If there’s one thing that any studio absolutely loves, it’s a sure thing. The legendary director. The audience captivating franchise. The merchandising goldmine and of course, that must-have A-list performer. The actor that’s guaranteed to fill the seats. Drawing eyes as the leading role, the saves-the-day sidekick, the despicable antagonist, or even in the well-place cameo. Hot off the heels of his 1st (and well deserved) Academy Award for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role” (The Revenant), here’s the top 10 movies where Leonardo DiCaprio proved to be box office gold.
10. The Aviator (2004) – Total Box Office Earnings: $213.7 million
Directed by Martin Scorsese. A biopic depicting the early years of legendary director and aviator Howard Hughes’ career from the late 1920s to the mid-1940s. The Aviator won 5 Oscars and earned Leo his first Academy nomination for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role”.
9. The Departed (2006) – Total Box Office Earnings: $289.8 million
Directed by Martin Scorsese. An undercover cop and a mole in the police force attempt to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in South Boston. For this feature Leo shared screen time with the likes of Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin, Vera Farmiga, Matt Damon, & Mark Wahlberg. Naturally, with an ensemble like that, this film was destine for success. The Departed Won 4 Oscars and a Golden Globe for Best Director.
8. Shutter Island (2010) – Total Box Office Earnings: $294.8 million
Directed by Martin Scorsese. A U.S Marshal investigates the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane, where all is not as it appears. Generally well received by critics, This film earned Leo the ever-so-fabled Teen Choice Award for “Choice Movie Actor: Horror/Thriller”.
7. The Great Gatsby (2013) – Total Box Office Earnings: $351 million
Directed by Baz Luhrmann. A young man (Tobey Maguire) finds himself drawn to the extravagant lifestyle and mysterious past of his millionaire neighbor, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). Blending F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic tale with spectacular (though sometimes cartoonish) cinematography and a very modern soundtrack, Gatsby won Oscars and BAFTA awards for both costume and production design.
6. Catch Me If You Can (2002) – Total Box Office Earnings: $351.1 million
Directed by Steven Spielberg. Another biopic, Leo portrays teenage con artist Frank Abagnale Jr. Before his 19th birthday, Frank successfully conned & forged millions of dollars’ worth of checks while presenting himself as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor. This film earned co-star Christopher Walken a “Best Actor in a Supporting Role” Oscar nomination for his role as Frank’s father, as well as BAFTA & SAG awards for the same title.
5. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) – Total Box Office Earnings: $392 million
Biopic + Leonardo DiCaprio + Martin Scorsese = Big, big Money. Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, this film depicts his rise to a wealthy stock-broker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government. This film earned Leo his 4th Oscar nomination and 2nd Golden Globe.
4. Django Unchained (2012) – Total Box Office Earnings: $425.4 million
Directed by Quentin Tarantino. With the help of a German bounty hunter (Christophe Waltz), a freed slave (Jamie Foxx) sets out to rescue his wife from a brutal plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). As his only supporting role on the list, Leo portrayed the character Calvin Candie, the charismatic yet vile owner of the fourth largest and most notorious plantation in Mississippi. The film itself recieved 5 Oscar nominations, taking home 2 wins for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” (Christopher Waltz) and “Best Writing, Original Screenplay” for director Quentin Tarantino.
3. The Revenant (2015) – Total Box Office Earnings: $526.3 million
Alejandro González Iñárritu follow-up to ‘Birdman’ landed Leo his first Oscar! Exploring the uncharted wilderness in 1823, frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) sustains life-threatening injuries from a brutal bear attack. When a member (Tom Hardy) of his hunting team kills his young son (Forrest Goodluck) and leaves him for dead, Glass must utilize his survival skills to find a way back to civilization. Grief-stricken and fueled by vengeance, the legendary fur trapper treks through the snowy terrain to track down the man who betrayed him.
2. Inception (2010) – Total Box Office Earnings: $825.5 million
Directed by Christopher Nolan. A thief who steals corporate secrets through use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO. Inception did very well on the awards circuit, earning 3 BAFTA awards and 4 Oscars.
1. Titanic (1997) – Total Box Office Earnings: $2.2 billion
Directed by James Cameron. A seventeen-year-old aristocrat (Kate Winslet) falls in love with a kind, but poor artist (Leonardo DiCaprio) aboard the famously ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic. Titanic is not only Leo’s highest grossing film by a large margin, it also currently stands as the 2nd highest grossing film of all time.
Are you surprised by any of the film’s earnings? What films do you think would have made the list if they’d been given the Leo treatment? Let us know in the comments section below. Be sure to follow us on Facebook & Twitter and check back with Boom Howdy for more up-to-date news, reviews & podcasts.