If you think that you’ve seen Samuel L. Jackson in more movies than say… Kevin Bacon, you may be right as the Guinness Book of World Records has just named Samuel L. Jackson the highest grossing actor of all time.
At the age of 63, Jackson has appeared in over 100 movie titles alone. The films he has appeared in have earned over $7.4 billion at the box office so far. His breakout role came in 1991 when he starred in Spike Lee’s ‘Jungle Fever’ and since then has averaged 3-4 movies a year. Last year alone he worked on 6 films while this year he worked on 4 and in 2012 he already is signed on to act in 3. This is in addition to any TV, Broadway or voice work that may come his way in the meantime.
Most of Jackson’s earnings came from supporting roles in franchise films that became blockbuster hits. Below is a short list of sci-fi films and the US box office gross that made a bulk of the over $7.4 billion:
- ‘Jurassic Park’ ($357 million)
- ‘Star Wars: Episode I’ ($431 million)
- ‘Star Wars: Episode 2’ ($311 million)
- ‘Star Wars: Episode 3’ ($380 million)
- ‘The Incredibles’ ($261 million)
- ‘Iron Man’ (318 million)
- ‘Iron Man 2’ ($312 million)
- ‘Thor’ ($181 million)
- ‘Captain America’ ($176 million)
(One of my favorite non sci-fi films Jackson’s was in, ‘Pulp Fiction’, also did well to the tune of $181 million.)
Believe it or not, Jackson has held this record title since 2007 and it doesn’t look like he will be relinquishing it soon as he has just finished playing Nick Fury in the upcoming ‘The Avengers’ movie. With a nine movie contract with Marvel studios and movies ‘Thor 2’ ‘The Avengers 2’ and ‘Iron Man 3’ filming in the future, it is highly likely that we’ll be seeing Nick Fury again.
And speaking of ‘Iron Man 3’, it was just announced that filming will begin sometime next year and will take place in Wilmington, North Carolina instead of the Marvel studios at Manhattan Beach, California. North Carolina’s generous 25% tax incentives and the large 150,000-square-foot facility were the deciding factors for the move. That’s not the only change that you’ll see in ‘Iron Man 3’. Taking over the director reins will be Shane Black (‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’). So far, only Robert Downey Jr. has been confirmed for the sequel but with the way the Marvel superhero movies seem to interject a scene to connect them all together, don’t count out Jackson to appear. There’s even been talk of a Nick Fury movie to be released in 2014!
In an interview with CBS news, Jackson attributes his success to his work ethics. “I grew up in a working class family,” he said. “When I was a kid, all the adults in my house got up and went to work every day. I assumed that’s what grown people do. That’s what I do. I just happen to have a very interesting job that’s kind of cool!”
With all the roles that Jackson has done (and mind you they were not all successful hits), it’s no wonder he holds the record for Highest Grossing Actor of All Time. So move over Kevin Bacon because we’re now changing the name of your game to ‘Six Degrees of Samuel L. Jackson.’