Who were the top draws at the international box office in 2015 in terms of overall film grosses? Hint: a lot of them came from a single franchise. But there are some surprises in the mix. The data for the Top 20 was provided to Deadline by Box Office Analyst’s Robert Mitchell. Departing from previous years, we’ve expanded from 10 to 20 since the Top 10 are heavily skewed by one or two films, and it’s elucidating to play the field wider. Contrary to last year, there is only one woman in the Top 10 and only one person is a repeat. In the full Top 20, two are returning from 2014.
The No. 1 star last year was Ian McKellen whose films grossed $1.17B including two Hobbit movies and one X-Men installment. This year’s top star was in two movies that totaled $1.48B. Also of note, there were five non-American actors on the Top 10 list last year, this year there are two; and six more through the Top 20.
These kinds of lists can spark contention, so here’s the methodology employed to get to the data: The roster is made up of stars of live-action films where the person in question played a significant role in marketing and/or publicity or was a primary audience draw among the cast; and those are the films that are counted towards each.
NB: Newcomers like the stars of Fifty Shades Of Grey and Star Wars were not included because in those cases, the book/brand was the draw. Legacy players’ marketing participation, however, can be considered to have been an added boon for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Well-known supporting actors also have their day here in established franchises. Check out the gallery of the Top 20 by clicking on the image above.