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If you star in the film that earned the best opening weekend in history, there’s a strong chance that you will earn the title of top-grossing star of the year. Robert Downey Jr. did just that, thanks to Marvel’s The Avengers. Forbes named him the top-grossing actor of 2012.
Downey only starred in one film this year, but The Avengers grossed a stunning $1.5 billion worldwide, making it the third-highest grossing film of all time, behind Avatar and Titanic. Forbes notes that while The Avengers is an ensemble film with plenty of other top stars, Downey is the main attraction.
The magazine noted that it looked at how much each film the actors on the list starred in made. So, if they weren’t the lead star in a film, the gross wasn’t counted. For example, Entertainment Weekly notes that Johnny Depp didn’t get credit for the money 21 Jump Street made, since he only had a cameo in that film. In fact, Depp didn’t even make the top 10.
Also, all three Twilightstars, including Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner made the list, since Forbes did consider them all lead actors.
Stewart starred in two big films this year, the final Twilight movie and Snow White and the Huntsman. The two films grossed a total of $1.2 billion, so she holds the No. 2 spot.
The Dark Knight Rises star Christian Bale came in at No. 3 with $1 billion with Skyfall’s Daniel Craig following with $951 million. Pattinson made it to No. 5 with $793 million.
The rest of the Top 10 includes Lautner ($779 million); The Amazing Spider-Man’s Andrew Garfield ($752 million); The Hunger Games’ Jennifer Lawrence ($748 million); Men in Black III’s Will Smith ($624 million) and Ted’s Mark Wahlberg ($598 million).