With two major movies released, it is no surprise that Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt were the Queen and King of the box office in 2014 garnering billion in ticket sales, according to Forbes magazine’s annual tally. Everything Lawrence and Pratt were in this year was a massive success.
Lawrence’s success at the box office was all but assured this year with the releases of X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. Between the two flicks, the 24-year-old had a worldwide box office haul of $1.4 billion.
Like Harrison Ford before her, Lawrence’s career has been buoyed by two highly successful franchises. In between, she garnered an Oscar-win in Silver Linings Playbook and a nomination for American Hustle. This diversity has helped her avoid the stigma other actors have had once they become so tightly identified an iconic franchise role that colors the lens in which people view them (think Daniel Radcliffe, Kristen Stewart and Sylvester Stallone).
Chris Pratt came in second in box office bang with $1.2 billion in ticket sales, largely thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy, which earned more than $333 million in the U.S. alone. The 35-year-old Pratt also scored an unexpected hit with The Lego Movie, in which he voiced a character. All of that was accomplished while keeping his day job as Andy Dwyer on TV’s Parks and Recreation.
Scarlett Johansson’s four movies this year demonstrated her versatility: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Lucy, Under the Skin and Chef. They also raked in more than $1.18 billion. In Captain America, the 30-year-old actress reprised her Black Widow from The Avendars to provide the much needed feminine touch to the series. While the film grossed $714 million globally, Marvel still does not plan on doing a Black Widow movie so fans must be content to see her as a support character.
Lucy gave her another action-oriented role that faired well in theaters. Under the Skin was a small science fiction art film that received positive reviews but few dollars. Conversely, the low budget Jon Favreau labor of love Chef was well-received and earned $45 million worldwide. In that film, Johansson teamed with former Avengers and Iron Man cast mates.
Mark Wahlberg came in fourth on the strength of one film, Transformers: Age of Extinction, which grossed $1 billion globally. The 43-year-old’s other 2014 film, The Gambler, just opened this week, so that information is not included here or in Forbes’ calculations.
Another actor to fare well, largely on the box-office bonanza from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, was Chris Evans, 33. He also was in Snowpiercer, a post-apocalyptic world picture that earned about $86 million overall.
Clearly, the key to box office domination is through a franchise. Numbers three through five all starred in one during 2014 as did box office queen and king Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. For those curious about numbers six through 10 in box office bang, they were actresses Emma Stone and Angelina Jolie and actors James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Hugh Jackman.
By Dyanne Weiss