Leo DiCaprio: 2010's highest grossing star
December 22nd, 2010
09:46 AM ET

Leo DiCaprio: 2010's highest grossing star

The World Wildlife Fund can probably look forward to a few more windfalls from Leonardo DiCaprio. The actor has come out on top of Forbes’ list of the highest-grossing actors in 2010.

Between this year's “Inception” and “Shutter Island,” DiCaprio pulled in $1.1 billion in the global box office.

Following behind DiCaprio in a tie for No. 2 is, surprisingly, Mia Wasikowska, who starred in the blockbuster project “Alice in Wonderland." The film earned $1 billion worldwide, and Wasikowska shares her No. 2 spot with her “Wonderland” co-star Johnny Depp, with both of them boasting a total worldwide gross of $1.03 billion.

Coming in fourth with a worldwide box office gross of $808 million is the “Iron Man” himself, Robert Downey, Jr. Although "Iron Man 2" didn’t get rave reviews, it did earn $622 million at the box office. But Downey’s other film this year, “Due Date,” went on to earn only $186 million.

“Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe came in fifth, with a box office gross of $780 million. But, keep in mind that it’s all due to just one movie: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I,” which racked up that total in just one month.

Filed under: Celebrities

soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. cam

    He's the best of the best.

    December 22, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sixoh

    Ever since I first saw him in a movie doing another man several times, I lost respect for him. That doesn't make him a great actor. As well, he became politically charged as soon as he got "big", and I don't like ANY actors/actresses that use their hollow status to inflict their ideals (regardless or party) on the masses of adoring, mush-brained fans.

    December 22, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack Howitzer
      Yeah but how much respect have you lost by posting a readers reply to a 5 day old story about the hollow actor you despise? Or the fact you insulted his mush brained fans while simultaneously and unkowingly proclaiming your ignorance when you used the word regardless out of context. Although you didn't FAIL, you're actually not completely stupid, but it's still not good enough for a PASS. Unfortunately you will have to REPEAT.

      December 27, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  3. kreigskie

    ♥♥♥ loving all diCaprio's movies.. twisty and twisty...

    December 22, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. cavemanstyle

    Dude... you can't save them all. The problem is there is not enough food in the world being produced for the number of people that currently "reside" on this planet, and that is why some countries have people starving. The problem needs to be solved by teaching the people of that area to produce their own food, but which isn't possible in all cases due to the inherent instability of the surrounding personal environment. Therefore, the answer to all of this is that those who are starving, need to be given the "tools" to produce their own food. .. My answer should alleviate the situation at best.

    December 22, 2010 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ose

    Please Leo, I believe your kind heart will tell you human being are better than wildlife so please send your charity to poor countries in Africa

    December 22, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. cavemanstyle

    Just a personal shout out to Leo in case he does read this.. Thanks man, for taking the time to create these films for us to watch. I can imagine at times they're not easy to make and I personally enjoyed most, if not all your films. My favorite being "Catch Me If you can". Just a great movie there. Merry Xmas to you and your family. -cavemanstyle@hotmail.com

    December 22, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. patti

    He does some good with his money.

    December 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • MyMan

      Yeah I hope he invests in my new business venture. It a string of hot lines across the United States that tells you Air Quality of different states. I'm going to call it "American Airlines".

      December 22, 2010 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  8. leonardo dicaprio

    I thank you all for your kind words in this blog. I will share some of my wealth to all who are in need this special season and may peace be with your families. Thanks again.

    December 22, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jane

    I love mia such a good actress


    December 22, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. todd

    Isn't it great we reward actors with millions of dollars but complain about taxes that pay our military, take care of the elderly, and ensure our security. I'm glad he made so much and our military will get the lowest pay increase in years.

    December 22, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. C

    Well deserved, Leo is an incredible actor that very rarely does a movie that I have no interest in.

    December 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Andrew

    Good for him. DiCaprio has been putting out quality work for his whole career. And by all accounts, an OK guy.

    December 22, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mel

    I have just one word to Leonardo DiCaprio.......YUMMY !!!!

    December 22, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Superhiro

    Fail. Inception and Shutter Island were basically the same movie and they both SUCKED.

    December 22, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jonnis

    Such concentration of wealth and power in such uncultivated vessels...may they always follow the path of the meek!!!

    December 22, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  16. GB

    Leo made $20 mil for each of these-Blood Diamond, The Departed, The Aviator, Catch Me If You Can, does it really matter what he made for this one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 22, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Scott

    Thought for sure Sandra Bullock would be right up there...

    December 22, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Doug

    "Also, leo parties with the jersey shore cast apparently,"

    I think you read that wrong, leo and the Jersey shore cast support the same party, the Democrat party.

    December 22, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Brad

    I thought his acting was bad in Shutter Island until the end. He wasn't doing that good at acting as a detective because he wasn't one, he just thought he was. Once I found that out, his acting made since to me in that movie, the guy truly is talented.

    December 22, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  20. woodster

    Hands down, one of the better actors out there today. Keep up the great work Leo!

    December 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  21. yes

    one of the best actors of this generation. yes i am a dude and i like leo. great films this year hope to see more

    December 22, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Jaime

    Dicrapio isnt that great of an actor. He is alright in certain roles, and now that he is able to produce a slight patch of dirt on his face as a beard he can play a "tough guy.". Thats rather silly considering how skinny the guy is and his attempt to have a constant scowl on his face ever since Blood Diamond. I guess his acting is alright but he is really very limited in what he can(or is willing to) do. Also, leo parties with the jersey shore cast apparently, and anyone who decides hanging out with that waste of six skins is a good use of time is probably just as much of a waste.

    December 22, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  23. G

    In reading this article, I was a little confused. The author is saying how much the movies Leo made pulled in correct? He didn't make that much. I feel the author should have been clearer in their wording.

    December 22, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Mary

    Does highest grossing star mean he's really gross? More gross than other Hollyweirdos?

    December 22, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  25. scorpiotoo

    Leo is legit. No wonder Marty loves him.

    December 22, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  26. lolita

    im glad to hear someone is doing really good during this tough recession. Ive helped my friend make his car payment twice, because he has not been able to find any construction jobs in Vegas. He couldn't keep up with it, so he lost it along with his house. He has 3 kids and luckily found a used car and rents in a poor neighborhood. Congrats Leo. I'm sure you will make more money next year.

    December 22, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  27. Boostamanzi

    Does it really matter when guys like Zuckerberg are earning $billions in personal income? Who are the real stars?

    December 22, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  28. Name

    I've met Leo. He's a nice guy. Very humble. And he can fly.

    December 22, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  29. Ruth

    Stay grounded-wonderful actor-

    December 22, 2010 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • cheefsfury


      December 22, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • NameLame


      December 22, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Cheefsfury's Dad


      December 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Your Buddy

    Hey DiCap, Congrats and Kudos to you!! You've come a long way from your childhood films and have grown into a serious, big-time actor and Star. Here's hoping you get many more projects that are worthwhile to you and that you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! (It's me!)

    December 22, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  31. CookDuds

    When did hid name change. To "Leo"? Isn't it "Leonardo"?

    December 22, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  32. BrofromtheO

    And to think. I only paid to go see one of those movies in the theaters. The rest I bought on bootleg.

    December 22, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  33. Gfunk

    I'm not sure that w/ the economy where it is,families struggling as they are and unemployment,homelessness and foundations of lives turned upside down that this ARTICLES is news worthy !!! Shame on both FORBES and CNN !!!!

    December 22, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • moviefan

      While the economy may be low, ALL families are not struggling and upside down and the only way that these films goss that much is because people go to see them and they pay so dont bash the actors, there are some of them that are not working either.....

      December 22, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scrooge

      This is in the ENTERTAINMENT section, not the "breaking news" section....

      December 23, 2010 at 6:24 am | Report abuse |
  34. Garrett Spaugh

    Leo is overrated. I don't find his acting ability to be extraordinary.

    December 22, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike from MN

      Acting film has nothing to do with one's "acting talents". For film, it's all about realism. To be real means to be yourself! When you try to "act" like somebody that you are not naturally, it comes across as FAKE. Successful film actors are essentially talented at being themselves in front of a camera. That is what audiences want. That is what Hollywood wants. Leo is great being himself on camera.

      December 22, 2010 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  35. rematenaj

    He sure has grown into an extremely handsome young man! Whew! (fanning myself).

    December 22, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  36. Dort

    The heading is misleading. It suggests he actually grossed the highest pay check, not his films.

    December 22, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • moviefan

      The headline is so that you'll read the story.....headlines are meant to grab you ....

      December 22, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Cavemanstyle

    Dude's birthday is one day before mine. It's good to be a scorpio, isn't it L? : )

    December 22, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  38. Ugh

    His films made more than $1 billion, not him. Also, negotiating contracts has little to do with box office (beyond landing a big star to possibly increase a movie's box office). Also also, to the people congratulating DiCaprio: he can't hear you.

    December 22, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Jean

      A name star usually negotiates a percentage of the box office as part of their compensation

      December 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Claude

    Grossing is what the movie made, not the actor's paycheck. Do you really think that Leo made $1.1 billion dollars from one movie? That's what the studio grossed from the movie, then you have to subtract the budget of the movie, then you get the total profit of the movie. So, Alice in Wonderland cost about $150 million to make and then it grossed $1.03 billion, so the studio made approximately $850 million on Alice. So, if you want to be impressed look at the studio head's paycheck! That's what I'm talking about.

    December 22, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  40. Lester

    Yes, but when is he going to star in http://www.amazon.com/Fury-From-Within-ebook/dp/B0046ZS31I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=books&qid=1293024861&sr=8-1
    Its been 11 months since he said he was working on its script.

    December 22, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  41. chris

    I agree that he is an amazing actor and should be rewarded for his success and excelling at his craft. However, it is very hard to comprehend the financial windfall celebrities get when "normal" people struggle so much. My husband and I both work 40 hours per week and we are currently dealing with the realities of not being able to afford to pay for our 17 yr old to go to college in the fall. So while I applaud DiCaprio, it is hard not to feel slightly bah humbug about it all. Peace.

    December 22, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • CNN Reader

      Everyone is paid what they are worth (with the exception of artificial constructs like minimum wage and unions) so Leonardo is worth every penny he's earned.

      If you're not satisfied with the amount of money you are making, you have two choices.

      1. Work more. 40 hours a week is for losers.
      2. Bring more value to the world.

      Or both.

      People who complain about those who have more than they do make me sick. Unless you have some sort of mental of physical limitation, you can do pretty much whatever you want. I'm not saying you could ever develop the talent to do Leonardo's job, but you can do more than you are doing.

      I just skimmed Leonardo DiCaprio's Wikipedia and IMDB pages. He's been working since he was 16. He's also had a crazy stalker. Somehow I don't think you'd be willing to trade places with him.

      December 22, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Robin Bray

    Highest grossing does not equate to best. Just best lawyer negotiating contracts.

    December 22, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      Another poster who lacks basic reading comprehension skills. The article was about how much his films grossed. His cut (his personal pay) was not covered in this article.

      December 22, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Dort

    I'm confused. Did Leo make over a billion or his films? Box office totals and a pay check are seperate earnings.

    December 22, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Mir

      His films made that money not him. He probably got a very small % of it as his paycheque.

      December 22, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  44. cheeseit

    Sorry I meant Celtics game.

    December 22, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  45. Rollo

    Can we get a loan so I can pay for my Rx at WalMart?

    December 22, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  46. Greg

    It just amazes me that Leo hasn't gotten a Academy award yet for all of the movies that he has done so far, I bet he won't even be nominated (again) this year for one...There's something going on in the industry, if they can't even see what kind of a great actor Leo is then there should be a house cleaning and get new people who are in charge of nominating the actors who deserve them...He has deserved one more then once in his career so far in my opinion....

    December 22, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Howard

      Winning an Oscar largely depends on a star's popularity with his/her fellow actors and/or sentiment. This is not to say artistic achievement doesn't count. An artistic performance by an unpopular actor won't likely win it. Neither will a wooden performance by a popular actor. The exception is sentiment, a la John Wayne winning for "True Grit."

      December 22, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • soccerfan

      agree! hollywood is losing its value.

      December 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • bailoutsos

      Speaking of Academy awards, it still amazed me that "The Color Purple" or any of the actors did not receive an Oscar.

      December 23, 2010 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  47. cheeseit

    He is still not as important as Tom Brady. Tom gets to take Leo's seat at NY Nick's game whenever he wants.

    December 22, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Mir

      Going by the same logic you are not as important as Leonardo's dog is.

      December 22, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  48. cheefsfury


    December 22, 2010 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  49. MyMan

    F Yeah Strutting Leo!!!!!!

    December 22, 2010 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
  50. Dman

    Yea.. I earned less that 10% of 1% then subtract another $940,999.00 from that and I'm right there with ya Leo!

    December 22, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Blah

      Thinly masked brag.

      December 22, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      Dman, can you read? This article was not about how much take-home pay, or even gross pay, Leo DiCaprio earned as an individual. It is about how much his films grossed over the year. His cut of that gross was not mentioned.

      December 22, 2010 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Dman

      I understood the context. I was joking... Lay off the lattes Denizen Kate. : )

      December 22, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Rosalinda


    December 22, 2010 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  52. Odalice Feliz

    Congratulation Leo

    December 22, 2010 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • robindb

      Yeah...another World Wildlife Fan!!..Great use of the money and good for you Leo. Actually I'm giving locally this year but I always feel sort of bad that I don't have enough money to hit all of those great causes...glad you (and many others I'm sure) are giving to that amazing organization...thanks!

      December 22, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Leo definitly deserves that money, he puts it to good use.

      December 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hasan

      Inception was an excellent movie.

      December 22, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • kiki

      Leo DiCaprio is one of my favorite actors and I loved him in Inception! It's nice to see some real talent get recognized rather than these crazy reality stars.

      December 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |

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