Big Stars, Big Bombs: The 15 Biggest Bombs of the 15 Highest Grossing Actors of All Time
So what happened? Sometimes big box-office stars simply strike out, whether it's because they stepped outside of their comfort zones, they took on a badly marketed film, or the film was just terrible to begin with. It happens. It rarely affects the long-term prospects of a box-office star unless the bombs come in strings (see Eddie Murphy). More often than not, however, they bounce back.
Don't believe me? Well, let's take a look at the 15 highest grossing actors of all time. I went through their filmographies and picked their biggest bombs. The criteria: The actor in question had to have played a lead role, the role must have taken place after the actor in question became a big star, and the movie had to have been given a wide release (i.e., indie flicks do not count).
Here's what I came up with:
1. Tom Hanks -- Bonfire of the Vanities
2. Eddie Murphy -- The Adventures of Pluto Nash
3. Harrison Ford -- Extraordinary Measures
4. Samuel Jackson -- Resurrecting the Champ
5. Tom Cruise -- Lions for Lambs
6. Robin Williams -- Death to Smoochy
7. Jonny Depp -- Nick of Time
8. Morgan Freeman -- The Big Bounce
9. Cameron Diaz -- The Box
10. Bruce Willis -- The Whole Ten Yards
11. Will Smith -- The Legend of Bagger Vance
12. Robert DeNiro -- Night and the City
13. Julia Roberts -- Mary Reilly
14. Matt Damon -- All the Pretty Horses
15. Ben Stiller -- Duplex
As you can see, in all cases except Eddie Murphy, the actor in question bounced back from their worst outings to continue being major movie stars with at least a few subsequent hits (Harrison Ford's post-Extraordinary Measures career is still questionable, the $100 million gross of Cowboys and Aliens notwithstanding). I doubt that the performances of Rock of Ages will affect Tom Cruise's ability to sell tickets to big-budget action films, nor will the performance of That's My Boy affect Sandler's ability to make $150 million on Grown Ups 2. Unfortunately.