from DC productions, making up 50% of the rankings. Of the five highest grossing actors on the list, three of them were women: Johansson, Margot Robbie and Batman V Superman star Amy Adams.
It certainly has been a great year for Johansson and this success is likely to continue to follow her as long as she sticks with the Black Widow role. At the same turn, 2017 is already shaping up to be a big one for her, with roles in the highly anticipated Ghost in the Shell as well as voice work for Wes Anderson’s upcoming followup to 2014’s Oscar-winning The Grand Budapest Hotel, Isle of Dogs. Despite her work in massive comic book blockbusters, Johansson continues to balance her work in a variety of genres, thereby ensuring that her fanbase with always be as diverse as her career choices.
Johansson’s ability to consistently remain in demand has been firmly in place ever since her profile was heightened with a breakthrough performance in 2003’s Lost in Translation. Now almost 14 years on from that role, her place at the top of Forbes’ list of highest grossing actors will help ensure that 2017 will be another stellar year for the actress.