100 Most Valuable Celebs
Robert Downey Jr. tops the list
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2012 8:10 AM CDT
No. 1: Robert Downey Jr.   (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
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(Newser) – When it set out to rank Hollywood’s 100 most valuable stars, Vulture tried to determine one thing: “Who helps a movie actually make more money in 2012?” It’s not as easy to answer as it might seem, considering some big names struggle to bring in big numbers … and vice versa. For more on how Vulture figured it out, click here—or read on for the top five:

  1. Robert Downey Jr.: His success is particularly striking, seeing as he was “nearly unhireable” just 10 years ago.
  2. Will Smith: If he’s attached to a project, “it’ll get made and be a hit.” He’d probably be No. 1 on the list if he’d made more movies recently.
  3. Johnny Depp: This once-outsider is now decidedly mainstream, and the Pirates franchise has done particularly well for him.
  4. Denzel Washington: Sure, he’s not as “flashy” as the top three on this list, but he’s consistent—all of his last 10 films, save one, grossed in excess of $50 million.
  5. Brad Pitt: He’s done 18 magazine covers in the past five years, although he has yet to win an Oscar.
Click for the complete list. (Wondering when a woman finally appears? Angelina Jolie, No. 8.)