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The A-List: A Definition

The A-list

I spend a lot of time talking about “the A-list”.  Who’s A-list, who’s not, who used to be, who’s on their way, etc.  When you say an actor or actress is on the A-list, most people know what you mean.  But if you start analyzing who is or is not on the A-list, you’ll find that the term means different things to different people.  There’s a lot of grey area there.  In this article, I intend to nail down what it means to be on the A-list.

The first ingredient to being an A-list actor is fame.  But being famous doesn’t guarantee a spot on the A-list.  Kim Kardashian has a lot of name recognition.  But she doesn’t have A-list power with Hollywood studios.  Fame like that opens doors, but being on the A-list is about so much more than that.

Obviously, you have to consider an actor’s track record.  No matter how famous they may be, an actor or actress can’t be considered A-List if they have never had a hit.  It seems counter-intuitive, but there are actually a lot of big name actors who have very few hits to their name.

For example, look at the pre-Pirates Johnny Depp.  Between Edward Scissorhands and Pirates of the Caribbean is a long, long dry spell.  He had a few modest hits, but nothing that could establish him as an A-list movie star.  I remember the first time I saw the poster for Pirates of the Caribbean.  I assumed, being based on a theme park attraction, that it would be awful.  And I thought, “So, this is what Johnny Depp’s career has come to.”  I assumed the A-list would forever remain out of reach.

Shows what I know.

There are any number of actors who have had long Hollywood careers without ever actually reaching the A-list.  Many of them are fine actors.  Being on the A-list is not a reflection of quality.  A-list status has eluded the likes of Kevin Bacon, Gary Oldman and Tim Robbins.  And yet Will Smith and Tom Cruise have topped the A-list with more charisma than talent.

battlefield earth 2

You have to remember that “The A-List” is a Hollywood term.  People tend to assume that any actor or actress they like is on the A-list.  They take it as a measure of that actor’s popularity.  But it’s really a measurement of how much power an individual wields.  If an actor or actress is A-list, they can get a movie greenlit by attaching their name to it.  For example, John Travolta‘s power to get a project like Battlefield Earth made is a testament to how much power he had in Hollywood at that time.

Which brings up the point.  The A-List is always changing.  We have had some commenters claim that certain actors or actresses are on a “permanent A-list”.  But there is no such thing.  They may be legends.  But since the A-list is a measure of power and power is always shifting, no one stays on the A-list forever.  It’s not possible and it’s not a realistic expectation.

Travolta is a perfect example.  He has been on and off the A-list many times over the course of his career.  In the 70s, he rocketed to the top of the A-list with Saturday Night Fever and Grease.  Then in the 80s, his career cooled to the point where Hollywood all but wrote him off.   In 1989, he had a brief career resurgence with Look Who’s Talking.  But a few years later he was slumming it in Look Who’s Talking Too and Look Who’s Talking Now.  And then, his career was resurrected again with Pulp Fiction.  Travolta managed to ride that wave for nearly a decade before flaming out again in lame comedies like Wild Hogs and Old Dogs.  Which, it should be noted were both hit movies.

Samuel-l-jackson-on-SHIELD

But having hits isn’t everything.  Look at Travolta’s Pulp Fiction co-star, Samuel L. Jackson.  Jackson is the highest grossing actor of all times.  He’s been in all three Star Wars prequels, Jurassic Park, and a lot of the Marvel movies since Iron Man.  But appearning in all of those big Hollywood hits hasn’t made Jackson an A-List star.

Why not?  Because people people didn’t go to those movies to see Samuel L. Jackson.  They went to the Star Wars movies to see lightsaber duels.  They went to Jurassic Park to see dinosaurs.  They went to the Avengers movies to see super heroes.  Jackson’s involvement in those films may have contributed to them, but it’s unlikely Jackson’s name sold so much as a single ticket to those films.

Take a look at Jackson’s track record outside of those successful franchises.  He tried to reboot the Shaft series in 2000.  It was a box office disappointment.  In 2006, he starred in Snakes on a Plane which had huge internet buzz.  And yet it was a box office bomb.  Jackson is great as a supporting player.  But he can’t “open” a movie.  And that’s really what it comes down to.  How much is your name worth?  How many people will buy a ticket based solely on a star’s name on the poster?

Obviously, no one knows for sure until the movie is released.  And by then, it’s too late.  But the studio heads like to think they know who is hot and who is not.  So they will look at a hit movie and try to determine how much credit for the movie’s success can be attributed to the actors.

Jeff Goldblum is another actor who appeared in a lot of big Hollywood hits.  Goldblum had major roles in Independence Day and Jurassic Park (and its sequel).  But the assumption is that the true star of those movies was the concept.  It’s like an asterix gets put in the record books.  You don’t get much credit for starring in a hit if the movie would have likely been equally big without you.

On the other hand, if an actor has a modest hit which they can take credit for, that can carry a lot of weight in Hollywood.  An example of this would be something like Limitless.  Most people probably don’t even remember this little action movie.  But it grossed over $160 million worldwide based on little more than Bradley Cooper’s name.

That’s what it means to “open” a movie.  If an actor gets an audience to show up on opening day, their job is done.  It doesn’t really matter what happens after opening weekend.  If bad reviews or word of mouth sinks the movie after a strong opening, that’s not the actor’s fault.  All that matters is that they successfully “open” the picture.

Sure, Hollywood would prefer a spotless track record filled with hit after hit.  But no one has a flawless batting average.  About as close as anyone can get is Adam Sandler.  Sandler reigns on the A-list because when he makes one of his trademark comedies, you can almost always count on it grossing $100 million even if people hate it.

This year, Sandler already had a $100 million dollar hit with Just Go With It in the spring.  And this fall, he released the reviled Jack and JillJack and Jill seems unlikely to pass the $100 million dollar mark.  But that $25 million dollar opening shows just how much Sandler’s name means to audiences.

Another misconception about the A-list is that a movie that bombs can ruin an actor’s career.  A-list stars all have their share of bombs.  Most survive just fine.  Hollywood is very forgiving of misfires.  If they think an actor’s name on the marquee still has value, they will overlook a costly bomb and gamble again.  Just as James Franco doesn’t get a lot of credit for starring in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, no one holds the disappointment of Green Lantern against Ryan Reynolds.

In future articles, I plan to look at the A-list on a case by case basis.  Who’s A-list right now?  Who’s on the rise and who’s time on the A-List is over? Do stars still matter at the box office?

More A-List

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Posted on December 5, 2011, in A-List, Movies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 50 Comments.

  1. hmmm….maybe I’m underestimating Bradley Cooper, but the reasons I thought “Limitless” looked interesting were:
    1) The concept- a pill that makes you 100% of what you should be. interesting.
    2) Robert DeNiro as the heavy
    3) oh yeah, that inoffensive handsome guy. Ryan Reynolds, right? Or was it Gosling?…Bradley Cooper?…okay…

    …that pill sounds cool…

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    • To me, Cooper and Reynolds are pretty much interchangeable. Although I find Cooper slightly less offensive. Cooper’s one of those guys who is on the “stealth A-list”. He gets credit for both Hangover movies and Limitless. All hits without built-in audience awareness.

      Time will tell if he manages to hold on to that A-list status. If he continues to open pictures, he’ll cement his status on the list. Or, he could go the Matthew McConaughey route and flame out after a promising start.

      Ryan Reynolds, on the other hand, still hasn’t opened a picture. The Proposal got his foot in the door. But credit for that goes mostly to Sandra Bullock. Green Lantern should have cemented his status as a leading man, but it was soft at the box office. Reynolds is probably a slightly bigger name than Cooper due to tabloid coverage. But Cooper has the better track record.

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  2. This is a really interesting and thought provoking article lebeau.
    You’re definitely right that the A-list is a term that means different things to difficult people and you’ve done a very good job at nailing down what it takes to be on that list.
    I must admit that I’m not that familiar with guys like Bradley Cooper and Ryan Reynolds, but I’ll be following your future posts with interest.
    One thing I was wondering is, do you think there’s a chance that CGI and 3D might make star power less important in the future ?

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    • One thing that interests me about the A-List is how nebulous it is. By a certain (looser) definition, I would consider Ryan Reynolds and Bradley Cooper to be A-list. They are both leading men who can get a project greenlit. But by a slightly stricter definition, I think Ryan Reynolds drops off the list. He isn’t bankable. He’s never opened a film. Get stricter still, and Bradley Cooper drops off the list. He’s still relatively untested.

      It’s interesting to me to look back and see the peaks and valleys in a career. Sometimes you forget just how high an actor was riding at some point. Or conversely, you forget that someone like Tom Hanks had some real rough patches. And I like trying to pinpoint the moment when an actor stopped being A-list. It’s usually such a slow decline that you barely notice.

      To answer your question, I do think star power is a lot less important than it was in the past. Back in the studio system days, star power was extremely important. It was almost the entire basis for selling a movie. In recent years, it has declined dramatically. Today, I’m not even sure “star power” matters all that much.

      I don’t attrubute this directly to CGI and 3-D. But I do think that high concept films have become easier to make and much more common in the age of CG effects. I think modern audiences are more likely to go see these movies if they like the concept regardless of who is in them. So, I think they are a contributing factor to be sure.

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      • Craig Hansen

        You hit on an interesting point here when you said “I like trying to pinpoint the moment when an actor stopped being A-list. It’s usually such a slow decline that you barely notice.” Which is pretty accurate. Unless someone completely self-implodes publicly an A-lister usually isn’t done in an instant, it usually takes a number of disappointments and flops over a few years for Hollywood to realize that they aren’t a strong draw anymore.

        You could choose any number of actors to look at, but I’d like to offer Harrison Ford as an example. He became an A-list actor in the 80’s and especially had a heck of a run in the 90’s with a string of box office hits and even blockbusters like Presumed Innocent, Patriot Games, The Fugitive, Clear and Present Danger, Air Force One and Six Days Seven Nights. Those were all films that sold tickets because Ford was the star. At the turn of the century Ford had another big hit with What Lies Beneath which was the 10th biggest film of 2000, so even then he was still showing his box office muscle as a top draw. He took a year off and returned in 2002 with K19: The Widowmaker and the film flopped.

        Does this flop mean Harrison was no longer A-list? Not at all, every A-list actor has misses in their career; even in the 90’s when Ford was killing it he had misses with films like Sabrina and Devil’s Own in between his successes, so it didn’t really hurt his career at all at the time. Then in 2003, he did Hollywood Homicide. That also flopped. Not great news, but if you asked around in Hollywood I’m sure he would still be considered A-list. Normally one or two box office underperformers don’t kill an A-list career, and these weren’t exactly trainwreck failures, just your ordinary run-of-the-mill underperformers. Another hit, and everything will be fine, right?

        But then, Ford took a few years off from filmmaking. He didn’t do anything at all in 2004, or 2005. In 2006 he returned with Firewall which also underperformed. By the time he returned to the screen again in 2008 with the blockbuster Indy 4 (the 3rd biggest hit of 2008), it had been 8 long years since his last box office hit and Ford was no longer an A-list star. It wasn’t any one film that did him in, it was just a combination of a couple of underperformers and a few years away from the limelight. Obviously, Ford wasn’t too concerned about remaining on that coveted A-list in the way that a Tom Cruise has been. Now, it’s kind of hard to pinpoint when exactly when Ford was no longer A-list.

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        • I think you may have pinpointed when Harrison Ford stopped being A-list: the combination of “Hollywood Homicide” not doing well at the box office (“Firewall” underwhelmed as well, but not as badly) and his time off afterward before the fourth Indiana Jones film was released (which was going to be seen no matter what, due to anticipation & nostalgia). Still, that run he had in the 1980’s and ’90’s is pretty impressive.

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  3. I watched a movie last night, Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd (with good supporting cast) called “The Object of my Affection.” never heard of it, was not what I expected it to be, and yet couldn’t tear myself away from it. it was just very well done and hardly a formula movie despite the title. It got me thinking about Aniston’s A list movie career. Those who don’t like her, will snark that she isn’t talented, which is nonsense – she’s excellent. But just having talent and being cute, that’s not enough to sustain A list, (and she does fit your definition) for going on 20 years! And she is doing just that. I think she is also very smart in that she has duplicated her Friends success on the big screen by sticking to the same formula, and by that i don’t even mean romcom. on Friends, she was part of an ensemble that worked, 6 different personalities that created unlimited writing opportunities. in all of Anison’s movies, when you think about it, she might be a lead but she is again part of an ensemble. It’s never all her movie, it’s the interactions he has with the other cast members. In Marley, she and Owen Wilson were secondary characters to the dog! Of course it helps that she has that comic timing thing down pat but I think it has even more to do with the approach she takes to a project. She is a valuable player in projects with a talented ensemble.

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    • This is going to sound like a backhanded compliment, but one thing I think Anniston has going for her is that she knows her limitations. She also knows her strengths. She knows that she knocks a certain kind of role out of the ballpark and she sticks to those kind of roles. It’s worked very well for her.

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      • This is a key bit of self-awareness that is VERY important for actors. Those who chase inappropriate roles tend to have little success. A friend of mine who is making a living as an actor/producer had the guts to fire his agent because he was selling him to casting directors as a Tom Hanks type. That is patently not the case. My friend is a stubbly, curly-headed tough guy with a sense of humor. He wasn’t going to win the kind of roles Hanks excels at, and it would’ve been foolish to chase them.

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  4. i thought it was a good article i think u made a mistake when u said bacon was never a list footloose a huge hit on his name alone and the song is played at parites i would say footloose did to bacon what tianic did to leo bring him alot of mainstream fame. although bacon is doing ok now have hits in supporting roles. and oldman has sucess with dracula had an oscar nom hes a list. Kevin bacon was a list briefly for footloose. Lastly the thing you wrote on johnny saying before pirates he didnt have a huge hit. Sleepyhollow was made before pirates and it grossed over 100 million bucks. he was the lead role in sleepy hollow too . the dry spell wasnt 13 years it was between sleepy hollow and pirates 5 years before his box office hit

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    • No one bought a ticket for Footloose because of Kevin Bacon. It was a hit movie and he was the lead. But it wasn’t a hit movie because he was the lead. What Footloose did was to put Bacon on the map. He showed he could carry a movie. But to be A-list, he needed to open a movie which never happened. So no, Bacon was never A-list.

      Sleepy Hollow made money. But it never held the number 1 spot. Depp was the male lead. But I don’t think he was selling a lot of tickets. If Sleepy Hollow makes Depp A-list, it also makes Christina Ricci A-list since she was the female lead. And that’s just not the case. The selling point for Sleepy Hollow was Tim Burton as is usually the case with Tim Burton movies. Its success didn’t make Depp A-list. It just kept him in the game.

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  5. no one bought a ticket to titanic cause of leo i guess it do sent count. Kevin bacon did have success with diner prior to footloose so one could argue his names draw people to footloose. Johnny depp was a big name from edward sciccorhands and ed wood plus he was considered a sex symbol. Tim burton prior to sleepy hollow had a lot of flops so iam not sure he was the selling point. as for pirates jerrhy bruhimier was a popular director bloom who was in it was a heartthrob and lastly pirates was popular ride whos to say they saw it cause of him

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    • jeffthewildman

      I’d wager that a good majority of the people who went to Titanic did so because it became an event or because they were curious. I didn’t actually see it myself until it came to video and found it to be okay. The best comment on it was this one by Spike Lee:

      EW: Did you like Titanic?
      LEE: It was all right…. But I don’t understand why [James Cameron] is upset it didn’t get nominated for best screenplay. I think Mr. Cameron is a great technical director, unsurpassed, but he can’t write, and he definitely can’t write dialogue.

      Although I disagree slightly. Dialogue is Cameron’s Achilles heel and I think he realizes it. But that didn’t really start becoming a problem until he started moving into territory where the dialogue was more important. In addition, his dialogue in the Terminator films and Aliens worked.

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      • Obviously, tons and tons of teenage girls bought tickets to Titanic expressly because of Leo-mania.

        Let me tell you a story about Leo-mania. Before Titanic even opened, I was driving around town with some movie posters in my back seat. They were rolled up like wrapping paper. Suddenly, I notice someone riding my tail and flashing his lights. When I look up, the guy is flagging me to pull over. I have no idea what’s going on, but I pull over before this lunatic kills someone.

        A middle aged guy approaches my car. He doesn’t look like he means any harm, so I wind down my window. Not all the way, but enough. He thanks me for pulling over and then explains to me that his daughter loves Leo. Apparently, he spotted a Romeo + Juliet poster rolled up in my backseat with all the others. He offered me $50 for it. I told him if his daughter was such a big fan, she could have it for free. The guy was incredibly grateful and I’m sure he went home a hero that night.

        While Titanic was in theaters, Leo went from a Tiger Beat cover to an international super star. Teenage girls saw it over and over again because of him. So yes, DiCaprio sold a ton of tickets for Titanic.

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  6. but leo wasnt known before titanic. Leomani started after titanic

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    • That’s not correct.

      By then, he had already been nominated for an Oscar for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. He got buzz from The Quick and the Dead and The Basketball Diaries. And Romeo + Juliet was HUGE! Titanic just took Leo Mania to stratosphere.

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      • I think Leonardo DiCaprio hit the ground running career wise, and hasn’t stopped (okay, “The Beach” was a misfire, but I thought it was watchable). His resume is very impressive.

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        • With The Beach, DiCaprio was trying to shed his teen heartthrob image. It was a critical step in building his long term career and it worked. The movie was a bit of a disappointment. But his career is better off for it than if he had cashed on Leomania.

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  7. kevin bacon was pretty huge after footloose

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    • After Footloose, his next movie was Quicksilver which didn’t come out until two years later. And it bombed.

      He didn’t star in another hit until The Hollow Man. And even then, Elisabeth Shue got top billing.

      That’s very, very far from the A-list.

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  8. i dont remember him being talked about as much before titanic and bacon was on magazine covers after footloose he had his own kevin mania going on

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  9. tremors was a hit he also had jfk a few good man a golden globe nod for a river wild strong role in apollo 13 granted they were not leading roles but he had alot of screentime and many news articles called jfk few good man and apollo 13 as comebacks of his shue may have gotten top billing but bacon has a better career now he popped up in mystic river and xmen

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    • Tremors was a modest hit. It was a B-movie that performed well in relation to its cost. It still grossed under 50 million. It’s a cult hit.

      I’m having a tough time following the rest of your comment. He didn’t star in any of those movies. Remember, we’re talking about whether or not he was A-list. Supporting roles in good movies don’t help you make your case.

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  10. forget the supporting roles then he was still the lead and hollowman and iam pretty sure his name was above shue. Since her only hit prior to that was leaving las vegas and karate kid.Plus bacons had a better career then her up to that point

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  11. lets agree to disagree i just assumed being in hit movie and leading role is enough to put you at a list. Footloose is still talked about today and regarded as a classic. It made me think bacon had a brief period of a list for that movie

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    • Everyone has different definitions of what it means to be an A-list actor. For some people, it just means the actor is famous. I use a very narrow definition of A-list. That’s what the article is all about. I don’t see the point of a definition of A-list that allows for everyone who ever appeared in a hit movie to be A-list. Then the term becomes meaningless.

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  12. plus you said leo had an oscar nom gilbert grape he was not the lead in that movie and as u said supporting roles are not enough to put one at a list

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    • You said no one had ever heard of DiCaprio. I brought up his Oscar nomination to illustrate that was not true.

      Heck, Leo was on Tiger Beat years before when he was appearing on the final season of Growing Pains.

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  13. leo is a good actor but if u think about it all his movies he had big names to lean on winslet in titanic depp gilbert grape django jackson hanks in catch me if you can. nicholson in departed. hes a great actor but he needs a big name to lean on

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    • Sorry, but I have to strongly disagree. I would argue that Leo was a bigger name than Kate. Pre-Titanic her biggest movies were Sense and Sensibility and Hamlet. Neither of them were anywhere near as big as Romeo + Juliet. Unless you were an art house movie goer, you probably had never heard of her.

      Since then, Leo has opened a lot of movies. Gangs of New York, The Aviator, Shutter Island, Great Gatsby. Gilbert Grape was early in his career and he basically stole the movie. Django was a supporting role. It was arguably an extended cameo. And people’s biggest complaint is that Leo’s A-list status made it hard to believe him in the role. Hanks and Nicholson may have been big name supporting actors, but Leo was clearly the lead in The Departed and Catch Me If You Can.

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  14. I don’t think Leo needs big names to lean on. Are you saying you think Leo was only good in those movies because of Kate Winslet and Jack Nicholson? I’ve seen the Departed, he absolutely held his own and was on equal footing with Nicholson. I don’t think directors hire other big names because they think Leo needs help to shine.

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  15. leo is an a list bodwaya is an idiot he dont know what hes talking about.Kevin bacon is a great actor he may never made a list but he made great movies and his supporting roles he truly shines. Him and cruise were great. christopher walken another example good actor but not really a list cause most his leads flop but still good body of work

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  16. great gatsby was hit and he was the lead tobey may had a little more screentime but he was not a draw like leo . As good as gatsby was no way without leo it would not make alot of money

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  17. i would reccomand u put tommy lee jones on the list hes pumping out good movies winning awards matt damon too since good will hunting hes had nothing but hits few flops but better batting average then ben.but jack Nicholson deserves to be on there for six decades hes been on top hes the rare actors whos resume gets better with age 13 noms 3 oscars hes had a lot of hits from shinning as good as it gets deniro and pacino roles lately have been flat but jack gets better i prefer deniro to jack although i think jack is a good actor hes charismatic but no denying jack movies gross more then deniro and al his resume is still better then those how many over 70 year old actors can say there still a list

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  18. to there is no a list just good actors good movies geroge clooney have be bigger then bacon and dillion but hes not half as talented. brad pitt is more a list then phillip seymore hoffman but phillip out acted him in moneyball phillip was underrated i think he could have gain more mainstream attention by having a lead in big budget movie like daniel day lewis in last of Mohicans he did have leading roles before but not mainstream

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  19. forrestbracket

    when you talked about just cause actors are popular it dont make them a list. Anthony hopkins and michael j fox first thing come to mind. Hopkins is a respected actor but never reached a list . Still good career. As for Michael j fox he was popular in the 80s but the back to future movie not hit cause of him especially since it was his breakthrough role in movies. teen wolf secret of my success and i want to say doc hollywood but more modest hit where hits because of his name. I dont think he reached a list despite his popularity. One of the reasons he went back on tv in 1996 in spin city cause his movie career delcining

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  20. you tlaked about actors having successful career never reached a list. Not sure if you agree but penn comes to mind. he had leads but his name not really contributed to the success. the success of colors would go to duvall as his sole leading hit. In dead man walking susan was more banakble star. mystic river he was barely advertised as with 21 grams. I am he could be given credit for. The negotiator like dead man walking he was acting with a more bankable actress. In my opinion he was more respected actor then bankable

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  21. Aniston was never a list. All of her hits where with bigger leading man. Her name did not really contribute to along came polly and bruce almighty being hits those where hits cause of jim carrey and ben stiller. Marely and me did not capitalize on her star power. Horrible and hes not into you where ensembles. Gerald butler was already established a list actor making bounty hunter a hit . Lets not forget vince vaugn making breakup a hit.When she tried carrying her own film they do not become hits derailed and rumour has it did ok. She simply appears with actors who are already box office stars if you replacing her with any other actress in her roles the film would still be a hit. her name contributes nothing to movie being a hit.She is appearing in hits which is good but she is not a list.

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    • What you are essentially arguing is that any time Jennifer Aniston stars in a film with a reasonably well-known male lead, it’s always and exclusively the male lead who makes the film a success, while Aniston has nothing to do with it. That’s not persuasive. You have a good argument when it comes to Aniston’s roles in Bruce Almighty and Along Came Polly–at the time those films came out, Carey and Stiller, respectively, were much bigger stars than Aniston. But you’re really stretching things when it comes to Vince Vaughn or Gerard Butler. Vaughn is pretty well known but hardly a major star–the three biggest hits he’s been in in his career are films where he’s been a supporting player. Aside from two animated films where he did voice work Butler’s only major role in a film that grossed $100 million in US box office was 300. I notice that you also don’t mention Aniston’s second biggest box office hit ever (after Bruce Almighty), We’re The Millers–a film where Aniston is the only recognizable star unless you think Emma Roberts qualifies.

      Jennifer Aniston may not be a genuine A-lister but she is not just along for the ride in her films either.

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      • I was avoiding weighing in on this one because the A-list/not A-list arguments get tiresome. But if Jennifer Aniston isn’t an A-list movie star, then no actress outside of Jennifer Lawrence is.

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  22. Jolie is a list,streep i still a list.

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  23. I cannot really aniston drives people to see flicks. She was not even in poster of marely and me. Where the millers seemed more ensemble as did horrible bosses and hes just not into you. She never had equal footing with her male stars. butler is a huge draw. Ugly truth was a hit ps i love you,Law abiding citzine nims island. Hes not consistent but he has a lot of hits under his belt. I know actress are judged differently since it rare they lead hit by themself but has aniston ever had equal footing with any of her costars. vince caughn still had more lead hits then aniston did before breakup. He had old school(colead with will) dodgeball and wedding crashers. The switch a movie where she may have been biggest star was only modest hit. Cake even bombed. None of her hits have been a typical aniston film

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    • You’re perfectly free to have whatever definition you want for what constitutes “A-list” or doesn’t. However, you are using a double standard here. When Jennifer Aniston is in a successful movie, you play it down–it was because of a costar, or “it was an ensemble film,” or “she wasn’t in the poster,” or whatever. But when you’re considering the men, suddenly anytime they are in a film that’s mildly successful, it’s a “hit under their belt” that contributes to them being a “huge draw.” Vaughn is only a supporting player in Wedding Crashers, yet you count that in his favor, but when Aniston is the lead in We’re the Millers, you discount it as “more ensemble.” You give Butler credit for films like Nim’s Island or P.S., I Love You–films which were, at best, very modest successes, but when Aniston is in the much more successful Marley and Me, you give her no credit,.

      Again, you’re free to use a double standard if you wish. And I am free to call you on it.

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  24. ps i love you and nims island more then made up worldwide those where hits

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    • P.S., I Love You was the #35 film in worldwide box office receipts for 2007–slightly better than its domestic ranking (47) but still not what I would consider a hit. Nim’s Island was the #60 film worldwide for 2008, exactly the same as its domestic ranking, and again, not what I would call a hit. By comparison, Marley and Me ranked #23 worldwide for 2008, much better than either of them.

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  25. Since its about a list. my freind and i r having a debate he think true grit success was not because of matt and it is not example of his bankablity. I dont think bridges name brought people in since he was never a draw

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