Top 25 Hollywood Moneymakers

These black powerhouses generate the most green in Tinseltown

DVD sales. The seasoned actor’s 48 films, including Mission Impossible III and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, have grossed more than $3 billion in box office receipts. His upcoming productions include A Landlord’s Tale, Fellini Black and White, Prey, and The Alchemist.

Denzel Washington: The veteran actor remains in peak form. With two highly acclaimed films, American Gangster and The Great Debaters, opening in 2007, Denzel Washington’s status in Hollywood is unquestioned. And he has the awards to prove it with five Academy Award nominations and two wins. Beyond that, Washington’s films also keep studio executives happy by generating big returns at the box office. The biopic American Gangster generated some $223 million worldwide showing that the iconic actor’s drawing power is among the strongest in the business.

Martin Lawrence: Although he made his reputation as a stand-up comic, Martin Lawrence has grown into one of the most bankable stars on the silver screen. His more than 20 film credits have earned more than $1 billion at the box office. When he’s involved in a production, Lawrence tends to wear a number of hats: actor, comedian, director, and screenwriter. His prowess has placed him in high demand. In his recent film Wild Hogs, he joined an all-star ensemble that included John Travolta, Tim Allen, and William H. Macy. The result: nearly $253 million in box office receipts worldwide. Lawrence negotiates his contracts so that he makes his money in front of and behind the camera, securing executive producer credits on films such as the Big Momma’s House series, Black Knight, and A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, which he also directed.

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