In a year where the usual suspects like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Tom Cruise, and Robert Downey Jr., all featured in starring roles in some of the year's biggest blockbuster films, the superfluous title of the year's highest grossing actor actually goes to either one of three unexpected names.
Chris Pratt, the star of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and The Super Mario Bros. Movie, currently holds pole position as his movies this year have made more than $2.2 billion at the global box office. The next two names on the non-existent ranking are John Cena and Pete Davidson.
While the Saturday Night Live alumni isn't a name typically associated with box office hits, his multiple credits this year include Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Fast X, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, and Dumb Money. The films have given him a chance to, by technicality, be one of the highest grossing actors of the year with his movies grossing over $2 billion, with Dumb Money potentially adding, at most, $100 million to the tally.
Of course, even at $2.1 billion, Davidson would still come short, which is where John Cena, comes in.
The future WWE Hall of Famer landed himself four starring roles this year and a cameo. His biggest and most involved outing is easily Fast X, where his fate is left up in the air following the end. Surprisingly enough, this isn't Cena's most profitable venture this year - the honor belongs to Barbie. His short cameo in the billion-dollar film propels him way up on the list with his role as Rocksteady's voice in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem both pushing him past the $2 billion mark later this month.
While we're at it, we can also add John Cena's appearance at WrestleMania 39 to the tally, an event that was reportedly a financial hit to the tune of around $50 million when you combine the gate revenue and sponsorship revenue.
Since Pratt doesn't have a project lined up for later this year and Cena still has Vacation Friends 2, it's safe to say he'll leapfrog over the fellow comic book superhero sooner rather than later.
Here are other actors that may join the elusive and exclusive $2 billion dollar club before the year ends:
- Timothee Chalamet - Dune: Part Two and Willy Wonka
- Helen Mirren - Golda, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, Fast X, Barbie, and White Bird
- Keegan-Michael Key - The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Wonka, and Migration
- Issa Rae - Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Barbie, and American Fiction
Of course, while it'd be awesome to see an actual highest grossing actor list at the end of the year, it ain't happening.
If it wasn't obvious already, this is all just for fun.
Still, it's nice to know that Hollywood is recovering nicely following the effects of the global pandemic. As the shadow of the ongoing strikes from writers and actors loom large, the success of the movie industry helps guarantee there's a future for us to look forward to after many years of fear-mongering that cinema would die because of streaming.