Scarlett Johansson highest grossing film actor of 2016

Ben Bussey
UK Movies Writer

US business magazine Forbes have named the highest-grossing actor at the global box office in 2016 – and it’s none other than Scarlett Johansson.

The 32-year old actress’s 2016 big screen releases raked in a combined $1.2 billion (approx £981 million) from cinemas worldwide in the past twelve months, knocking the box office hauls of Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. (both $1.15 billion) into second place.

Of course, we can’t fail to note that all three stars have one key 2016 film in common: ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ Marvel’s mega-blockbuster which made $1.15 billion worldwide, making it the biggest box office hit of the year.

Officially the biggest movie star of 2016. (Credit: Marvel Studios)

But Johansson’s success wasn’t all down to her fifth appearance as Marvel heroine Black Widow.

Curiously, it was one more modestly successful film which tipped her into first place: ‘Hail, Caesar!’, the underrated 1940s-set comedy from the Coen Brothers, which – despite a star-studded cast including Johansson, George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill – took only $63 million worldwide off a $22 million budget.

Still, it’s important to note Forbes’ list only counts roles in which actors received top billing, and no voice-only performances – hence it does not include the $966 million box office haul of ‘The Jungle Book,’ in which Johansson voiced the python Kaa.

2016’s other biggest-hitting box office stars are Margot Robbie at $1.1 billion from ‘Suicide Squad’ and ‘The Legend of Tarzan;’ Amy Adams at $1.04 billion from ‘Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice’ and ‘Arrival’; and Ben Affleck at $1.02 billion thanks to ‘Batman V Superman’ and ‘The Accountant’ (again, Forbes haven’t counted his ‘Suicide Squad’ cameo, as it wasn’t a top-billed role).

Never mind the reviews, smell the money: Smith and Robbie in ‘Suicide Squad’ (credit: Warner Bros)

Rounding off the top ten are Henry Cavill at $870 million from ‘Batman V Superman;’ Ryan Reynolds at $820 million, mostly from ‘Deadpool’; Felicity Jones, at $805 million thanks to ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’; and Will Smith, who raked in $775 million, again thanks to ‘Suicide Squad.’

This latest accolade makes 2016 a big year for Johansson, as back in June she was officially named the highest grossing female movie star of all time.

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