1. Tom Cruise
Recent news of Cruise’s pending divorce is a blight on an otherwise stellar year for the star. The actor suffered a career setback five years ago when he married Katie Holmes thanks to his couch jumping antics, some embarrassing Scientology leaks and the relative failure of Mission: Impossible 3. Maybe without Holmes, his career resurgence, thanks to the $700 million box office of the latest Mission: Impossible movie, will continue in full force.
2. Leonardo DiCaprio
DiCaprio’s last film, J. Edgar, was neither a financial nor an Oscar success. The Clint Eastwood-directed film earned $80 million at the global box office and failed to win any major Oscar nods.No matter. DiCaprio is still one of the few actors who can demand a $20 million paycheck for serious, adult films. Up next for actor: a 3-D version of The Great Gatsby.
3. Adam Sandler
Critics may hate his movies but a segment of the public usually loves them. His 2010 movie Grown Ups earned a 10 out of 100 on Rotten Tomatoes but was his highest-grossing of all time. Still, even Sandler falters sometimes. His 2011 movie Jack and Jill, in which he played a man and his twin sister, earned $180 million (not quite enough to cover the film’s production budget and advertising costs) and ten Razzie awards.
Johnson is the franchise saver. He helped 2011’s Fast and Furious become the franchise’s highest-grossing film. Thanks in large part to Johnson, the second Journey to the Center of the Earth out-earned its predecessor a few months later. We’ll have to wait until spring to see if he can revive G.I. Joe. The sequel was pushed from a summer release so Paramount could retrofit it into 3-D.
5. Ben Stiller
Stiller is one of the highest-paid comedians in Hollywood. His Meet the Parents and Night at the Museum films bring in tons of money and his animated franchise, Madagascar, has grossed $1.6 billion at the global box office. His next movie, The Watch, has suffered some promotional problems. Initially called Neighborhood Watch, Fox changed the title after teen Trayvon Martin was killed by a neighborhood watch member.
6. Sacha Baron Cohen
Despite earning $30 million, Cohen failed to make our Celebrity 100 list. That’s because our list measures a combination of money and fame and Cohen rarely appears in the press. When he is doing publicity he prefers to appear in character like he did at the Oscars this year where he poured ashes on Ryan Seacrest.
7. Johnny Depp
Like Cruise, Depp is now going through a painful public split. Depp’s relationship woes won’t hurt his movie-star appeal though. He is the only actor to star in three films that have crossed the $1 billion mark globally. That helps the studios stomach bombs like the recent Dark Shadows. Depp will next star in The Lone Ranger as Tonto.
8. Will Smith
Smith returned to the silver screen in a big way this summer with Men in Black 3. The film has grossed $600 million at the global box office so far. Up next for the star: the sci-fi flick After Earth. Smith will star in the film with his son Jayden who, for the younger demographic, is arguably more famous than his father. Jayden starred in the 2010 update of The Karate Kid which Smith produced.
9. Mark Wahlberg
Wahlberg has slowly become one of Hollywood’s most desirable actors. He’s proved he can triumph in serious roles like Micky Ward in The Fighter. He’s had successful genre films like last January’s Contraband and he can do funny. His recent comedy, Ted, is a surprise box office hit earning $54 million opening weekend.
10. Taylor Lautner
While Lautner and his Twilight costar Robert Pattinson earned the same amount of money last year, only Lautner made our Celebrity 100. That’s because thanks to the movie Abduction, he had more publicity. This fall’s Breaking Dawn — Part 2 will be the final Twilight movie. After that, Latuner will have to prove that he’s more than just Jacob.
11. Robert Pattinson
Pattinson has been diligently pursuing work outside of Twilight but so far, he hasn’t had any successes. Remember Me, in 2010 failed to connect with an audience. Last year’s Water for Elephants turned a nice profit because it was made on such a low budget but it was hardly a blockbuster. With Twilight ending, Pattinson will have more chances to prove himself outside of the franchise. – Forbes