Back in 2013, I wrote a list of the 10 highest-grossing box-office stars who have never appeared in a sequel. I placed Leonardo DiCaprio at number one, and I still think that he holds the title within the spirit of the record, but he did have a small role in Critters 3 back in 1991, so technically, he doesn’t hold that record, which gave Denzel Washington the official record.
With Equalizer 2 coming out, however, Denzel loses that title. Since that time, almost everyone else on that list has vacated, as well. Mark Wahlberg made Transformers movies and Ted 2; Alec Baldwin is doing the forthcoming Boss Baby 2; Meryl Streep is in Mamma Mia 2, Affleck has done two movies as Batman; Kevin Costner has been in two D.C. movies and a Jack Ryan sequel and Jamie Foxx did The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
That leaves, atop the heap, one Russell Crowe, who has not yet done a sequel. He has appeared in Man of Steel, but he didn’t participate in any of the sequels, and he did star in The Mummy, but that franchise appears to be dead, denying Crowe the opportunity to participate any further. Crowe, by the way, is the 143rd highest-grossing actor of all time, which means you have to go down a list of 142 actors to find one who hasn’t appeared in a sequel.
I won’t lie. This is disappointing. As my favorite actor of all time, I had hoped Denzel would hold on to the title of biggest star to never appear in a sequel for the rest of his career.
Even more disappointing? Denzel doesn’t flash that Denzel grin even one time in the entire trailer. What the hell are these people paying Denzel $10 or $15 million for if they aren’t going to advertise the man’s most valuable asset? Damn shame.