Vulture’s Most Valuable Stars of 2014

A host of factors determine a contemporary movie star’s value — including box office numbers, social media buzz, increasing foreign strength, and critical respect — and fortunes can change drastically in a matter of months if a star’s passion project flops or a new ingenue takes the world by storm. With all that in mind, Vulture has collected data (including domestic and foreign box-office numbers, social-media buzz, critical respect, Twitter mentions, Oscar nominations/wins, and E-Score Celebrity rankings by E-Poll) in every important metric that measures modern movie stardom, inputting those numbers into a formula crafted with our guest statistician, FiveThirtyEight's Harry Enten, to determine 2014’s 100 Most Valuable Stars. Who’s risen since our 2013 list, and slipped since we first started assembling it in 2012? Read on to find out who matters most to Hollywood.

How Do the Rankings Work?

Read how Vulture calculated stars’ value in 2014, and how you can adjust our formula to make your own ranking.

  • Up +20 since last year
  • Down -20 since last year
  • New to List
1

Jennifer Lawrence

The Girl on Fire

Our new No. 1 is doing everything right.

By every metric by which we measure Most Valuable Stars, Jennifer Lawrence comes out on top. Her studio ratings, likability level, and tabloid scores are hard to rival, she’s got two enormous franchises in The Hunger Games and X-Men, and she’s been nominated for an Oscar almost every year since her breakthrough performance in Winter’s Bone. She’s said that she wants to take at least 12 months off after wrapping The Hunger Games (though the last film in that series doesn’t come out until 2015), but how long will Hollywood let its biggest, brightest new star rest?

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +2
  • Domestic Box Office $148,263,056
  • Overseas Box Office $155,767,660
  • Studio Value (1-10) 9
  • Likability 76%
  • Oscars 1 Win, 3 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 75
  • Twitter Mentions 11,528
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 10

Photo: Mike Marsland

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2

Robert Downey Jr.

Marvel’s Main Man

He’s willing to stay a superhero for a little while longer.

After ruling the Most Valuable Stars list for two years straight, Robert Downey Jr. drops down a spot. Is his Iron Man armor dinged? Not necessarily: Downey still has the sure-to-be record-breaking Avengers: Age of Ultron on the way in 2015, and his willingness to climb aboard 2016’s Captain America 3 means that both Downey and Marvel realize how much that role means to him (and them). For Downey, it may be even more incumbent on him to suit up after his awards-season wannabe, The Judge, came up short this fall.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -1
  • Domestic Box Office $260,731,008
  • Overseas Box Office $336,800,000
  • Studio Value (1-10) 9
  • Likability 69%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 2 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 57
  • Twitter Mentions 2,132
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: Jason Merritt

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3

Leonardo DiCaprio

The Drama King

Nobody can sell a prestige picture like Leo.

Were it anyone but Leo, there's no way that Warner Bros. would have financed a period like The Great Gatsby to the tune of $105 million. Were it anyone but Leo, Martin Scorsese might not have gotten away with a theatrical cut of The Wolf of Wall Street that ran a gargantuan three hours. But because both films did star Leonardo DiCaprio — the rare star who can not only get an auteur drama financed but then turn it into a smash hit — studio executives were willing to take the sort of risks that don't come naturally in today's franchise-driven movie world. If DiCaprio didn't consistently seek out challenging films like The Revenant, the one he's currently shooting from director Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman), the modern movie landscape would look very different.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -1
  • Domestic Box Office $136,426,676
  • Overseas Box Office $224,188,984
  • Studio Value (1-10) 9
  • Likability 67%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 5 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 69
  • Twitter Mentions 7,077
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: Jason Merritt

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4

Sandra Bullock

The Out-of-This-World Superstar

At 50, her career is hotter than ever.

Sandra Bullock was ranked No. 4 last year, and she continues to hold that highly desirable rank after a year that saw Gravity break her own box-office records and come close to snagging the Best Picture trophy at the Oscars. Bullock’s career is hotter than ever, and her ultrahigh studio score and second-highest likability rating ensure she’ll continue to have her pick of projects.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 No Change
  • Domestic Box Office $160,168,016
  • Overseas Box Office $59,574,416
  • Studio Value (1-10) 9
  • Likability 83%
  • Oscars 1 Win, 2 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 51
  • Twitter Mentions 1,601
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: Kevin Mazur

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5

Denzel Washington

The Consistent Veteran

You can count on him to deliver.

Hollywood is so franchise-driven that it’s hard to imagine that Denzel Washington has never starred in a sequel, but as The Equalizer nears $100 million domestically, Sony will seek to change that. Washington’s got incredibly high studio and likability scores because he’s so rock-solid dependable: Every wide-release movie he’s made in the last five years has debuted to over $20 million, distinguishing him as the rare movie star who’s absolutely guaranteed to open your movie.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +3
  • Domestic Box Office $87,667,660
  • Overseas Box Office $74,851,384
  • Studio Value (1-10) 9
  • Likability 82%
  • Oscars 2 Wins, 6 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 55
  • Twitter Mentions 692
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 4

Photo: Noel Vasquez

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6

Angelina Jolie

The Commanding Presence

After time away, she made her comeback count.

Welcome back, Angelina! The most famous actress on Earth took a nearly four-year sabbatical from live-action acting to focus on her directing career, but she returned with a vengeance with this summer’s Maleficent, by far her biggest hit ever. And though she won’t appear in her coming directorial vehicle Unbroken, it’s got incredible Oscar buzz, likely making her this list’s most-powerful multi-hyphenate.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +6
  • Domestic Box Office $100,467,948
  • Overseas Box Office $230,468,325
  • Studio Value (1-10) 9
  • Likability 50%
  • Oscars 1 Win, 2 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 47
  • Twitter Mentions 4,265
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: Jason Merritt

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7

Tom Hanks

Mr. Nice Guy

He’s on a long-overdue rebound.

Tom Hanks has never been low on our Most Valuable Stars list, but given recent misfires like Larry Crowne and Cloud Atlas, that has had more to do with the long arc of his successful career. Last fall, though, Hanks earned his Top 10 position fair and square when he brought Captain Phillips to a number north of $100 million and delivered one of his most affecting performances ever, to boot. The notion that he’ll next team with his Saving Private Ryan director Steven Spielberg for a Cold War thriller is even more enticing.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +2
  • Domestic Box Office $83,301,584
  • Overseas Box Office $103,374,592
  • Studio Value (1-10) 9
  • Likability 71%
  • Oscars 2 Wins, 5 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 55
  • Twitter Mentions 2,082
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 5

Photo: Samir Hussein

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8

Johnny Depp

The Costumed Conundrum

Has the audience tired of his eccentricities?

When we published our first Most Valuable Stars list, Johnny Depp was a Top 3 force to be reckoned with; since then, his career has taken a hard left turn. Wannabe franchise-starters The Lone Ranger and Dark Shadows sputtered, while this year’s Transcendence was one of the biggest flops of his career. Still, with sequels to his two major hits — Alice in Wonderland and Pirates of the Caribbean — on the way to shore up his box-office scores, Depp’s got a few more years to figure out what went wrong.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +2
  • Domestic Box Office $83,858,424
  • Overseas Box Office $132,148,884
  • Studio Value (1-10) 8
  • Likability 71%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 3 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 56
  • Twitter Mentions 6,733
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 8

Photo: Kevin Mazur

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9

Brad Pitt

The Golden Boy

He makes Hollywood stardom seem effortless.

Pitt’s wife Angelina Jolie jumped ahead of him on this year’s list, but we doubt he’ll mind. They remain Hollywood’s foremost super-couple, and they’ll star together for the first time since Mr. and Mrs. Smith in next year’s Jolie-helmed By the Sea, an enticing prospect that inflated Pitt’s tabloid score this year (that big wedding didn’t hurt, either). If Pitt pulls the trigger and decides to sequelize his big hit World War Z, thereby giving him a strong franchise of his very own, he’ll move up this list in short order.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -4
  • Domestic Box Office $65,439,960
  • Overseas Box Office $70,385,290
  • Studio Value (1-10) 9
  • Likability 58%
  • Oscars 1 Win, 4 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 67
  • Twitter Mentions 4,496
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 10

Photo: Jason Merritt

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10

Bradley Cooper

The New Leading Man

Alongside his frequent co-star Jennifer Lawrence, he’s part of a new school of leading actors.

Aside from Bradley Cooper’s frequent co-star Jennifer Lawrence, every single name in the Most Valuable Stars’ Top 10 is a veteran actor who could have held their same slot five or even ten years ago. Clearly, Hollywood hasn’t done a great job of grooming new movie stars who can replace its aging overlords; the rise of 39-year-old Cooper, then, ought to be considered one of its few success stories. Blessed with leading-man looks, sky-high appeal scores, and annual Oscar buzz, Cooper makes canny choices (including Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper and Cameron Crowe’s next comedy) and is equally adept at comedy, drama, and action.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +13
  • Domestic Box Office $102,219,656
  • Overseas Box Office $100,535,348
  • Studio Value (1-10) 8
  • Likability 70%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 2 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 47
  • Twitter Mentions 1,156
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: Robyn Beck

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11

Channing Tatum

The Beefcake With Brains

With Foxcatcher, he’ll prove what he’s capable of.

2014 was a pivotal year for Channing Tatum. He showed that he’s more than willing to play the studio-sequel game — 22 Jump Street improved on its predecessor, and he began filming Magic Mike 2 last month — but also won stunning (and surprised) reviews out of Cannes for his dark drama Foxcatcher. Whether or not Tatum gets an Oscar nod for that performance, he’s uniquely positioned himself as a global star and unlikely director’s muse tapped to with the Wachowskis on Jupiter Ascending (which, we must admit, is getting mixed buzz) and the Coen brothers on their comedy Hail Caesar!

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +20
  • Domestic Box Office $80,014,840
  • Overseas Box Office $62,200,000
  • Studio Value (1-10) 9
  • Likability 64%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 61
  • Twitter Mentions 5,391
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: Michael Tran

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12

Matt Damon

The Bourne-Again Star

He’s coming back to his biggest role.

What’s that, Matt Damon? You want to come back to the Bourne franchise, your most successful series going, after years spent shirking it? That’s all it took for studio executives to give a higher score this year to the quietly redoubtable Damon, who’ll also star in Ridley Scott’s big sci-fi movie The Martian after a series of vehicles like Promised Land and Elysium didn’t quite break out.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +7
  • Domestic Box Office $62,495,644
  • Overseas Box Office $65,373,736
  • Studio Value (1-10) 9
  • Likability 69%
  • Oscars 1 Win, 3 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 61
  • Twitter Mentions 872
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 7

Photo: Saul Loeb

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13

George Clooney

The Man of the Year

Perhaps you’ve heard something about a wedding?

It’s not a bad time to be George Clooney, folks. He had the biggest hit of his career supporting Sandra Bullock in Gravity, his marriage to Amal Alamuddin gave him a sky-high tabloid score, and even his directorial effort Monuments Men, which opened weakly, eventually made enough to be considered amongst his highest grossers. if next year’s Brad Bird–directed fantasy film Tomorrowland is a success, that could give Clooney the high foreign grosses he’d need to start moving up into the highest echelons of this list.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +5
  • Domestic Box Office $59,497,076
  • Overseas Box Office $56,746,454
  • Studio Value (1-10) 8
  • Likability 65%
  • Oscars 2 Wins, 8 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 64
  • Twitter Mentions 1,684
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: Chris Jackson

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14

Hugh Jackman

The Entertainer

He hasn’t hung up his claws yet ...

Stars don’t come much more solid than Hugh Jackman, who impressed in last year’s dark drama Prisoners and reprised Wolverine to his greatest box-office numbers yet in this summer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. Still, even if Jackman’s expected to make at least two more X movies, there’s an end fast approaching for this ageless character, and one wonders whether Jackman will seek another franchise soon — perhaps even his big-budget redo of Peter Pan (he plays the villainous Blackbeard), due out next summer?

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -3
  • Domestic Box Office $114,537,924
  • Overseas Box Office $205,150,000
  • Studio Value (1-10) 8
  • Likability 76%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 1 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 59
  • Twitter Mentions 2,079
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 8

Photo: Mike Marsland

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15

Will Smith

The Question Mark

What does he want to do with his career these days?

Two years ago, Smith debuted on the Most Valuable Stars list in the No. 2 spot, but he’s slipped ever since, and last year’s dud After Earth helped matters none. The very choosy Smith passed on Django Unchained and spent last year shooting the mild-looking romantic drama Focus; decisions like those might explain why Smith’s studio score is now the lowest in the Top 25. But Smith has lately indicated more of a willingness to play ball, and rumor has it he’ll star in WB’s upcoming supervillain movie Suicide Squad, which could give him the hit he needs to restore his former A-list luster. At the very least, the general public hasn’t soured on Smith at all: He’s got our highest likability score.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -9
  • Domestic Box Office $119,771,472
  • Overseas Box Office $314,047,904
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 85%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 2 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 46
  • Twitter Mentions 8,447
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 8

Photo: Michael Buckner

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16

Ben Affleck

The Caped Crusader

An Oscar-winner for his behind-the-scenes work, his acting career has caught up.

After directing himself in a Best Picture winner, Ben Affleck’s career continues to soar. He’s got a high studio value and a bona-fide hit in Gone Girl; Affleck’s also a cornerstone of the Warner Bros./DC superhero slate, playing Batman in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a role that will take him to the end of this decade (through a pair of Justice League team-up movies and perhaps even his own stand-alone installments) and presumably beyond. Now that’s job security.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +12
  • Domestic Box Office $37,017,956
  • Overseas Box Office $50,794,416
  • Studio Value (1-10) 8
  • Likability 62%
  • Oscars 2 Wins, 2 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 64
  • Twitter Mentions 1,468
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 10

Photo: Kevin Winter

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17

Matthew McConaughey

The Completed Comeback

Let McConaughey’s rebound be your guide.

What a difference a year makes: In 2013, Matthew McConaughey began to climb the Most Valuable Stars list thanks to a series of well-received indies and supporting roles. This time around, he leapt all the way into the Top 20 (and his studio score surged to one of the highest numbers in our 100) on the back of his Dallas Buyers Club Oscar win and a stunning turn on HBO’s True Detective. Codifying his ascent: A lead role in Christopher Nolan’s sure-to-be-blockbuster Interstellar, which could give him the box-office muscle he needs to vault into next year’s Top 10.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +40
  • Domestic Box Office $27,298,284
  • Overseas Box Office $17,000,000
  • Studio Value (1-10) 9
  • Likability 68%
  • Oscars 1 Win, 1 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 72
  • Twitter Mentions 965
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 8

Photo: Frederick M. Brown

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18

Christian Bale

The Bygone Batman

Now that his superhero days are over, what will he do next?

Warner Bros. barely let Christian Bale put Batman to rest before they announced that Ben Affleck would take the cowl, and with Bale’s biggest franchise coming to a definitive close, he dropped just a tad from last year. The question is what he’ll do next, and whether he’ll succeed at it: His drama Out of the Furnace stiffed last fall, but American Hustle then earned him an Oscar nod, and Bale will return to tentpole territory with this winter’s Ridley Scott–directed Exodus: Gods and Men.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -11
  • Domestic Box Office $97,104,624
  • Overseas Box Office $101,054,000
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 59%
  • Oscars 1 Win, 2 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 70
  • Twitter Mentions 1,201
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 4

Photo: Chris Jackson

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19

Tom Cruise

The Image Problem

Even his good movies are hemmed in by his likabilty issues.

Why wasn’t the box office bigger for Tom Cruise’s well-reviewed summer sci-fi vehicle Edge of Tomorrow? Check his rock-bottom likability score: He has the lowest appeal percentage on this entire list after years of tabloid headlines and his divorce from Katie Holmes. Only two things inoculate Cruise from a total free-fall: His still-strong foreign box-office scores and the Mission: Impossible franchise.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -5
  • Domestic Box Office $84,588,984
  • Overseas Box Office $191,284,376
  • Studio Value (1-10) 8
  • Likability 37%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 3 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 52
  • Twitter Mentions 2,952
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 8

Photo: Anthony Harvey

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20

Amy Adams

The Savvy Sweetheart

She’s become an Academy Award perennial with real potential.

That Oscar-nominated, va-va-va-voom turn in American Hustle bumped up Amy Adams’s studio value this year, and Hollywood’s more bullish on her than ever, even if the Man of Steel franchise she was meant to co-lead has now been overstuffed with so many other superheroes that she’s now an ensemble player. But it’s telling that Adams is now bankable enough to lead films like this winter’s Tim Burton–directed period drama Big Eyes on her own — in a role that was once earmarked for Reese Witherspoon at her height, no less.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +47
  • Domestic Box Office $88,631,240
  • Overseas Box Office $35,415,072
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 79%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 5 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 68
  • Twitter Mentions 404
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 6

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris

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21

Chris Hemsworth

The Go-To God

He’s looking for significant projects outside his Marvel mainstay.

Chris Hemsworth’s brand of young, bankable studliness is in short supply in Hollywood, and his studio score shot up a great deal from last year (alongside improved box-office scores thanks to Thor: The Dark World). His racing drama Rush underperformed this fall, but Hollywood still rates Hemsworth high, with the Snow White and the Huntsman series being retooled to center around his character and A-list directors like Michael Mann (who cast Hemsworth in the forthcoming Blackhat) and Ron Howard (who will reunite with his Rush star for the Moby-Dick movie In the Neart of the Sea), giving him a seal of approval.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +17
  • Domestic Box Office $155,332,384
  • Overseas Box Office $241,260,448
  • Studio Value (1-10) 8
  • Likability 75%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 57
  • Twitter Mentions 974
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez

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22

Liam Neeson

The Elder Statesman of Action

Have gun, will travel.

As he said in the first Taken, Liam Neeson has a very special set of skills: You put him in a run-of-the-mill action vehicle, and you’re guaranteed good grosses. In other kinds of movies, his box-office scores aren’t quite as strong — the ensemble drama First Person flopped, and A Walk Among the Tombstones was too grim for Neeson’s core audience — but he’s got incredibly high appeal scores, suggesting that Neeson has entered De Niro territory as a movie star emeritus who still draws crowds.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +7
  • Domestic Box Office $64,251,540
  • Overseas Box Office $67,100,000
  • Studio Value (1-10) 8
  • Likability 79%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 1 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 45
  • Twitter Mentions 1,086
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 4

Photo: Ida Mae Astute

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23

Mark Wahlberg

The Transformer

He’s latched onto a big franchise, but he favors a surprising new drama.

Mark Wahlberg has two monster franchises in Transformers and Ted, but they contribute to his awfully low critics’ score, a conundrum he’ll seek to remedy with his Oscar contender The Gambler, where he plays a desperate professor with a gambling addiction, a role that required him to shed 60 pounds from his muscle-bound body. If it can transform Wahlberg into a director’s favorite, he could finally rise from his usual strong-but-not-top-tier position on our list.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +3
  • Domestic Box Office $93,617,008
  • Overseas Box Office $36,300,000
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 70%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 2 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 55
  • Twitter Mentions 1,477
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 8

Photo: Bryan Bedder

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24

Shailene Woodley

The Hippie Princess

She’s real, relatable, and a refreshing new Hollywood face.

Shailene Woodley made the highest debut on this list, landing in the Top 25 off this year’s one-two punch of Divergent (which gave her a big franchise) and The Fault in Our Stars (where she got to show off her tearjerking dramatic chops). She’s still got room to grow — her awareness is the lowest in the Top 50, with young women comprising the majority of her fan base — but a strong studio score means that Hollywood is determined to make her a household name.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 New to List
  • Domestic Box Office $103,666,664
  • Overseas Box Office $109,328,184
  • Studio Value (1-10) 8
  • Likability 57%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 76
  • Twitter Mentions 2,674
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 7

Photo: Stephen Lovekin

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25

Vin Diesel

The Wheelman

It’s now his job to steer the Fast and Furious movies.

Vin Diesel’s studio score slipped a bit this year — owing, perhaps, to the underperformance of his determined-to-make-this-character-happen effort Riddick last summer — but in the wake of Paul Walker’s death, Diesel’s importance to the Fast and the Furious series, one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood, cannot be overstated. His high perch on this list is ensured for as long as he’s willing to get behind the wheel.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 No Change
  • Domestic Box Office $209,837,680
  • Overseas Box Office $291,600,000
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 60%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 61
  • Twitter Mentions 1,543
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 6

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26

Meryl Streep

The Grande Dame

A living legend whose last two movies were middling.

Meryl Streep has long been one of our most reliable actresses, but even she couldn’t push August: Osage County over $40 million, and YA hopeful The Giver didn’t get much further than that. Both of those disappointments dinged Streep’s studio score a bit, but if Into the Woods is a big splash this December, she should bounce back.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -13
  • Domestic Box Office $38,452,512
  • Overseas Box Office $36,450,128
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 69%
  • Oscars 3 Wins, 18 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 57
  • Twitter Mentions 950
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 6

Photo: C Flanigan

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27

Emma Stone

The Good Girl

She’s finally ready to make good on all that appeal.

Emma Stone, we missed you! In between both of her Amazing Spider-Man movies, Stone did little to take advantage of her bigger name, taking one meager supporting part in the flop Gangster Squad. Still, this has been a comeback year for Stone, who starred this summer in Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight and is tipped for an Oscar nomination thanks to Birdman<?i>. Someday, if she put her back into it, Stone could give Jennifer Lawrence a run for her money.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +5
  • Domestic Box Office $79,970,744
  • Overseas Box Office $50,200,000
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 70%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 58
  • Twitter Mentions 1,862
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 8

Photo: Venturelli

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28

Anne Hathaway

Back In Our Orbit

Her hiatus over, she’s going out of this world with Interstellar.

After she won the Oscar for 2012’s Les Misérables, Anne Hathaway took a concerted step back, vanishing from the screen for two years. Did her hiatus manage to quell the persistent cries of so-called “Hatha-hate”? Well, her likabilty score did tick up a few notches in the interim, but the truth is, Hathaway’s always done well with the general public (as opposed to the rabid bloggerazzi), and she couldn’t have picked a better comeback vehicle to reappear in: She’s the female lead in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -4
  • Domestic Box Office $110,485,656
  • Overseas Box Office $170,507,968
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 67%
  • Oscars 1 Win, 2 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 49
  • Twitter Mentions 957
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris

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29

Dwayne Johnson

The Muscle

Can he ever succeed in a franchise of his own?

After Hercules flopped, Johnson’s studio value took a hit: He’s had a terrific impact on other franchises when he joins them already in progress, but Johnson can’t seem to get his own series started. Nevertheless, his importance to the Fast and Furious movies will no doubt increase, and Johnson’s still-high audience appeal indicates that he simply hasn’t found the right franchise-starter yet. Could WB’s comic-book adaptation Shazam<?i> be it?

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +4
  • Domestic Box Office $69,312,180
  • Overseas Box Office $87,670,126
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 66%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 46
  • Twitter Mentions 5,067
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 5

Photo: Valerie Macon

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30

Melissa McCarthy

The Funnywoman

Even her so-called “flops” are moneymakers.

She’s one of the most bankable comedy stars in Hollywood, but Melissa McCarthy’s studio value took a hit when her summer comedy Tammy initially underperformed. (The movie did eventually find its way to a not-bad $84 million, but first impressions are important in this industry.) Still, McCarthy will no doubt be on firmer territory when she reunites with The Heat director Paul Feig for next summer’s Spy, and if Feig casts her in his all-female Ghostbusters reboot, she could rise even higher.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -3
  • Domestic Box Office $134,506,912
  • Overseas Box Office $39,458,088
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 72%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 1 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 59
  • Twitter Mentions 242
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 7

Photo: Jason LaVeris

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31

Scarlett Johansson

The Superheroine

After her surprise action-hit Lucy, can she become a top-tier international star?

Scarlett Johansson surged on our list after a stellar year that combined critical acclaim (in Her and Under the Skin) with blockbuster box office (her action vehicle Lucy has made over $400 million worldwide). The studio execs we polled gave Johansson dramatically better marks than in 2013, and as Johansson juggled her summer pregnancy with shooting an Avengers sequel, her tabloid appeal jumped, too. She’s never been bigger, so when will Marvel give her that long-demanded Black Widow spinoff?

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +41
  • Domestic Box Office $75,624,552
  • Overseas Box Office $44,457,292
  • Studio Value (1-10) 9
  • Likability 61%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 66
  • Twitter Mentions 2,800
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 10

Photo: Christopher Polk

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32

Daniel Radcliffe

The Scaled-Down Sorcerer

He’s spent his post-Potter time testing himself as an actor.

With the Harry Potter franchise behind him, Daniel Radcliffe starred in two well-reviewed indies, Kill Your Darlings and What If, which did negligible business over the past year. That’s why Radcliffe has one of the lowest studio scores in our Top 50, but he’ll return to the big-money fold with next year’s Frankenstein, and he’s still unique on this list as the only man in the 25-and-under age group. With those things going for him and his Harry Potter halo still potent, Radcliffe will have no trouble getting hired.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -17
  • Domestic Box Office $175,158,292
  • Overseas Box Office $352,927,364
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 58%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 64
  • Twitter Mentions 1,819
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 8

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain

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33

Jennifer Aniston

The Faithful Friend

A dependable comedienne with an intriguing turn on the way.

Jennifer Aniston had one of her biggest hits ever with last summer’s We’re the Millers, but how will she follow it up? This year’s indie Life of Crime went bust, and she was well reviewed in the festival entry Cake, but no one has yet picked it up for an awards-season run. She has sequels to Millers and Horrible Bosses on the way, though, as well as big likability and tabloid scores to keep her aloft for the time being.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -17
  • Domestic Box Office $67,061,228
  • Overseas Box Office $69,272,296
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 66%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 47
  • Twitter Mentions 2,663
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: Jason Merritt

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34

Jonah Hill

The Dramatic Comic

His two Oscar nominations don’t lie.

Hill shot up nearly 40 places on this list thanks to a stellar year that proved everything he can do: He earned his second Oscar nomination for the rambunctious Wolf of Wall Street, but meanwhile, he helped distinguish 22 Jump Street as the rare comedy sequel to improve upon its predecessor. Both were big box-office hits, too, which augurs well for Hill as he continues to move into producing.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +39
  • Domestic Box Office $96,771,096
  • Overseas Box Office $34,600,724
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 63%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 2 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 67
  • Twitter Mentions 1,695
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 6

Photo: Frazer Harrison

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35

Benedict Cumberbatch

The Critical Crush

Can his fangirl bona-fides cross over this year?

Comic-Con appeal doesn’t always cross over into the real world, but when Benedict Cumberbatch made his first appearance at the San Diego geek convention this summer, fan screams could be heard all the way up in Hollywood executive suites. He’s got plenty of fantasy appeal after making Star Trek Into Darkness and the Hobbit films, but Cumberbatch will position himself as one of our foremost serious actors this fall with the WWII drama The Imitation Game, an early Oscar favorite.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +54
  • Domestic Box Office $56,671,992
  • Overseas Box Office $97,700,000
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 70%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 72
  • Twitter Mentions 3,504
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 6

Photo: Anthony Harvey

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36

Julia Roberts

The Sweetheart Gone Serious

Romcoms be gone: She’s getting dramatic.

Julia Roberts has never felt the need to work much, but she got a nice shot in the arm last winter when August: Osage County earned her her first Oscar nomination in 15 years. A well-regarded role in HBO’s The Normal Heart helped solidify the current critical-favorite phase of her career, and she’ll continue pursuing those accolades with a remake of the Oscar-winning crime-thriller The Secret in Their Eyes, where she collared a tasty role that was gender-flipped just for her.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +14
  • Domestic Box Office $52,753,996
  • Overseas Box Office $69,404,790
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 70%
  • Oscars 1 Win, 4 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 48
  • Twitter Mentions 797
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 7

Photo: Theo Wargo/NBC

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37

Mila Kunis

The Ingenue in Intermission

She had studio heat but languished in small, sub-par films this year.

Kunis was ranked No. 20 last year, but she took a tumble after starring in three mezzo-mezzo indies: the poorly reviewed Blood Ties, Third Person, and The Angriest Man in Brooklyn. 2015, won’t be any easier on her, as she’ll be dealing with the iffy Wachowski-siblings effort Jupiter Ascending. Still, Kunis’s tabloid value is so high — owing to her relationship with new baby-daddy Ashton Kutcher — that she’s got a little bit more time with general audiences to find her footing, even if studio executives gave her the lowest score in our top 50.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -17
  • Domestic Box Office $94,835,056
  • Overseas Box Office $93,739,488
  • Studio Value (1-10) 5
  • Likability 72%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 61
  • Twitter Mentions 2,676
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 10

Photo: Jason Merritt

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38

Chris Pine

The Young Captain

It’s time for him to establish a presence outside the Enterprise.

Hollywood is currently choked with hunky white guys named Chris, and while a rising tide lifts all boats, Chris Pine is still facing the same problem as Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth: They’re all big stars within their own franchises, but they haven’t quite established themselves in extracurricular movies. This winter, at least, Pine, will appear in two titles that are lightyears from Star Trek: He will sing as the vain prince in Into the Woods and mug as a comic bastard in Horrible Bosses 2.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +1
  • Domestic Box Office $53,233,586
  • Overseas Box Office $93,196,264
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 60%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 61
  • Twitter Mentions 445
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 8

Photo: Mike Marsland

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39

Kevin Hart

The Fast-Rising Funnyman

Studio bigwigs are finally paying attention.

In both of our previous Most Valuable Stars calculations, we floated Kevin Hart’s name to studio executives; each year, the same response came back, and it was “not interested.” In 2014, though, Hart could no longer be ignored, as Ride Along and About Last Night made Hart the first quarter’s most valuable star, and Think Like a Man Too doubled down on his draw. Everyone wants to work with Hart now (his studio scores, once minimal, now equal Johnny Depp’s), and the first beneficiary will be Will Ferrell in next year’s buddy comedy Get Hard.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 New to List
  • Domestic Box Office $56,909,934
  • Overseas Box Office $4,370,228
  • Studio Value (1-10) 8
  • Likability 67%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 46
  • Twitter Mentions 8,788
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 4

Photo: Kevin Winter

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40

Andrew Garfield

The Sticky Situation

Is he leveraging his superhero role for all it’s worth?

Garfield starred in another big Amazing Spider-Man movie this year, yet his position on this list didn’t budge. Why? Because while The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was still a hit, it came in so drastically below the figure Sony was expecting that the studio is now reevaluating the franchise’s future. More to the point, Garfield has done little to capitalize on his superhero heat, making no new films in between web-slinging gigs. He’ll lead Martin Scorsese’s next movie, and he’s undeniably talented, but Garfield can’t just rest on his Spidey laurels.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 No Change
  • Domestic Box Office $149,908,316
  • Overseas Box Office $309,071,756
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 54%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 68
  • Twitter Mentions 1,048
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo

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41

Natalie Portman

The Next Act

With so many career goals met, what will her next phase look like?

Natalie Portman’s on pause. Yes, she had a big hit recently with Thor: The Dark World, but we hear she’s trying to wriggle out of that series, and the Thor sequel was the first movie she’d made in ages after becoming a mother. On the other side of that pregnancy (and her Oscar win for Black Swan), Portman seems more intrigued by behind-the-camera work, producing the troubled Jane’s Got a Gun and making her directorial debut with A Tale of Love and Darkness. Can she be enticed back into the studio fold?

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -6
  • Domestic Box Office $49,603,190
  • Overseas Box Office $45,946,208
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 66%
  • Oscars 1 Win, 2 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 52
  • Twitter Mentions 768
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 6

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42

Jamie Foxx

The Star Support

He rarely gets the lead, but he retains his shine.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gave Jamie Foxx a nice foreign box-office bump, and he has an expected hit to come in this winter’s remake of the musical Annie. It’s been a while since Foxx had a star vehicle all his own — he’s much more often cast as a co-lead or ensemble player, even agreeing to reprise his cameo role from the first Horrible Bosses in this winter’s sequel — but he’s an agreeable presence no matter the movie (or the size of the part).

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +34
  • Domestic Box Office $105,512,348
  • Overseas Box Office $108,620,892
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 59%
  • Oscars 1 Win, 2 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 52
  • Twitter Mentions 1,472
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 5

Photo: Mike Marsland

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43

Robert De Niro

The Veteran

Audiences love him, but he may be testing his reputation.

If you had to guess the Most Valuable Star in the Top 50 with the lowest critics’ score, would you ever pick Robert De Niro? It’s true: Plentiful paycheck roles like The Big Wedding, Grudge Match, and Last Vegas have driven De Niro’s Metacritic score into the dirt. Still, he’s so venerated by his peers and general audiences — and so willing to make big studio movies as long as they’ll meet his quote — that De Niro’s likely to stay on this list for as long as we continue to publish it.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +6
  • Domestic Box Office $29,807,260
  • Overseas Box Office $31,258,790
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 75%
  • Oscars 2 Wins, 7 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 44
  • Twitter Mentions 732
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 3

Photo: Mike Coppola

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44

Daniel Craig

The Secretive Agent

Bond? Where’s Bond?

You might need James Bond to reintroduce himself, considering how long Daniel Craig has been absent from the screen: He hasn’t made a movie since 2012’s Skyfall and likely won’t be seen again until the next Bond movie is finished in late 2015. Maybe Craig felt burned by how his in-between-Bond films fared last time, with Defiance, Cowboys & Aliens, and Dream House all underperforming (and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo stopping just short of launching a new franchise). No matter, though: Skyfall was the biggest Bond movie ever, and his next effort will be highly anticipated.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -27
  • Domestic Box Office $100,240,552
  • Overseas Box Office $130,101,640
  • Studio Value (1-10) 8
  • Likability 65%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 50
  • Twitter Mentions 337
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 6

Photo: Jon Kopaloff

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45

Seth Rogen

The Screw-Up Turned Grown-Up

He’s graduated from slacker parts and seems most likely to succeed.

Universal execs thought they had a sleeper hit on their hands when they moved Seth Rogen’s Neighbors into a summer slot, but both the studio and the star must have been pleasantly surprised by the final box-office haul: Neighbors ended up at $150 million, making it Rogen’s highest-grossing live-action comedy ever. Crucially, Rogen has taken over the reins of his career, and he is co-directing another comedy, The Interview (in which he also stars alongside James Franco), out this winter. With that movie, he hopes to continue a streak he started with last year’s directorial debut, This Is the End.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +20
  • Domestic Box Office $44,494,630
  • Overseas Box Office $18,598,069
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 59%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 58
  • Twitter Mentions 2,532
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 6

Photo: Jamie McCarthy/NBC

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46

Will Ferrell

The Comic Anchor

Finally, he got the sequel he’d always wanted.

For years, Will Ferrell tried to convince Paramount brass that an Anchorman sequel would make money, but the executive brain-trust kept dragging their feet. It’s Ferrell, appropriately, who’ll have the last laugh: last winter’s Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues was one of his biggest grossers ever and his most successful worldwide launch since Elf, which gave Ferrell a nice boost in most of his metrics (including studio score, which rose from last year).

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +17
  • Domestic Box Office $80,557,836
  • Overseas Box Office $32,817,746
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 62%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 57
  • Twitter Mentions 1,172
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 5

Photo: Jon Kopaloff

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47

Jeremy Renner

The Man of Action

But is there more to him than dodging explosions?

It isn’t bad to be Jeremy Renner, who plays a key supporting role in two of the biggest movie series in Hollywood (The Avengers and Mission: Impossible) and whose comic-book character Hawkeye is rumored to be joining Captain America 3 next. Still, there’s a sense there of potential unmet — Renner’s Bourne spinoff is on deep freeze now that Matt Damon is returning to the franchise, and his indie Kill the Messenger couldn’t break through in a cluttered awards season — that may explain why his studio score has begun to slip.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +5
  • Domestic Box Office $113,203,872
  • Overseas Box Office $162,940,880
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 69%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 2 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 73
  • Twitter Mentions 248
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 6

Photo: Paul Morigi

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48

Reese Witherspoon

The Girl Gone Wild

Her daring new movie should put her back on the map.

Reese Witherspoon is about to return. Yes, she starred in the came-and-went drama The Good Lie, but her big-kahuna comeback vehicle, the terrific Wild, is coming this December and will make her a strong Best Actress contender. Witherspoon also produced Gone Girl and cameos in Inherent Vice, and she’s got a female buddy comedy with Sofia Vergara out next year that’s meant to draft on the heat generated by … well, The Heat. Witherspoon’s been laying a little low in recent years, but by this time next year, we expect a Reese-aisance.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -3
  • Domestic Box Office $42,486,706
  • Overseas Box Office $38,420,736
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 65%
  • Oscars 1 Win, 1 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 44
  • Twitter Mentions 409
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 8

Photo: Jason Merritt

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49

Zoe Saldana

The Queen of the Galaxy

If it’s set in space, she’ll star in it.

Is there any actress whose future seems as secure as Zoe Saldana’s? The 36-year-old now headlines Hollywood’s three biggest sci-fi franchises: Avatar, Star Trek, and nascent series Guardians of the Galaxy, which became this summer’s biggest movie. Correspondingly, she’s zoomed up this list; now all Saldana has to do is find a good modern-day role (where she won’t be painted blue or green) to help introduce her to still-unfamiliar moviegoers who can bump up her low awareness levels.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -1
  • Domestic Box Office $57,744,720
  • Overseas Box Office $24,300,000
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 66%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 51
  • Twitter Mentions 559
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 7

Photo: Craig Barritt

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50

Charlize Theron

The Formidable One

She’s got the tough-but-beautiful thing down pat.

Hollywood execs aren’t blaming Charlize Theron for the underperforming A Million Ways to Die in the West — that one is being laid at the feet of director-writer-star Seth MacFarlane. The town remains high on Theron, who boasts awfully high appeal ratings despite a recent penchant for playing unlikable characters, and she’s the female lead in next summer’s audacious-looking action flick Mad Max: Fury Road, the sort of muscular movie few of the actresses on this list could pull off with such authority.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +18
  • Domestic Box Office $29,516,268
  • Overseas Box Office $31,393,544
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 69%
  • Oscars 1 Win, 2 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 61
  • Twitter Mentions 562
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain

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51

Russell Crowe

The Brawler

Noah helped reestablish his leading-man bona-fides.

Paramount may have been hoping for more from its biblical epic Noah, but it still passed the $100 million mark, a notable accomplishment for a movie with Russell Crowe in the lead. The brawny actor has been biding his time in supporting roles as of late, but he’s signaled an interest in returning to the top of the call sheet, and next year’s The Nice Guys (where he stars opposite Ryan Gosling in a 1970s detective drama) could further that trend.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +9
  • Domestic Box Office $37,017,956
  • Overseas Box Office $50,794,416
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 52%
  • Oscars 1 Win, 3 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 53
  • Twitter Mentions 891
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 6

Photo: Jim Spellman

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52

Ben Stiller

The Anxious Clown

He’s mired in comedy sequels, but they’re working.

Stiller had hoped for a Forrest Gump–like smash with last winter’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, but it wasn’t to be: The movie sputtered at the domestic box office and was an awards-season non-factor. Still, Stiller has one more surefire card to play — the third and presumably final Night at the Museum entry, out this December — and then will potentially move on to the long-awaited Zoolander 2, a sequel whose movement we hope has been restarted by the success of Anchorman 2.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +18
  • Domestic Box Office $78,046,568
  • Overseas Box Office $129,896,480
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 64%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 42
  • Twitter Mentions 396
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 4

Photo: Jason Merritt

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53

Kate Winslet

The Pedigree

She’s getting paid well for the Divergent series, but where’s her next big dramatic role?

Kate Winslet’s “what the hell” decision to come onboard Divergent for a few days of work and a hefty paycheck actually paid off: The smash-hit franchise-starter gave Winslet some high-exposure work (she’ll be returning for next year’s sequel Insurgent) and helped lift the taint of her last two flops, Labor Day and Carnage. Still, Winslet is one of the most acclaimed actresses of her generation, with the Oscar score to prove it … can’t we find her some better work these days than easy-money supporting parts?

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +1
  • Domestic Box Office $44,514,812
  • Overseas Box Office $40,442,968
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 66%
  • Oscars 1 Win, 6 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 50
  • Twitter Mentions 539
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 8

Photo: Leonard Adam

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54

Cameron Diaz

The Savvy Spaz

She bounces between hits and misfires, yet still manages to come out ahead.

You never really know with Cameron Diaz: She deserves all the credit for opening The Other Woman to a pretty terrific $24.7 million this past spring, but then Sex Tape, her summer comedy with Jason Segel, was a bust. She’ll likely have a hit on her hands with this winter’s remake of Annie, but her broad comic performance in the movie’s first few trailers inspired some savage tweets. Our studios execs were similarly divided on Diaz, who could use even one good movie to prop up her ongoing streak of poorly reviewed comedies.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -1
  • Domestic Box Office $62,811,632
  • Overseas Box Office $82,254,486
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 59%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 47
  • Twitter Mentions 1,506
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: Dave J Hogan

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55

Steve Carell

The Dialed-Back Funnyman

After Foxcatcher, audiences might start looking at him differently.

Steve Carell’s blessed with a high likability number, and he’s about to reinvent himself with a stunning, villainous performance in the forthcoming Foxcatcher, which could earn him an Oscar nomination. Let’s hope, then, that it will also prompt him to put the kibosh on wan comic vehicles like The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -8
  • Domestic Box Office $78,688,768
  • Overseas Box Office $48,520,674
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 69%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 60
  • Twitter Mentions 339
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 4

Photo: Tommaso Boddi

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56

Cate Blanchett

The Gold Standard

The Oscar winner deserves more lead roles than she's been getting.

Why did Cate Blanchett drop down on our list during a year that saw her take home an Oscar for Blue Jasmine? It's because over the five-year period we measured, Blanchett's career was far more skewed toward supporting roles — as in this year's Monuments Men — instead of leads, which incurred a Most Valuable Stars penalty. (Perhaps that's why Blanchett was so vociferous during awards season when she said that Hollywood needed to create more strong roles for women.) Fortunately, things are looking up for Blanchett, who's got a passel of intriguing projects due next year, including the thriller Carol from Todd Haynes and Kenneth Branagh's remake of Cinderella, where she plays the Wicked Stepmother.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -26
  • Domestic Box Office $105,269,728
  • Overseas Box Office $216,400,016
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 64%
  • Oscars 2 Wins, 6 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 65
  • Twitter Mentions 321
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 5

Photo: Lennart Preiss

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57

Jake Gyllenhaal

The Modest Movie Star

He’s doing the best work of his career in some under-the-radar roles.

Gyllenhaal’s recent predilection for indies and tough dramas has kept his studio score low, but could he be on the verge of a major resurgence? His career-best work in Nightcrawler has caught the eye of Hollywood power players, and he’s currently shooting a film with director Jean-Marc Vallee, who engineered comebacks for Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon with Dallas Buyers Club and Wild. More telling is Gyllenhaal’s willingness to throw his name into the ring for Marvel’s Doctor Strange casting derby. After Prince of Persia burned him, is Gyllenhaal ready to pursue franchise superstardom?

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -2
  • Domestic Box Office $41,003,372
  • Overseas Box Office $61,124,384
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 59%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 1 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 60
  • Twitter Mentions 541
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: Noam Galai

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58

Daniel Day-Lewis

The Actor’s Actor

He’s venerated (when he chooses to work).

One of the most acclaimed actors of all time, Daniel Day-Lewis has a stunning three Best Actor Oscars and is coming off the biggest film of his career, Lincoln. The only fly in the ointment? Day-Lewis is so selective that no one has any idea when he’ll work again. Still, execs are confident in his abilities, giving him a high studio score that belies his middle-of-the-pack placement.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -37
  • Domestic Box Office $100,942,466
  • Overseas Box Office $63,703,660
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 65%
  • Oscars 3 Wins, 5 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 58
  • Twitter Mentions 134
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 2

Photo: Jemal Countess

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59

Michael Fassbender

The Stealth Star

He’s a hot up-and-comer who still hasn’t registered with mainstream audiences.

It’s fitting that Fassbender is ranked just under Daniel Day-Lewis on our Most Valuable Stars list, since he takes after Day-Lewis with his potent blend of leading-man sex appeal and character-actor chops. Fassbender, though, is more than willing to play the studio game, mixing up gigs like his Oscar-nominated 12 Years a Slave turn with the X-Men franchise, where he plays the villainous Magneto. If only people knew who he was: Though he’s a big name in Hollywood, Fassbender still has one of the lowest awareness scores on this list.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -22
  • Domestic Box Office $17,958,056
  • Overseas Box Office $38,751,794
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 67%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 1 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 73
  • Twitter Mentions 647
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 6

Photo: Noam Galai

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60

James Franco

The Prolific Provocateur

Spread too thin? That’s just how he likes it.

For every studio movie James Franco makes, he acts in (or directs) a million other indies, so his box-office scores don’t quite tell the whole tale. When a studio hires Franco, they’re not looking at the negligible sums earned by his tiny pictures Maladies, Palo Alto, Third Person, and Child of God: They’re looking ahead to The Interview, which has Franco operating in his frat-comedy wheelhouse and counting their money in advance.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -1
  • Domestic Box Office $20,877,671
  • Overseas Box Office $20,250,000
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 59%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 1 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 60
  • Twitter Mentions 4,761
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: John Sciulli

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61

Tom Hardy

The Intense New Face

He’s a wild card on the big screen — and everyone wants him in their deck.

2014 was a good year for Tom Hardy to show off his acting chops in smaller vehicles like Locke and The Drop, but his Most Valuable Stars mettle won’t truly be tested until next year, when he fronts two big studio movies, the highly anticipated reboot Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant, where he stars alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. Perhaps sensing an uptick in his prospects, studios have lately begun throwing more comic-book baddies at him, but whether Hardy will take the bait after playing Bane in The Dark Knight Rises remains to be seen.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -15
  • Domestic Box Office $37,400,128
  • Overseas Box Office $56,481,216
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 63%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 74
  • Twitter Mentions 625
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 6

Photo: Anthony Harvey

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62

Bruce Willis

The Payday-Seeker

Meet his quote, and he’ll sleepwalk through your movie.

Willis’s studio value continues to wane in the wake of subpar-paycheck roles, but his foreign value remains strong: When it comes to action, he’s a worldwide name, and the kind of asset that can rescue duds like the Sin City and RED sequels overseas. Still, would it be too much to ask for more quality work in the vein of Moonrise Kingdom and Looper?

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +12
  • Domestic Box Office $51,713,680
  • Overseas Box Office $83,867,000
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 70%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 45
  • Twitter Mentions 854
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 4

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain

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63

Emma Watson

The Graduate

She’s taking her time now that she’s out of Hogwarts.

Emma Watson has taken her post-Potter career very carefully, signing on for supporting roles in films as disparate as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Bling Ring, and Noah. Can she carry her own film, though? She’ll soon star with Ethan Hawke in Regression, the latest chiller from Alejandro Amenábar (The Others), and then sing and dance with Miles Teller in the musical La-La Land, but studios have yet to find the right vehicle that takes advantage of her sky-high appeal scores.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -12
  • Domestic Box Office $99,062,272
  • Overseas Box Office $139,228,674
  • Studio Value (1-10) 5
  • Likability 70%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 67
  • Twitter Mentions 9,122
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: Robin Marchant

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64

Chris Evans

The Good American

Will he keep acting once his Marvel contract is up?

Among the Chrises who lead Marvel movies, Evans has the lowest studio score (behind Pratt and Hemsworth), perhaps because of his oft-stated desire to transition away from acting and move behind the camera. Still, Evans is on the hook for at least two more Marvel movies, and his own franchise, Captain America, had a hit beyond all expectations with this past spring’s The Winter Soldier. It’s rumored that Marvel will bench Captain America for The Avengers 3 in order to extend its final option on Evans for as long as possible; the million-dollar question is whether Evans will seek to negotiate beyond that.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -6
  • Domestic Box Office $27,557,854
  • Overseas Box Office $16,731,052
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 75%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 63
  • Twitter Mentions 1,478
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 8

Photo: Angela Weiss

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65

Zach Galifianakis

The Off-Kilter Comic

The Hangover made him a star, but does he still want to be one?

Galifianakis has little use for fame and assiduously avoids the spotlight. And since the Hangover franchise ended, that has gotten easier — especially because his first follow-up was Matt Weiner’s nearly invisible Are You Here. But his still-solid studio value is borne out by the two projects he has coming up next: He’s a fun, exasperated part of the critically acclaimed Birdman ensemble, and he will star in a heist movie out next year with a star-studded comic cast including Kristen Wiig and Owen Wilson.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -5
  • Domestic Box Office $93,723,392
  • Overseas Box Office $64,620,892
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 66%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 51
  • Twitter Mentions 286
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 6

Photo: Frazer Harrison

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66

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

The Renaissance Man

He’s talented and well-liked, but can’t seem to move into the top tier.

Gordon-Levitt’s smart indie Don Jon made $24 million last fall and deserved a bit more, while his misbegotten turn in the nobody-needed-it summer sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For flamed out at $13 million. Suffice it to say, this wasn’t Gordon-Levitt’s strongest year at the box office, but he’s still well regarded by directors, and his fellow actors and has some promising collaborations coming with Seth Rogen (including a raucous Christmas comedy next year) that could lift him on this list.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 No Change
  • Domestic Box Office $35,014,192
  • Overseas Box Office $28,331,360
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 67%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 72
  • Twitter Mentions 907
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 6

Photo: Jason Merritt

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67

Chloë Moretz

The Aspiring Ingenue

Young and ambitious, she’s got her sights set on the top.

At 17, Chloë Moretz is the youngest entrant on the Most Valuable Stars list, and certainly, she has a knack for getting cast: She toplined movies like If I Stay and the Carrie remake, co-starred in the Best Picture nominee Hugo, and won her prostitute role in The Equalizer while opposite a host of actresses in their 20s. Still, Moretz is looking for a breakout role as a young adult akin to the one she had as a teen in Kick-Ass. She’s a red-carpet staple who’s well known to her target demographic but has yet to land the kind of event movies that made Shailene Woodley a star.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 New to List
  • Domestic Box Office $37,521,654
  • Overseas Box Office $38,858,800
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 61%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 54
  • Twitter Mentions 3,797
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 6

Photo: D Dipasupil

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68

Chris Pratt

The Savior

After his charismatic star turn in Guardians of the Galaxy, he’s the next big hope.

How high is Hollywood on Chris Pratt? Just take a look at the numbers: Studio executives gave him a score so mighty that if you measured using only that statistic, he’d jump into the Top 15 Most Valuable Stars. That’s how powerful an impression Pratt made after starring in the summer smash Guardians of the Galaxy, but his other stats still need time to catch up. Next year’s blockbuster-to-be Jurassic World ought to do the trick.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 New to List
  • Domestic Box Office $29,749,817
  • Overseas Box Office $23,428,612
  • Studio Value (1-10) 8
  • Likability 61%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 69
  • Twitter Mentions 228
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 8

Photo: Kevin Winter

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69

Jeff Bridges

The Dude

His career remains appropriately mellow.

Bridges spent years trying to produce Lois Lowry’s The Giver for the screen, and though he eventually found financing because the story was superficially similar to a rash of other successful, dystopic YA novels, that feeling of numbing sameness also held The Giver back, and it premiered to so-so box office. We fear, then, that Bridges is in a bit of a rut: The Giver was his follow-up to the disastrous R.I.P.D., but he has the equally shady effects vehicle The Seventh Son coming out next year after years of delay.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +13
  • Domestic Box Office $38,206,912
  • Overseas Box Office $36,540,492
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 68%
  • Oscars 1 Win, 6 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 49
  • Twitter Mentions 205
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 3

Photo: Gary Gershoff

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70

Adam Sandler

The Streaming Star

Can he move into uncharted Netflix territory without snuffing his big-screen appeal?

His groundbreaking four-movie deal with Netflix may make financial sense for the fading comedian, whose studio value plummeted this year after his latest comedy Blended tanked. Sandler’s team has reiterated that the Netflix deal is non-exclusive — he’ll still be able to make other studio movies while he’s working on four films for that streaming giant — but the question is whether the studios will still want him.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -27
  • Domestic Box Office $88,593,136
  • Overseas Box Office $76,357,816
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 67%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 31
  • Twitter Mentions 1,507
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 4

Photo: Jason LaVeris

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71

Ryan Gosling

The Enigma

He remains famous, but he hasn’t recently made a hit.

He may have fathered a baby with Eva Mendes this year (which accounts for his highest-possible tabloid score), but it’s apropos that Ryan Gosling should be ranked this low on the list right alongside his former flame, Rachel McAdams. Both stars will always boast built-in awareness levels thanks to the everlasting power of The Notebook, but neither is ruling Hollywood like they truly could. After a string of indies, Gosling took too much time off to direct the inscrutable Lost River; he’ll return to the studio fold with Shane Black’s The Nice Guys but he could really use a high-profile pop right now.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -49
  • Domestic Box Office $28,232,104
  • Overseas Box Office $24,556,309
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 58%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 1 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 68
  • Twitter Mentions 2,964
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 10

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain

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72

Rachel McAdams

The Revamp

She’ll use TV to reinvigorate her movie career.

What is going on with Rachel McAdams? Once upon a time, she seemed destined to rule Hollywood; now, she’s taking third leads. In next summer’s untitled Cameron Crowe romantic comedy, she’s billed below Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone, just as she was the secondary love interest in Midnight in Paris and To the Wonder. She’ll always have high likability and tabloid scores thanks to classics like The Notebook and Mean Girls, but girl needs some better representation pronto. Let’s hope her recent casting on the second season of True Detective can give her the same oomph it helped give Matthew McConaughey.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +16
  • Domestic Box Office $37,017,956
  • Overseas Box Office $50,794,416
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 77%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 57
  • Twitter Mentions 475
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 8

Photo: Andrew H. Walker

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73

Colin Firth

The Solid Stuffed Shirt

He’s typecast, but wears it well.

The right-left-right punch of Mamma Mia, A Single Man, and The King’s Speech was supposed to raise Colin Firth’s profile to the point where he wouldn’t be consigned to fusty Masterpiece Theater vehicles. As his recent efforts like The Railway Man and Arthur Newman prove, that happened anyway. Firth did get to star in Woody Allen’s latest, but it’s next spring’s amped-up action vehicle Kingsman: The Secret Service that could finally start turning his stuffy screen image on its ear.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +14
  • Domestic Box Office $6,810,473
  • Overseas Box Office $9,899,346
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 71%
  • Oscars 1 Win, 2 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 57
  • Twitter Mentions 230
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 4

Photo: Dave J Hogan

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74

Jason Bateman

The Straight Man

No one does a raised eyebrow better.

Jason Bateman rose a bit in Hollywood’s estimation after becoming a multi-hyphenate: His directorial debut, Bad Words, was well received in executive suites even if it didn’t break out at the box office. It’s why Bateman pursued and won the rights to adapt The Family Fang, which he just directed and starred in opposite Nicole Kidman; that will help ease the pain of this fall’s weak This Is Where I Leave You, as will his sequel Horrible Bosses 2.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +24
  • Domestic Box Office $37,247,210
  • Overseas Box Office $38,913,524
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 69%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 57
  • Twitter Mentions 141
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 5

Photo: Larry Busacca

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75

Javier Bardem

The Foe

Will he be Hollywood’s go-to bad guy?

For years, Javier Bardem was one of Hollywood’s most elusive talents, constantly flirting with big studio roles and then withdrawing at the last minute. It’s a miracle that Skyfall managed to retain his services, but that huge hit may have coaxed Bardem to accept a paycheck role now and then, as he’s currently in negotiation to play the baddie in the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Let’s just hope that Hollywood can start offering him more than just villains.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -19
  • Domestic Box Office $16,973,716
  • Overseas Box Office $54,035,620
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 60%
  • Oscars 1 Win, 3 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 58
  • Twitter Mentions 99
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 5

Photo: Carlos Alvarez

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76

Justin Timberlake

The Performer

Just as his movie career started to come together, he left.

After years spent eschewing his music career to become a movie star, Justin Timberlake appears to have swung back to the arena he’s most comfortable with … just as his last effort, the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, upped his critical respectability. His studio value remains low, but Timberlake dominates social scores like Twitter and tabloid values, and if he wants to return to the movies (in a juicy supporting part, perhaps), it shouldn’t be too difficult.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +16
  • Domestic Box Office $50,123,004
  • Overseas Box Office $93,739,488
  • Studio Value (1-10) 5
  • Likability 57%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 53
  • Twitter Mentions 20,120
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: Jamie McCarthy

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77

Jessica Chastain

The Humble Powerhouse

Her biggest breakthrough is yet to come.

Jessica Chastain is doing everything right as her career takes off: She’s picking interesting Oscar-nominated roles in good indies and smart studio movies, her glamorous looks have earned her countless magazine covers, and she’s conducting herself with grace and good cheer. That said, her awareness levels are still awfully low, which may explain why our studio execs have always given her a just-okay score instead of one with real heat. Maybe her centerpiece role in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar will finally convince them.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -2
  • Domestic Box Office $31,177,548
  • Overseas Box Office $14,458,820
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 50%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 2 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 65
  • Twitter Mentions 142
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 6

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris

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78

Kristen Stewart

The Studio Star Gone Indie

After the harsh spotlight of Twilight, she’s more comfortable in smaller films.

With the final Twilight movie nearly two years gone and a series of indies since that have struggled to even break $1 million, Kristen Stewart plummeted down this list, and maybe that’s what she needed right now: The E-Poll audience called her “overexposed,” thanks to high tabloid value and a critically derided franchise that Stewart herself seemed to bristle against. One silver lining: Stewart was the least-liked star on last year’s list, but that likability metric has slowly begun to tick up, suggesting that some time away from the spotlight has done her good.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -42
  • Domestic Box Office $155,332,384
  • Overseas Box Office $241,260,448
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 54%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 56
  • Twitter Mentions 4,100
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris

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79

Jason Segel

The Goof

Audiences fast-forwarded past his Sex Tape.

We’d like to chalk up Sex Tape as an out-of-step mistake for Jason Segel, who can usually be counted on for comedies that are a little smarter … but then again, he produced and co-wrote the thing. Maybe that’s why his studio value went down this year. Segel doesn’t currently have another major studio movie on the docket, but he could turn things around with a juicy role as David Foster Wallace in acclaimed director James Ponsoldt’s The End of the Tour, which is tipped for next year’s Sundance Film Festival.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +5
  • Domestic Box Office $55,161,882
  • Overseas Box Office $23,987,112
  • Studio Value (1-10) 5
  • Likability 69%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 60
  • Twitter Mentions 277
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 7

Photo: Franziska Krug

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80

Jason Statham

The Punch

He’s got a little more fight left in him.

When Adam Sandler signed his big four-movie deal with Netflix, we mused on what other faded star (who still has a big brand that’s potent on home video) could be next to bolt to Netflix, and Jason Statham immediately came to mind. His recent action vehicles have underperformed, even as Statham still retains high likability scores (owing to his popularity with the male demo). Two crucial supporting roles next year may stave off a streaming future: He’s the bad guy in Fast and Furious 7, and then he’ll play straight man to Melissa McCarthy in Spy.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +11
  • Domestic Box Office $25,124,966
  • Overseas Box Office $28,600,000
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 72%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 44
  • Twitter Mentions 731
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 5

Photo: Vittorio Zunino Celotto

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81

Tina Fey

The Wit

Can she solidify her move into movies?

Muppets Most Wanted and This Is Where I Leave You are not what we want from Tina Fey, movie star. Tina, you wrote Mean Girls, one of the most iconic comedies of recent vintage: Script yourself a star vehicle! In the meantime, we’re looking forward to The Nest, which will reunite her with Amy Poehler (they’re playing sisters who throw one last rager in their parents’ house) and looks to be as far within her wheelhouse as a movie can get.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -37
  • Domestic Box Office $62,695,520
  • Overseas Box Office $40,276,238
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 41%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 52
  • Twitter Mentions 592
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 7

Photo: Jason Kempin

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82

Lupita N’yongo

The Breakthrough

She’s the most exciting ingenue in ages. Hollywood, are you listening?

Lupita Nyong’o proved to be awards season’s most captivating presence, turning heads on the red carpet, touching hearts with her emotional speeches, and eventually taking home the Oscar for her film debut in 12 Years a Slave. Off that significant launchpad, Nyong’o booked a supporting role in Star Wars: Episode VII … but thus far, Hollywood has not stepped up to offer her the leads she deserves. We hold out hope, especially because Nyong’o’s appeal score is one of the highest on this list (and a mere percentage point less than our No. 1, Jennifer Lawrence).

  • Rank Compared to 2013 New to List
  • Domestic Box Office $56,671,992
  • Overseas Box Office $131,061,208
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 75%
  • Oscars 1 Win, 1 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 97
  • Twitter Mentions 590
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 7

Photo: Paul Morigi

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83

Kevin James

The Broad Comic

He may be throwing in the towel on full-time movie stardom.

James has been eyeing a return to the small screen lately, though he has a good 2015 lineup on paper: He’ll star alongside Adam Sandler in the sci-fi comedy Pixels, and finally sequelize his biggest hit, Paul Blart: Mall Cop. But the once-upon-a-time notion that James might become Sandler’s equal on the big screen hasn’t quite panned out, and though he’s an appealing actor, he hasn’t become an indie director’s unlikely muse in the way that Sandler sometimes can. Maybe TV is where James is meant to be.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -6
  • Domestic Box Office $104,729,628
  • Overseas Box Office $47,178,476
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 67%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 35
  • Twitter Mentions 854
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 2

Photo: Jim Spellman

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84

Zac Efron

The Matinee Idol Made Good

Finally, he’s crossed over.

There’s always seemed to be a ceiling on Zac Efron’s potential: Any young stud whose fan base is primarily female will always face a hostile reception from the other sex — just ask Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, whose E-Poll appeal scores have always suffered from spiteful men. But Efron finally broke through this year by confronting the issue head on: by playing the ultimate sculpted bro in Neighbors opposite Seth Rogen, Efron proved he was in on the joke, and secured his biggest box-office hit to date.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +9
  • Domestic Box Office $42,853,592
  • Overseas Box Office $27,964,080
  • Studio Value (1-10) 5
  • Likability 41%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 42
  • Twitter Mentions 16,274
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: NBC

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85

Keira Knightley

The Spare

She’s always waiting in the wings.

Keira Knightley got two of her best roles this year — in Begin Again and Laggies — when Anne Hathaway dropped out of them, which sort of sums up her current career conundrum: She’s the go-to gal for period pieces like The Imitation Game (which she might get an Oscar nomination for), but when it comes to contemporary movies, Knightley still hasn’t made a strong connection. Still, for as long as Hollywood is making corset dramas, she’ll always have a niche.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +5
  • Domestic Box Office $7,078,738
  • Overseas Box Office $20,354,770
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 64%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 1 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 62
  • Twitter Mentions 349
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 7

Photo: Jason Merritt

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86

Sean Penn

The Tough Talent

He’s not for everyone, but his fans are ardent.

Sean Penn doesn’t work all that much, but lately, he’s been signaling a willingness to try out traditional studio fare: After playing the baddie in Gangster Squad, he signed up for The Gunman, the latest action flick from Taken director Pierre Morel (and convinced Javier Bardem and Idris Elba to come aboard, too). Penn is revered by other actors, but his likability scores are low thanks to his polarizing political activism, though his post-divorce penchant for dating beautiful starlets has raised his tabloid value in recent years.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +8
  • Domestic Box Office $13,303,319
  • Overseas Box Office $41,000,000
  • Studio Value (1-10) 5
  • Likability 39%
  • Oscars 2 Wins, 5 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 61
  • Twitter Mentions 367
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 8

Photo: Kevin Winter

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87

Julianne Moore

The Actress Overdue for Awards

This could be her big year at the Oscars.

Julianne Moore slipped down this list after a string of mild indie movies like The English Teacher and Being Flynn, but a comeback is imminent: She was heralded at Cannes for her work in David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, and things got even better when her Alzheimer’s drama Still Alice debuted at the Toronto Film Festival and spurred buzz that she might finally win her first Oscar. That’s right: Julianne Moore, one of our best very actresses, has never gotten an Oscar. Next year, if pundit predictions hold and Moore takes home the gold, expect her to leap up this list.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -4
  • Domestic Box Office $14,993,682
  • Overseas Box Office $14,841,688
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 70%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 4 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 66
  • Twitter Mentions 307
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 5

Photo: Robin Marchant

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88

Joaquin Phoenix

The Muse

He’ll go the extra mile for his movies.

In recent years, Joaquin Phoenix has fashioned himself into a gonzo director’s muse, the sort of actor willing to go to vulnerable extremes in movies like The Master and Her. Neither of those titles were big box-office hits, but they earned him the best critics’ score on this list, and Phoenix’s studio value may rise if his recent flirtations with superhero movies — he was pursued to play Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman, and talked extensively with Marvel about the title role in Doctor Strange — are finally borne out.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 New to List
  • Domestic Box Office $3,149,034
  • Overseas Box Office $11,880,786
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 46%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 3 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 76
  • Twitter Mentions 273
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 5

Photo: Slaven Vlasic

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89

Henry Cavill

The Powerful Place-Holder

He’s Superman, but how far does that get him?

Henry Cavill may simultaneously be the most and least important actor on the Most Valuable Stars list. He’s playing Superman, a character who is essential to WB’s plans to Avengers-ize its DC Comics superhero universe over the next decade, and who will appear in at least three huge blockbusters before 2018. On the other hand, Cavill’s awareness levels remain super low, even after he was the face of Man of Steel, and he hasn’t shown enough personality to be a talked-about subject with high Twitter and tabloid scores. Can he become a star outside his primary franchise?

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -48
  • Domestic Box Office $83,504,016
  • Overseas Box Office $143,400,000
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 68%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 46
  • Twitter Mentions 415
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 5

Photo: ChinaFotoPress

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90

Mark Ruffalo

The Humble Hulk

He’s nailing the role that might be Marvel’s trickiest.

For a guy who’d formerly been best known for his roles in acclaimed indie movies, the adorably rumpled Mark Ruffalo still has higher awareness levels than fellow Avengers like Chris Evans and Jeremy Renner. His studio value is low, but if Marvel decides to give Ruffalo his own Hulk movie, watch this space.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 New to List
  • Domestic Box Office $18,400,899
  • Overseas Box Office $17,124,628
  • Studio Value (1-10) 5
  • Likability 67%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 1 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 59
  • Twitter Mentions 397
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 6

Photo: Angela Weiss

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91

Robert Pattinson

The Reinvention

Say good-bye to supernatural romances and hello to indie filmmaking.

With Twilight well behind him, Pattinson has nearly slipped off this list, but he doesn’t seem to have studio stardom in his sights, anyway. Instead, he’d rather lend his name and foreign appeal to interesting indies like The Rover, Maps to the Stars, and Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert, and who can fault that strategy? Still, his tabloid value remains high, especially as Pattinson starts publicly romancing singer FKA Twigs.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -39
  • Domestic Box Office $38,888,978
  • Overseas Box Office $47,674,916
  • Studio Value (1-10) 5
  • Likability 64%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 52
  • Twitter Mentions 2,980
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: George Pimentel

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92

Clint Eastwood

The Star in Repose

Would he come back for the right role?

It’s debatable whether Eastwood ever wants to act again, though he remains a key player at Warner Bros, where he’s made virtually all of his movies for the last 15 years. He cast Bradley Cooper in his coming awards contender American Sniper, but Eastwood’s name still means a lot as a director, and if the 84-year-old deigned to act one more time, WB would no doubt jump at the chance.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -58
  • Domestic Box Office $35,763,136
  • Overseas Box Office $13,200,000
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 72%
  • Oscars 4 Wins, 10 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 58
  • Twitter Mentions 1,130
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 2

Photo: Gilbert Carrasquillo

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93

Christoph Waltz

The Mischief-Maker

He’s recognized by his peers, but not the man on the street.

Waltz has won two Oscars in just five years, an incredible feat. It’s just that no one knows who the hell he is: Waltz has got the absolute lowest awareness score on this entire list. Tim Burton’s winter entry Big Eyes could help — though we hear he’s a bit cartoonish in his role opposite Amy Adams — and next year’s Tarzan may give him an actual franchise, but it’s just as likely that Waltz will continue his acclaimed run without your mother ever quite learning his name.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -31
  • Domestic Box Office $78,744,878
  • Overseas Box Office $120,468,604
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 78%
  • Oscars 2 Wins, 2 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 57
  • Twitter Mentions 92
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 2

Photo: Kevin Mazur

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94

Ryan Reynolds

The Retreat

He’s plotting his careful comeback.

Burned by too many failed studio star turns, Ryan Reynolds has burrowed underground, taking roles in a series of coming indie movies in an attempt to rebrand himself à la Matthew McConaughey. He’ll be seen soon in the super-nuts dark comedy The Voices (where his pets exhort him to commit murder) and spent this summer filming The Woman in Gold opposite Helen Mirren, which Harvey Weinstein is positioning for a mainstream prestige play next year. But when will Reynolds finally get that big, head-turning role that proves there’s more to him than meets the eye?

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -23
  • Domestic Box Office $78,988,024
  • Overseas Box Office $70,000,000
  • Studio Value (1-10) 5
  • Likability 69%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 40
  • Twitter Mentions 530
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 9

Photo: Larry Busacca

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95

Tyler Perry

The Mogul

He can do it all, but his supporting role in Gone Girl may open new doors.

Perry’s own movies haven’t been performing as well as they used to, and his big attempt to prove himself outside the Madea franchise, Alex Cross, was a major flop … but with Gone Girl such a tremendous hit and buzz about Perry’s performance so strong, one wonders whether he’ll get another chance to carry his own film. Already, his studio value has ticked upward, a promising sign.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 +4
  • Domestic Box Office $52,543,352
  • Overseas Box Office $578,120
  • Studio Value (1-10) 7
  • Likability 50%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 43
  • Twitter Mentions 1,871
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 4

Photo: Jason Merritt

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96

Penélope Cruz

The Missing Beauty

Her talent is obvious, but who’ll take advantage?

Penelope Cruz is famous and desired enough that she can be named Esquire’s sexiest woman alive even in a year where she has no new movie coming out. That hiatus dropped her down a bit on this list, though, and her only coming movie of note is Grimsby, a comedy starring Sacha Baron Cohen, who’s also seen better days. Fingers crossed something good comes along soon.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -15
  • Domestic Box Office $18,325,340
  • Overseas Box Office $55,297,318
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 49%
  • Oscars 1 Win, 3 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 49
  • Twitter Mentions 358
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 7

Photo: Jason Merritt

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97

Paul Rudd

The Aspiring Avenger

From comic roles to comic books.

Rudd’s only 2014 release was the rom-com spoof They Came Together (which was essentially a VOD play), and his scores dropped accordingly. But, if anyone on this list could surge next year, it’s him: Rudd will play Marvel’s newest superhero Ant-Man, and if the movie works, he’ll become a key Avengers member from here on out.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -19
  • Domestic Box Office $27,514,369
  • Overseas Box Office $8,771,269
  • Studio Value (1-10) 5
  • Likability 69%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 60
  • Twitter Mentions 397
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 5

Photo: Laura Cavanaugh

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98

Anna Kendrick

The Songbird

She’ll sing for your dollar — and get it.

It’s rare these days that a young actress gets to lead a film franchise with no YA link, but Kendrick’s managed the unlikely task thanks to the sleeper hit Pitch Perfect, which will be sequelized next May. Unafraid to carve out a niche as a musical ingenue, she’ll also warble in this winter’s star-packed Into the Woods, and she was fabulous, too, in the romantic musical tragedy The Last 5 Years, which the Weinsteins will perversely distribute on Valentine’s Day.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 New to List
  • Domestic Box Office $35,014,192
  • Overseas Box Office $14,881,113
  • Studio Value (1-10) 4
  • Likability 68%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 1 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 69
  • Twitter Mentions 2,094
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 7

Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez

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99

Naomi Watts

The Major Talent With Mixed Results

A few missteps scuffed up her reputation as a critical favorite.

2013 proved to be one of the more disastrous years of Naomi Watts’s carefully managed career. Yes, there was that Oscar nomination for the previous year’s The Impossible, but then she followed it up with the critically derided duo of Adore (where she seduces her friend’s son) and Diana (where she was pilloried for playing the famous princess). Still, she’s moved on smartly as part of the comic ensembles in St. Vincent and Birdman, and she has the female lead in the next movie from Wild/Dallas Buyers Club director Jean-Marc Vallee.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 -14
  • Domestic Box Office $9,540,691
  • Overseas Box Office $21,430,912
  • Studio Value (1-10) 5
  • Likability 56%
  • Oscars 0 Wins, 2 Nom
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 52
  • Twitter Mentions 148
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 6

Photo: Steve Granitz

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100

James McAvoy

The X Factor

He leads a big franchise but needs more exposure.

He may be the lowest name on this list, but James McAvoy’s studio value actually isn’t so bad — owing, most likely, to his pivotal position as Charles Xavier in Fox’s revitalized X-Men franchise. None of McAvoy’s other stats are all that high (save his critics’ score), suggesting that a little bit more of Xavier’s mind-magic could be useful to make audiences remember his name.

  • Rank Compared to 2013 New to List
  • Domestic Box Office $11,538,204
  • Overseas Box Office $21,932,826
  • Studio Value (1-10) 6
  • Likability 57%
  • Oscars 0
  • Critics' Score (1-100) 61
  • Twitter Mentions 341
  • Tabloid Value (1-10) 3

Photo: Dave Kotinsky

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Domestic Box Office, Overseas Box Office, and Critics’ Score are weighted medians.