Top 25 Hollywood moneymakers: these black powerhouses generate the most green in Tinseltown.
THERE'S AN OLD QUERY: WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE fortune or fame? Well, in the business of entertainment, the answer is both. Those who call the shots or get a project green-lighted are often those who generate blockbuster box office receipts and record-breaking television ad revenues.
African Americans have long played a vital role in the content side of entertainment. Their talents have produced big bucks in film and television for as long as these outlets have existed. Talents such as Sidney Poitier Noun 1. Sidney Poitier - United States film actor and director (born in 1927)
Poitier in the 1960s, Richard Pryor in the 1970s, and Eddie Murphy Edward "Eddie" Regan Murphy (born April 3, 1961) is an Academy Award nominated, Golden Globe Award-winning American actor and comedian. He was a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1980 to 1984, and has worked as a stand-up comedian. (who remains a top box office draw) in the 1980s are just a few of the black entertainers who have collectively generated millions for themselves and billions for the studios.
These days, a core group of black superstars are not only carrying the torch but taking it to new heights. Among them, Will Smith, the reigning box office king, has emerged as one of the industry's biggest international stars. Case in point, more than half of I am Legend's $511 million box office total was generated overseas. Then there's Oprah Winfrey “Oprah” redirects here. For the show, see The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Oprah Gail Winfrey (born January 29, 1954) is the American multiple-Emmy Award winning host of The Oprah Winfrey Show, the highest-rated talk show in television history. , a media powerhouse who is a role model and source of inspiration worldwide. Throughout the list you'll find Emmy and Oscar winners, on-screen on·screen or on-screen
adj. & adv.
1. As shown on a movie, television, or display screen.
2. Within public view; in public. talent, and behind-the-scenes creators. All told, they represent a large portion of the economic impact of African Americans in the entertainment industry.
The film and television industries have been enjoying solid growth. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. Box Office Mojo Box Office Mojo is a website that tracks box office revenue in a systematic way. Brandon Gray started the site in August 1998 and claims to now receive over one million monthly visitors. , an online movie publication and box office reporting service, film revenues jumped almost 5% in 2007 to a record $9.6 billion. "The fact that in '07 we had record-breaking revenues says that the movie industry is at the very least holding its own, especially impressive in the face of all these emerging technologies and options for entertainment that are vying for the attention of the audience, such as the Internet, home video, downloads, and video gaming video gaming
1. Gambling by means of interactive games of chance played on a video screen.
2. The playing of video games. ," says Paul Dergarabedian, president of Media By Numbers L.L.C., a research firm that analyzes the film industry. "There are all these options--more than ever before--for their entertainment dollar. It's not like the '30s and '40s, when you basically had radio and movies."
On the television side, $46.9 billion was generated in advertising revenues in 2006 (the most current stats available at press time), an increase of 5.3% over the prior year, according to the Television Bureau of Advertising (from estimates supplied by TNS TNS
transcutaneous neural stimulation. Media Intelligence).
BLACK ENTERPRISE thought the time was right to take a look at the talent generating the gargantuan gar·gan·tu·an
Of immense size, volume, or capacity; gigantic. See Synonyms at enormous.
huge or enormous [after Gargantua, a giant in Rabelais' box office returns on the big screen and driving huge advertising revenues on television. But we didn't stop there. We developed the BE Bankability Index, which was calculated by factoring in box office revenues, television ads, estimated salaries, name recognition, and major award wins and nominations.
In gathering data to develop this index, our editors computed figures with the assistance of BE Research. We also consulted industry analysts, entertainment agents, and BE 100S advertising agencies as well as industry sources such as TNS Media Intelligence, Baseline Studio Systems, Variety.com, and The Hollywood Reporter.
In determining the Top 25 Moneymakers in Hollywood, BLACK ENTERPRISE combined domestic and international office totals, along with DVD DVD: see digital versatile disc.
in full digital video disc or digital versatile disc
Type of optical disc. The DVD represents the second generation of compact-disc (CD) technology. sales for each in 2006 and 2007. For television personalities, we substituted advertising revenues for box office receipts. That sum was then divided by I million to bring the number down to a reasonable scale. This figure represents 40% of the total weighting of the index. The person's estimated earnings (30% of the index) was also divided by I million and added to the mix. Then we factored in name recognition by coming up with a Q score (15% of the index) for each of the entrants. This was a scale of 10 to 50 and decided by BE editors. The awards category (15% of the index) was generated by evaluating the number of Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe award wins and nominations throughout the career of each person The sum of these became each entrant's total score. The index is the comparison of an individual's total score to the average score of the 25 entrants.
Other criteria included:
* For an actor to receive box office credit for a film, he or she must have been in a leading role.
* Films in which the actor or actress was part of an ensemble or played a minor role were excluded.
* Voice-over work for animated films was excluded
Revenues 40% Earnings 30% Q-Rating 15% Awards 15% Note: Table made from pie chart.
Hollywood's Top 25 Moneymakers
>> Byron Allen Byron Allen (born Byron Allen Folks on April 22, 1961, in Detroit, Michigan, U.S.) is an American stand-up comedian and television talk show host.
Allen is one of many notable graduates from Fairfax High School in Hollywood, California.
Byron Allen remains a steady player in the entertainment industry. As chairman and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. of Beverly Hills Beverly Hills, city (1990 pop. 31,971), Los Angeles co., S Calif., completely surrounded by the city of Los Angeles; inc. 1914. The largely residential city is home to many motion-picture and television personalities. , California-based Entertainment Studios Inc., he independently produces and distributes 15 first-run syndicated shows including Entertainers with Byron Allen Entertainers with Byron Allen is a television magazine show hosted by Byron Allen. , Comics Unleashed Comics Unleashed is a half hour comedic talk show produced by the Entertainment Studios production company (formerly CF Entertainment) and hosted by Byron Allen. The show features a panel of four guest comedians. , and The American Athlete. He also offers a number of programs through his Website, www.es.tv. Although many of his TV programs air during the wee hours, Allen's most popular shows have generated an estimated $66 million in advertising revenues.
25 Index Score| 13.7
24 Index Score| 19.7
>> O'Shea "Ice Cube" Jackson
Ice Cube, the 38-year-old godfather of gangsta rap gang·sta rap also gangster rap
A style of rap music associated with urban street gangs and characterized by violent, tough-talking, often misogynistic lyrics. , is one of Hollywood's sure bets. Through his production company, Cube Vision, the actor-producer has developed a series of blockbuster franchises, including the Friday and Barbershop series, that have a collective box office gross of more than $260 million. His new hit franchise, the family-friendly Are We There Yet? and its sequel Are We Done Yet? rang up more than $153 million in worldwide ticket sales. His most recent film, First Sunday, proves that the former rapper can still strike box office gold: It grossed nearly $18 million its opening weekend to earn the No. 2 spot. As press time, the comedy has produced more than $30 million domestically.
>> Forest Whitaker
Forest Whitaker has royal talent. His role as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland earned him numerous awards, including a Golden Globe and an Oscar for best actor in 2007, making him one of four black men to capture the prize in the Academy's 80-year history. The film, produced on a shoestring budget of $6 million, generated $48 million worldwide. Although most of his films are not blockbusters, the prolific Whittaker is often selected, even invited, to work on top-caliber projects across genres and mediums.
23 Index Score| 27.9
22 Index Score| 35.2
>> Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson
Former WWE WWE World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (formerly World Wrestling Federation)
WWE Witwe (German: Widow)
WWE William Webb Ellis (inventor of rugby)
WWE World Wide Education
WWE Well Woman Exam wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has placed a choke hold on the motion picture industry. In 2007, he landed his first role in a Disney film, starring as quarterback Joe Kingman in The Game Plan. The movie grossed more than $107 million worldwide. For The Scorpion King, Johnson earned $5.5 million and a spot in the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records for the highest salary earned by an actor receiving top billing for the first time. Up next: This summer Johnson will play Agent 23 in the motion picture remake of the 1960s spy spoof Get Smart.
>> Rob Hardy & Will Packer
Rob Hardy and Will Packer produce Hollywood's sleeper hits. As founders of Rainforest Films, the Atlanta-based duo's deal with Sony's Columbia TriStar is one of the industry's most profitable. Stomp The Yard, produced on a $13 million budget, gained positive buzz among moviegoers and earned more than $100 million in ticket and DVD sales worldwide. Their most recent release, This Christmas, also produced on a $13 million budget, generated roughly $18 million its opening weekend and went on to gross nearly $50 million over seven weeks.
21 Index Score| 36.3
20 Index Score| 38.5
>> Terrence Howard
After being nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe in 2006 for his critically acclaimed role in Hustle & Flow, Terrence Howard has expanded his presence, appeal, and earning power Earning power
Earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) divided by total assets.
1. The earnings that an asset could produce under optimal conditions. For example, AT&T may currently be earning $2. . Over the past two years, the Years, The
the seven decades of Eleanor Pargiter’s life. [Br. Lit.: Benét, 1109]
See : Time actor has shared top billing with Oscar winner Jodie Foster Alicia Christian Foster (born November 19 1962), better known as Jodie Foster, is a two-time Academy Award-winning American actress, director, and producer. She has also won two Golden Globes, 3 BAFTA awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award, making her one of the few select in The Brave One and Golden Globe winner Richard Gere in The Hunting Party, earning critical praise for his performances. This spring, he is expected to expand his fan base when he teams up with Robert Downey Jr. in the highly anticipated Iron Man, based on the classic Marvel comic book comic book
Bound collection of comic strips, usually in chronological sequence, typically telling a single story or a series of different stories. The first true comic books were marketed in 1933 as giveaway advertising premiums. . Budgeted at $180 million, the film's producers expect Iron Man to rival superhero su·per·he·ro
n. pl. su·per·he·roes
A figure, especially in a comic strip or cartoon, endowed with superhuman powers and usually portrayed as fighting evil or crime. franchises such as Spider-Man and X-Men at the box office.
>> Djimon Hounsou Djimon Gaston Hounsou (born April 24, 1964) is an Academy Award-nominated Beninoise actor, dancer and fashion model. Biography
Hounsou (pronounced /
Hailing from the West African West Africa
A region of western Africa between the Sahara Desert and the Gulf of Guinea. It was largely controlled by colonial powers until the 20th century.
West African adj. & n. country of Benin, Djimon Hounsou jump-started his big-screen career in the role of the dignified, rebellious slave Cinque in 1998's Amistad, directed by Hollywood icon Steven Spielberg Noun 1. Steven Spielberg - United States filmmaker (born in 1947)
Spielberg , for which the former Thierry Mugler This article or section is written like an .
Please help [ rewrite this article] from a neutral point of view.
Mark blatant advertising for , using . model earned a Golden Globe nomination. Since then, Hounsou has garnered more high-powered roles and critical acclaim. In 2004 he earned an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor supporting actor n → attore m non protagonista for In America and a second Oscar nomination in 2007 for best supporting actor for his role as a Mende fisherman in Blood Diamond Hounsou was named the new Calvin Klein Noun 1. Calvin Klein - United States fashion designer noted for understated fashions (born in 1942)
Calvin Richard Klein, Klein underwear model last year, and his upcoming movie projects include Never Back Down and Push.
19 Index Score| 53.9
18 Index Score| 56.3
>> Tyler Perry
Be it film, theater, or television, Tyler Perry has demonstrated his ability to draw audiences. The multiplatform writer, director, actor, and producer has enjoyed success with his productions, including Diary of a Mad Black Woman and Madea's Family Reunion Often an annual event, a family reunion takes place on a specified day each year for the purpose of keeping an extended family closer together. Some reunions may be held less often. , which have collectively generated more than $200 million in ticket sales. More recently, Perry signed a $200 million, 100-episode deal to produce Tyler Perry's House of Payne Tyler Perry's House of Payne is an American television comedy-drama, currently airing on TBS. Created and produced by playwright, director, and producer Tyler Perry, the show's premise revolves around a multi-generational family living under one roof in Atlanta. , a TV show that depicts a multigenerational mul·ti·gen·er·a·tion·al
Of or relating to several generations: multigenerational family traditions. blue-collar African American family. These relatively low-budget vet highly profitable ventures have garnered Perry enough clout to rank him among Hollywood's elite.
>> Chris Tucker Christopher Tucker (born August 31, 1972) is an American actor and comedian. Biography
Tucker was born in Atlanta, Georgia to Mary, who was involved in church work, and Norris Tucker, who owned a janitorial service.
A humorous person, especially a professional comedian. Chris Tucker's first major turn at the multiplex was alongside Ice Cube in the 1995 cult classic Friday. Tucker, however, is best known as Detective James Carter "James Carter" is the name of a number of notable people:
17 Index Score| 61.3
16 Index Score| 63.8
>> Samuel L. Jackson “Samuel Jackson” redirects here. For the senator from Indiana, see Samuel D. Jackson.
Samuel Leroy Jackson (born December 21, 1948) is an American Academy Award-nominated and BAFTA-winning actor.
An Oscar nominee for best supporting actor for Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, a four-time Golden Globe nominee, and winner of a prestigious special jury prize created specifically for his performance in Jungle Fever jun·gle fever
See malaria. at the Cannes Film Festival Cannes Film Festival
Film festival held annually in Cannes, France. First held in 1946 for the recognition of artistic achievement, the festival came to provide a rendezvous for those interested in the art and influence of the movies. , Samuel L. Jackson is one of the industry's most versatile performers. He's also one of the most reliable at the box office. The 35-year veteran's films have grossed more than $2 billion. His roster of box office hits includes A Time to Kill, the Star Wars prequels, S.W.A.T., The Incredibles, Coach Carter, 1408, and Kasi Lemmons' critically acclaimed indie Eve's Bayou. Jackson shows no signs of slowing up: he will next appear in the highly anticipated Jumper.
>> Morgan Freeman
With more than 80 film and television credits to his name, Morgan Freeman is one of Tinseltown's most revered and marketable talents. In addition to garnering four Oscar nominations, he won an Academy Award for best supporting actor for his performance in Million Dollar Baby, the 2005 Clint Eastwood film that also won an Oscar for best picture. Known for his acting prowess, Freeman has gained a reputation as a perennial box-office draw. When The Bucket List, the film in which he co-stars with Jack Nicholson John Joseph Nicholson (born April 22 1937), known as Jack Nicholson, is a three time Academy Award winning American actor internationally renowned for his often dark-themed portrayals of neurotic characters. , gained wide release in January, it opened No. 1 at the box office and earned $19.4 million its first weekend. Expect Freeman to score more kudos and big returns at the box office with upcoming projects such as The Code with Antonio Banderas and the next installment in the Batman series, The Dark Knight The Dark Knight may refer to:
15 Index Score| 73.1
14 Index Score| 73.5
>> Chris Rock
Over a span of 20 years, Chris Rock has developed an impressive resume: stand-up stand·up or stand-up
1. Standing erect; upright: a standup collar.
2. Taken, done, or used while standing: a standup supper; a standup bar. comedian, Saturday Night Live This article is about the American television series. For the show related to Big Brother (UK), see Saturday Night Live (UK).
Saturday Night Live (SNL regular, Academy Awards emcee, and motion picture actor and director. His prowess has earned him three Emmy awards and 12 additional nominations for The Chris Rock Show and his specials Chris Rock: Never Scared, Chris Rock: Bigger and Blacker, and Chris Rock: Bring The Pain, all of which aired on cable television network HBO Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO)
A form of oxygen therapy in which the patient breathes oxygen in a pressurized chamber.
Mentioned in: Ozone Therapy . In 2005, he entered the TV sitcom world as creator, executive producer, writer, and narrator NARRATOR. A pleader who draws narrs serviens narrator, a sergeant at law. Fleta, 1. 2, c. 37. Obsolete. of the critically acclaimed CW series Everybody Hates Chris Everybody Hates Chris is an African-American sitcom, on The CW Television Network. It is inspired by the teenage experiences of comedian Chris Rock (who narrates the show), while growing up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. . Last year Rock directed and starred in the romantic comedy I Think I Love My Wife for the big screen. Rock also provided the voice of Mooseblood in the hit animated film Bee Movie, which grossed more than $274 million worldwide.
>> Tyra Banks Tyra Lynne Banks (born December 4, 1973) is an American supermodel, television personality and talk show hostess. She first emerged to prominence on the runways of Paris, Milan, London, Tokyo, and the U.S.
Tyra Banks didn't skip a beat when she traded in the runway for reality TV. As host of America's Next Top Model “ANTM” redirects here. For the Australian series, see Australia's Next Top Model.
America's Next Top Model (often shortened to Top Model or abbreviated as ANTM , Banks remained in the spotlight with the show generating more viewers than any other on the CW Network. As a result, she solidified a deal to keep the program on the air through the 2009-10 season. Thirty-second advertising spots during each first-run hour-long episode were sold at $135,000 each last year. That's nearly $52 million in advertising revenues generated by just one season of the program. ANTM ANTM America`s Next Top Model (TV show) is now in its 10th cycle with versions of the show shown across the globe. An avid entrepreneur, Banks, the CEO of Bankable bank·a·ble
1. Acceptable to or at a bank: bankable funds.
2. Guaranteed to bring profit: a bankable movie star. Productions, launched The Tyra Banks Show, a daytime talk show, in 2005. Her shows' moneymaking power as well as her own sizeable income lands the 34-year-old in the upper half of our list.
13 Index Score| 73.6
12 Index Score| 84.1
>> Beyonce Knowles
She may be best known for her vocals but Beyonce Knowles has scored big on the silver screen as well. This Texas native first came to fame a decade ago as the lead singer of the girl group Destiny's Child This article or section needs copy editing for grammar, style, cohesion, tone and/or spelling.
You can assist by [ editing it] now. . After making her acting debut in the MTV MTV
in full Music Television
U.S. cable television network, established in 1980 to present videos of musicians and singers performing new rock music. MTV won a wide following among rock-music fans worldwide and greatly affected the popular-music business. made-for-television movie Carmen Carmen
throws over lover for another. [Fr. Lit.: Carmen; Fr. Opera: Bizet, Carmen, Westerman, 189–190]
See : Faithlessness
the cards repeatedly spell her death. [Fr. : A Hip Hopera, Knowles has gone on to co-star in blockbusters such as Austin Powers.' Goldmember (2002) with Saturday Night Live alum Mike Myers Mike Myers may refer to:
Martin . Thus far, her biggest role is that of Deena Jones in the 2006 film Dreamgirls, which grossed $154.6 million worldwide and garnered her two Golden Globe nominations--for Best Actress: Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and Best Original Song for "Listen."
>> Eddie Murphy
Eddie Murphy's portrayal of James "Thunder" Early in DreamWorks' musical Dreamgirls gained him an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe win for best supporting actor in 2006. The star-studded Dreamgirls grossed roughly $154 million worldwide. He followed up with the slapstick slapstick
Comedy characterized by broad humour, absurd situations, and vigorous, often violent action. It took its name from a paddlelike device, probably introduced by 16th-century commedia dell'arte troupes, that produced a resounding whack when one comic actor used it to comedy Norbit, which earned $158 million worldwide, plus another $36 million in DVD sales. Murphy's enduring popularity makes him one of the highest-paid actors Highest-paid actors
No. Title Actor Summary Est. Total Notes
1. The Matrix Reloaded/The Matrix Revolutions (technically two separate releases) Keanu Reeves $30 million + 15 % of the gross $156 million
2. in Hollywood, reportedly averaging about $15 million per film. He has also become a top brand in animation as the voice of Donkey in the Shrek franchise. Murphy will rejoin his co-stars for the fourth film, slated for release in 2010.
11 Index Score| 93.5
10 Index Score| 97.3
>> Laurence Fishburne
For Laurence Fishburne, there is life after The Matrix. Since co-starring in the sci-fi blockbuster, Fishburne, through his production company, Cinema Gypsy, produced Akeelah and the Bee, an indie that grossed more than $41 million in box office and DVD sales. The seasoned actor's 48 films, including Mission Impossible III and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, have grossed more than $3 billion in box office receipts. His upcoming productions include A Landlord's Tale, fellini Black and White, Prey, and The Alchemist.
>> Dana "Queen Latifah" Owens
Queen Latifah is one of Hollywood's supernovas--a bright star as a rappersinger, television and film actress and producer, and author. She is also one of the industry's most enduring brands. Bringing Down the House, a film she executive produced and starred in, earned $164.7 million worldwide in box office receipts. She earned an Oscar nomination for her supporting role in the film adaptation of the Broadway play Chicago. Her recent motion pictures, Last Holiday in 2006 and Hairspray in 2007, collectively grossed $244 million worldwide. Mad Money, a comedy in which she stars that opened in January, grossed $9.1 million its first four days in theaters.
9 Index Score| 98.8
8 Index Score| 103.3
>> Martin Lawrence
Although he made his reputation as a stand-up comic, Martin Lawrence has grown into one of the most bankable stars on the silver screen. His more than 20 film credits have earned more than $1 billion at the box office. When he's involved in a production, Lawrence tends to wear a number of hats: actor, comedian, director, and screenwriter. His prowess has placed him in high demand. In his recent film Wild Hogs, he joined an all-star ensemble that included John Travolta, Tim Allen, and William H. Macy. The result: nearly $253 million in box office receipts worldwide. Lawrence negotiates his contracts so that he makes his money in front of and behind the camera, securing executive producer credits on films such as the Big Momma's House series, Black Knight Black Knight
A company that makes a hostile takeover offer on a target company.
An allusion to the fairytale villains, this term demonstrates how a targeted company sees its adversary. , and A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, which he also directed.
>> The Wayans Family
The Wayans' dynasty has been going strong for more than a decade with no signs of slowing down. Their films have brought in combined ticket sales of close to $2 billion. Eldest brother Keenan blazed the trail with the 1988 film I'm Gonna Git You Sucka and in 1990 when he created the Emmy Award-winning comedy series In Living Color In Living Color is a ground-breaking sketch comedy television series which ran on the FOX Network from April 15, 1990 to May 19, 1994. Executive producer Keenen Ivory Wayans created, wrote, and starred in the program. . Younger brothers Marlon and Shawn have followed closely behind with their movies Little Man and White Chicks, which grossed a combined total of more than $213 million. The clan also ventured into children's programming with the release of the Nickelodeon series Thugaboo in 2006. The brothers are currently working on a comedy series, The Life and Times of Marcus Felony Brown, which will air on VH1.
7 Index Score| 110.2
6 Index Score| 124.6
>> Jamie Foxx
His masterful portrayal of Ray Charles in Ray garnered Jamie Foxx an Academy Award for best actor, making him just the third black performer to win the coveted cov·et
v. cov·et·ed, cov·et·ing, cov·ets
1. To feel blameworthy desire for (that which is another's). See Synonyms at envy.
2. To wish for longingly. See Synonyms at desire. gold statue. This Oscar winner is now one of the most sought after actor-producers in Hollywood. His 18 films--including his most recent, The Kingdom--have produced box office receipts of more than $1 billion. He has several projects in development, including The Soloist, a drama about a schizophrenic, homeless musician on Skid Row who has dreams of playing at Walt Disney Concert Hall This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.
Please help Wikipedia by adding references. See the for details.
This article has been tagged since September 2007. .
>> Halle Berry
Halle Berry's strong performances in Paramount's Things We Lost in the Fire and Sony's Perfect Stranger demonstrate why she commands the big bucks. Although Berry reportedly is not making the $14 million salary of her Catwoman days, she still receives about $10 million per flick, making her one of the industry's top-earning actresses. And Perfect Stranger was a sleeper hit that generated about $63 million worldwide. Berry, who is expecting her first child, has pressed the pause button on filmmaking, but she's still in demand as an actor and producer. For her next project, the Oscar winner is teaming up with Billy Bob Thornton again in the Lionsgate crime drama Tulia. The film will be directed by John Singleton and produced by Berry.
5 Index Score| 136.3
4 Index Score| 175.8
>> Denzel Washington
The veteran actor remains in peak form. With two highly acclaimed films, American Gangster and The Great Debaters, opening in 2007, Denzel Washington's status in Hollywood is unquestioned. And he has the awards to prove it with five Academy Award nominations and two wins. Beyond that, Washington's films also keep studio executives happy by generating big returns at the box office. The biopic bi·o·pic
A film or television biography, often with fictionalized episodes.
Informal a film based on the life of a famous person [bio(graphical) + pic(ture)] American Gangster generated some $223 million worldwide showing that the iconic actor's drawing power is among the strongest in the business.
>> Will Smith
Will Smith's 2007 blockbuster I Am Legend proves yet again that he is the king of the box office. Still in theaters at press time, the sci-fi remake has generated more than $230 million to date domestically and should finish with more than $300 million in box office sales internationally. Earning a reported $20 million, plus a percentage of the box office gross for each big-budget film, Smith's paydays are justified by his megahits. To date, his films have generated a staggering $4.9 billion worldwide, placing him at the top of Hollywood's elite. His role as a homeless single rather in The Pursuit of Happyness also earned Smith his second Academy Award nomination for best actor. The first came in 2001 for his role in Ali.
3 Index Score| 214.9
2 Index Score| 287.8
>> Shonda Rhimes
Creating one of the highest-rated shows on television has made Shonda Rhimes worth more than her weight in gold with studio execs. It's also secured her the No. 2 spot on our list. Rhimes may not have the name or face recognition enjoyed by our other moneymakers, but the buzz and the advertising dollars Grey's Anatomy has generated for ABC ABC
in full American Broadcasting Co.
Major U.S. television network. It began when the expanding national radio network NBC split into the separate Red and Blue networks in 1928. Network and its parent company, Walt Disney Co., powered her to the upper echelons of the rankings. The 38-year-old screenwriter, director, and producer has leveraged her talent to create Private Practice, a spin-off that premiered in 2007.
>> Oprah Winfrey
Entertainment mogul Oprah Winfrey is more than a creative force, she's a billion-dollar brand. The Oprah Winfrey Show continues to reign as the highest-rated talk show in daytime television history. Winfrey, whose show has won more than 40 Emmys recently struck a deal with Discovery Communications to launch OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, in 2009, adding to a media empire than includes a satellite radio network channel and a magazine. One of a handful of black billionaires and CEO of a leading BE 100s company, she's also a powerful television and film producer. Her most recent effort, The Great Debaters, which Denzel Washington directed and starred in, earned a 2007 Golden Globe nomination. From the start Winfrey won acclaim for her contributions to film with her Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated performance as Sofia in Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple, the 1985 drama that generated more than $98 million in ticket sales. (In December 2005, Winfrey used her clout to bring The Color Purple to Broadway.) She also produced and starred in the 1998 motion picture adaptation of Toni Morrison's Beloved and the made-for-television film version of Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eves Were Watching God.
1 Index Score| 346.4
* TYLER PERRY
FORGET TRIPLE THREAT, TYLER PERRY IS A CREATIVE FORCE without limit. He's a playwright, screenwriter, director, film/TV producer, actor, author, and don't forget media mogul. Perry runs a multimillion-dollar empire that's expected to top $1 billion in revenues within three years. He has a schedule chock-full of plays, films, and TV shows through 2010. And he recently launched a 24-hour online TV channel to showcase his own content, including a talk show that bears his name.
Perry's biggest moneymakers are the film adaptations of his plays. His triumvirate--Madea's Family Reunion, Daddy's Little Girls, and Why Did I Get Married?--grossed nearly $150 million at the box office in 2006 and 2007. Since 1998. Perry's 11 touring stage plays have earned more than $150 million. DVDs of the movies and plays have generated revenues of more than $175 million. His first book, Don't Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea's Uninhibited uninhibited /un·in·hib·it·ed/ (un?in-hib´i-ted) free from usual constraints; not subject to normal inhibitory mechanisms. Commentaries on Love and Life (Penguin Group, $12.95), remained at the top of the The New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of Times bestseller's list for 12 weeks in 2006 and earned a Quill Award.
Perry is a power broker who has unprecedented production and distribution deals. Lionsgate has acquired the rights to his next four films. Last year, structured a 100-episode deal with TBS for a half-hour sitcom, Tyler Perry's House of Payne, which will generate more than $250 million in revenues over the next five years. When House of Payne debuted last summer, it drew the largest sitcom audience in basic cable television history.
Industry insiders say Perry gets first-dollar gross participation, owns the copyright, receives 50% of film profits with Lionsgate, and receives 100% of the proceeds from DVD sales. In its quarterly reports, Lionsgate credits his theatrical releases and television program, among others, with helping drive the company's $976.7 million in revenues for fiscal 2007.
Perry knows how to keep production costs relatively low--an average of less than $5 million per project. And he recently opened a 60,000-square-foot production facility in his adopted hometown of Atlanta. The man with the golden pen clearly knows how to leverage his Hollywood clout.
--Carolyn M. Brown
* SHONDA RHIMES
THE ENSEMBLE CAST OF THE ABC HIT GREY'S ANATOMY is reported to be among the highest-paid television actors, earning $125,000 to $225,000 per episode, or more than $30 million combined. So, it's no shocker shock·er
One that startles, shocks, or horrifies, as a sensational story or novel.
Noun 1. shocker - a shockingly bad person
bad person - a person who does harm to others
2. that the show's creator, Shonda Rhimes, is one of TV's top earners behind the cameras.
Rhimes' medical comedy-drama is also one of the highest-rated scripted shows on television. The 2006-2007 prime-time Nielsen ratings wrap by The Hollywood Reporter showed that Grey's averaged 19.5 million viewers per episode. It ranked sixth, beating out Desperate Housewives. ABC moved it after its third season from its Sunday time slot to anchor the network's prime-time programming on Thursday, considered the most competitive night on television. Advertising Age reported that Grey's commands $419,000 per 30-second spot, making it the highest priced ABC show, projecting annual ad revenues of slightly more than $500 million.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Rhimes renegotiated her production pact at Disney's Touchstone Television after the series' second season, extending it through the 2008-2009 lineup. The three-year deal was reportedly worth about $10 million--a rare perch for African Americans. Rhimes also serves as an executive producer of the drama, which is now in its fourth season. As a result of the writers strike, however, Rhimes and the cast found themselves marching in support of residual rights.
Viewers may have an ongoing love affair with the characters, but the show has also garnered industry and critical acclaim, receiving Emmy nominations in 2006 and 2007. The program won a Golden Globe for Best Drama TV Series in 2007.
Recently, Rhimes created the ABC spin-off Private Practice. Before going on hiatus because of the strike, the series premiere, which aired in September 2007, averaged 14.4 million viewers. As a result, it was the most watched show in its time slot, proving that for the 38-year-old producer, lightning can strike in the same place twice.
--Carolyn H. Brown
* DENZEL WASHINGTON
DENZEL WASHINGTON'S UNCANNY ABILITY TO LURE audiences to theaters, pick quality scripts, and convincingly portray hero or villain has kept him in Hollywood's upper echelon for years, in American Gangster, the 53-year-old reportedly earned his $20 million asking price twice because of his pay-or-play guarantee (the script and director changed and a new creative team meant a new contract). The wait may have been well worth it, considering American Gangster has grossed more than $223 million to date worldwide. Washington receives another payday from the film because he and other principles receive a percentage of the gross. On the heels of this gritty epic, Washington assumed the role of star, co-producer, and director of The Great Debaters. Set in the American South during the 1930s, the movie (produced by Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions) has generated $28 million at the box office to date. Both American Gangster and The Great Debaters earned Golden Globe nominations. The films continue his hot streak: Washington and director Spike Lee reunited to create the 2006 caper caper, common name for members of the Capparidaceae, a family of tropical plants found chiefly in the Old World and closely related to the family Cruciferae (mustard family). film Inside Man, which grossed nearly $200 million worldwide. (The two previously worked together on the 1992 biopic Malcolm X Malcolm X, 1925–65, militant black leader in the United States, also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, b. Malcolm Little in Omaha, Neb. He was introduced to the Black Muslims while serving a prison term and became a Muslim minister upon his release in 1952. , the basketball drama He Got Game in 1998, and the jazz film Mo' Better Blues in 1990.) In taking on a myriad of roles and projects, the celebrated star is in a class by himself.
--Tennille M. Robinson
Additional reporting by George Alexander, Carolyn M. Brown, Hyacinth Hyacinth, in Greek mythology
Hyacinth (hī`əsĭnth) or Hyacinthus (hīəsĭn`thəs), in Greek mythology, beautiful youth loved by Apollo. B. Carbon, Genevieve Michel-Bryan, Nicole Marie Richardson, Tennille M. Robinson & Stacia J. Tackle
ONLINE POPULARITY How do the top moneymakers on our list stack up in terms of Internet popularity? Well, BE asked the folks at Google to rank our list in terms of highest number of Web searches. 1 Beyonce Knowles 2 Oprah Winfrey 3 Tyra Banks 4 Halle Berry 5 Will Smith 6 Tyler Perry 7 Eddie Murphy 8 Queen Latifah 9 Denzel Washington 10 The Rock 11 Jamie Foxx 12 Chris Rock 13 Chris Tucker 14 Ice Cube 15 Samuel L. Jackson 16 Martin Lawrence 17 Forest Whitaker 18 Djimon Hounsou 19 Morgan Freeman 20 Laurence Fishburne SOURCE: GOOGLE