Recently we discussed Forbes list of the highest paid actresses of the last year but money alone paints a crap portrait about what matters in the movies. Vulture recently released a list of the Top 100 Valuable Stars and weighed numerous factors like Oscar pull, box office, and media interest of various kinds. It's the kind of list that Premiere and Entertainment Weekly used to do in ye olden times, a list with more to say than just "hey, we need more page views, click on me 100 times for random photos with two sentence capsules!").
Since there's way too much to say about a list of 100 for a blog post, let's recap their Actressy stance within the top 100, only 30% of that list (sigh), starting with the undisputed queens...
Queen of Action.
Queen of Everything.
Queen of "America's Sweethearts".
27 more actresses (and commentary) after the jump
Perhaps I shouldn't call them "undisputed" if any of you moviegoers object. I love their little quip on Angelina's erratic filmography.
And her one-for-them (2005’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith, 2008’s Wanted, 2010’s Salt), one-for-me (2007’s A Mighty Heart, 2008’s Changeling) approach has helped her weather the occasional one-for-nobody (2010’s The Tourist)...
Of the three of them they understand that Sandra Bullock is the one facing a true test in 2013 with the delayed sci-fi drama Gravity.
Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone seem perched a little high given their short filmographies. But then again... if you're going to bet on anyone at this very moment, wouldn't it be the two of them? Rachel McAdams is much too high if you ask me given her non-flashy career. Can we really credit her with The Vow's success given that 2012 is already widely regarded as Channing Tatum's year? [He's #25 on their list]
Please to note: Every actress from here on out falls below Shia Laboeuf, Vin Diesel and Jason Statham on Vulture's list. WTF? Actresses get no respect.
I'm not sure I understand Tina Fey's placement given that the list is clearly about the movies rather than television. I love her as much as you but does Date Night really mean "big movie career!"
Given that Vulture admits that Julia Robert has "never fully committed to coming back" and that she no longer seems "hungry" at all, and that her handful of recent movies had disappointing grosses, it seems odd that they still place her in the top 50. It just goes to show you that once you're at the top of the A List, unless you really F*** it up, it can take an awfully long time to fall from the pedestal. (See also Tom Cruise at #15)
If there are two people whose rankings I was surprised by it was Mila Kunis' very high rank and Katharine Heigl's very existence. (Oh yeah, her. The internet actually can't kill mainstream stars, even when it tries) but naturally it's the Anne Hathaway piece I was most interested in reading and I think they kind of nailed her current place in Hollywood, so this is the only one I'll quote in full:
It’s hard to remember that Anne Hathaway once seemed like she’d be a Disney-princess lifer, so deftly has she made the transition to grown-up films. At 29, she still has the air of a really driven theater kid, taking on publicity and Oscar duties with the same amped-up intensity that she did her Academy Award-nominated raw, recovering-addict turn in Rachel Getting Married. And she has just as eagerly skipped between genres, determined to prove she can do it all, from action comedy (Get Smart) to adult drama (Rachel) to romantic comedy (Bride Wars, Valentine’s Day) to Burton-ized fairy tale (Alice in Wonderland) to steamy romance (Love and Other Drugs) to superhero blockbuster (Dark Knight Rises) and, next, to musical (Les Misérables).
But for all her versatility and talent, she has yet to really connect with audiences as a star they are dying to see. Her biggest hits are more attributed to other people (Alice in Wonderland: Depp; Get Smart: Carell; Devil Wears Prada: Streep) while films marketed with her in the spotlight have failed to connect in the U.S., though she has proven a bigger draw abroad. Love and Other Drugs (widely buzzed about as the “Anne does sex scenes!” movie) did only $32.5 million here, but got up to $70.5 million overseas; One Day did $13.8 million in America, $42.8 internationally. Even with this foreign boost, our studio panel seemed unconvinced about her drawing power, rating her a low four, but this may all change with The Dark Knight Rises. Moviegoers (even those previously agnostic or down on her) have been raving about her turn as Catwoman, and this could give her a major boost considering just how many people will see it.
Please Note: Almost everyone after this on the list falls below Jaden Smith (!!!) on the list. [Translation: The earth is doomed.]
Aren't Scarlett Johansson and Charlize Theron way too low given what's happening right this second in their careers? Vulture seems to be banking on a big comeback for Cate Blanchett post movie-hiatus. They write:
She’s a lure for Stateside moviegoers seeking a seal of quality (after starring in seven Best Picture nominees and receiving three nominations and one win herself), but she’s also a huge draw abroad thanks to work in The Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, all of which did bigger business outside of the states. (Button also proved Blanchett could play an alluring romantic lead.)
...her break is over and Blanchett has no fewer than seven movies on her schedule, among them Peter Jackson’s two-parter The Hobbit, two projects from Terrence Malick, Woody Allen’s new untitled dramedy, and Barbra Streisand’s anticipated return to the director’s chair inSkinny and Cat.
Do you think Cate B is on her way back or do you think she peaked in the mid Aughts?
I'm mystified that Jennifer Garner, who often feels fully retired in every role other than Mrs. Ben Affleck, ranks at all. I can think of a dozen women who seem more essential / bankable / interesting / etcetera to Hollywood's current movies.
THE FULL VULTURE LIST -- that'll keep you busy for at least an hour!
Who do you think is missing?
There simply aren't enough women on it when they're making room for the likes of Jason Bateman, Sylvester Stallone, Sam Worthington, and Chris Pine on the lopsided penis-friendly list.
Frankly, if you're weighing in intangibles like work ethic, auteur appeal, castability, media interest, box office averages, fame and just about everything there is to weigh in, I can't see leaving the always-working-in-her-50s Annette Bening off the list. Or the Fanning Sisters. Or Marion Cotillard...
It's been a long time since I conquered something as expansive as ACTRESSES OF THE AUGHTS and it looks like a more actress friendly overview is needed again in some capacity. I shall draw up diabolically ambitious plans as soon as I complete the other 14 projects I'm late on.