Samuel L. Jackson: A Royale with Cheese Movie Star
While Warner Bros. Discovery takes a $90-million bath over the cancellation of “Batgirl” (2022), there’s still plenty of profitability in Tinseltown.
(Photo credit: Miramax Films)
A new study overseen by TicketSource reveals Samuel L. Jackson is the most profitable actor in Hollywood, and NME magazine explores Jackson’s affluence and the actor’s disappointment with this year’s “In Memoriam” by the Oscars.
In a career which spans 50 years, from Together for Days (1972) to this summer’s Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, Jackson made 63 movies for a lifetime revenue of $5.7 billion.
And while Jackson’s acting credits represent a plethora of diverse and memorable characters, the 73-year-old actor is arguably best known by younger audiences as the once resourceful and incorruptible leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Nick Fury.
Now, the loftiness of Jackson’s $5.7 billion shouldn’t be confused with the incorrect correlation his appearance in a movie is responsible for its box office success.
For example, Jackson costars in two of the highest-grossing films of all time: Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019). However, Jackson’s screen time is a combined 80 seconds in both Marvel flicks, but they still would have broken box office records without him starring in them.
But Jackson is not the only performer from the Marvel ranks to make the TicketSource list. In fact, six of Jackson’s co-stars and colleagues from the MCU also rank in the top 10: Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Bradley Cooper, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth and Zoe Saldana.
Jackson also ranks No. 8 in terms of average revenue per motion picture with just over $90 million, but he is the only Avenger to appear in that top 10, and Leonardo DiCaprio leads all earners with a $97.5 million average per film.
The TicketSource study didn’t do DC fans any favors either, in terms of the film studios’ rivalry, and profitability is one more area in which Marvel trumps the DC movies. Only four performers (Will Smith, Dwayne Johnson, Robert DeNiro and Liam Neeson) represent DC in the study’s top 50, while 25 actors and actresses stand for Marvel.
The NME story also expresses Jackson’s disappointment with the Academy Awards’ “In Memoriam” tribute to the late Sidney Poitier. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Jackson called out Oscars’ producer Will Packer.
“I’m still a little ticked that the greatest actor we had in Hollywood died, and they gave him, what, 10 f— seconds,” Jackson told LA Times reporter Glenn Whipp. “No. It should have been a whole Sidney Poitier section.”
“The reason Will Packer is producing this show is because of this guy,” Jackson continued. “The reason Will Smith won an Oscar is because of this guy. The reason for Denzel, the reason for me, the reason for Danny [Glover], the reason for everybody is that guy, and he deserves more than 10 f— seconds of your time.”
In fairness to Mr. Packer and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the tribute to Poitier led off the in memoriam, and the Oscar-winning actor also received more time in the salute than any of the others honored.
And it was 36 seconds, not 10.
A number of high-profile, filmmaking artists passed away leading up to the 2022 ceremony including Betty White, Ivan Reitman, William Hurt and Richard Donner. And despite Jackson’s frustration, the academy did their best to honor each of the deceased.
Can’t get enough of Sam the man?
Jackson’s upcoming ventures in the Marvel Universe are already in post-production, and fans can see Nick Fury next year in The Marvels and Secret Invasion. And listen for Jackson when he co-stars with Chris Pratt in director Mark Dindal’s animated feature film about everyone’s favorite fat and lazy cat, Garfield (2024).