ByTom Chapman, writer at
tweet: tomtomchap Warden of the North - bearded, tattooed and square eyed 'til the end
Tom Chapman

The era of the Spice Girls and girl power may be a distant '90s memory, but the women of Hollywood are still flying the flag high in the box office. Scarlett Johansson has just been announced as the world's highest-grossing actress, earning herself a coveted top spot. Men still dominate the highest grossing in Hollywood #1-9 and the top grossing women may only start at #10, but they are hot on the tails of the opposite sex. Which other screen starlets are taking on the boys?

Scarlett Johansson

Overall Position: #10

Gross: $3.3 billion

#1 Film: The Avengers

...And the winner is! Starting out early, Scarlett Johansson was a fresh-faced nine year-old when she debuted in fantasy comedy North. These days she kicks ass as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Going head to head with the boys, Johansson is part of the Avengers lineup with Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. Hemsworth places at #102, Ruffalo at #100, and Downey Jr. an impressive #5 thanks to his Iron Man days. Whilst a Black Widow standalone may only be a Marvel fan's dream, there is certainly a call for more Scarlett screentime. You can barely move without seeing Ms. Johansson, and she will be back in cinemas for her controversial casting in The Ghost in the Shell. Can anyone topple Scarlett from the top spot?

Cameron Diaz

Overall Position: #19

Gross: $3 billion

#1 Film: Shrek 2

Nine places behind, there's something about Cameron! Starring alongside Jim Carey in goofball comedy The Mask, Diaz's come-to-bed-eyes made her an instant Hollywood hit. Many will remember Cameron as the beautiful heroine with an unusual taste in hair products from There's Something About Mary, but her repertoire is so much wider! Diaz turned to action for Charlie's Angels, history for Gangs of New York and then back to comedy for Bad Teacher. It was in Bad Teacher that she once again teamed up with her high-profile ex Justin Timberlake. A versatile actress who managed to shed her comedy roots really does make Diaz one of Hollywood's golden girls!

Helena Bonham Carter

Overall Position: #26

Gross: $2.8 billion

#1 Film: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt.2

Being married to Tim Burton definitely helped his ex wife, as the curly haired 50-year-old became synonymous with his films. Outside the worlds of chocolate factories and demon barber shops, Bonham Carter had starring roles in Fight Club and The King's Speech. However, it was for her role as Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter series that flew Bonham Carter up the list.

Cate Blanchett

Overall Position: #29

Gross: $2.8 billion

#1 Film: Return of the King

Blanchett is quite the diverse actress, coming to our attention as Elizabeth I in Shekhar Kapur's 1988 film. Quite the rarity, her first role earned her a BAFTA, a Golden Globe and her first Academy Award nomination. From there on out, there was no stopping the blonde bombshell. It was Blanchett's elfin looks that secured her casting in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy, before she reprised her role for the more recent Hobbit films. Sitting pretty ahead of the likes of Ralph Fiennes and Jim Carrey, Marvel's upcoming Thor: Ragnarok is sure to bump Ms. Blanchett up a few places!

Julia Roberts

Overall Position: #30

Gross: $2.7 billion

#1 Film: Ocean's Eleven

Because she is worth it - the walking hair and makeup advert launches ahead of Hugh Grant, placed at #333. This 'pretty woman' has been monopolising rom-coms since the '90s and can still pull in the big numbers. As the highest-paid actress of the 1990s and first half of the noughties, Roberts started in the likes of Mystic Pizza and Pretty Woman. She became more of a household name with roles in Hook, Runaway Bride and Mona Lisa Smile - for which she was paid an unprecedented $25 million! Slightly quieter on the film front these days, there is no word on whether Roberts will reprise her role as Tess in the all-female Ocean's Eleven film.

Elizabeth Banks

Overall Position: #31

Gross: $2.7 billion

#1 Film: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

She may have pulled the plug on her Pitch Perfect 3 duties, but Banks is still a hot Hollywood momma. A titled comedy queen, on the small screen Banks has had small parts in 30 Rock and Scrubs, but is better known as part of the Judd Apatow's comedy crew. She is a frequent co-star of Paul Rudd, working together on five films - Wet Hot American Summer, The Baxter, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Role Models and Our Idiot Brother. Banks makes #31 thanks to her time as Effie Trinket in the highly successful Hunger Games adaptations.

Emma Watson

Overall Position: #32

Gross: $2.7 billion

#1 Film: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt.2

We have literally watched Emma Watson grow up before our eyes, going from Harry Potter's Hermione, to one of the industry's most desirable actresses. When not studying at Hogwarts, Watson has had roles in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Bling Ring, and playing herself in This Is the End. Seemingly escaping the child actor curse, only time will tell if the 26-year-old will be 'Belle' of the ball in Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast.

Sandra Bullock

Overal Position: #47

Gross: $2.5 billion

#1 Film: Minions

She's got beauty, she's got grace, and she isn't afraid of accepting a Razzie. Sandra Bullock is the down-to-earth girl next door who made us all root for the underdog in Miss Congeniality. As well as starring in the sequel, Bullock also produced Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. Whilst known for her zany comedies like The Heat, Bullock is taken more seriously in Hollywood thanks to parts in The Blind Side and Gravity - making her an all-round fantastic actress. Last year People Magazine named her the world's most beautiful woman and it isn't hard to see why!

Anne Hathaway

Overall Position: #50

Gross: $2.4 billion

#1 Film: The Dark Knight Rises

Much like her transformation in The Princess Diaries, Hathaway has undergone a Hollywood makeover after earning a breakthrough star award in 2001. Moving into more adult roles in 2005, Hathaway took on the critically acclaimed Brokeback Mountain, before tackling The Devil Wears Prada. Hathaway put on the iconic PVC to play Selina Kyle/Catwoman in ChristopherNolan's final Batman outing, The Dark Knight Rises, and frequently works with the director. She became vegan in 2012, but quit whilst on the set of Nolan's film sic-fi epic Interstellar in 2014.

Jennifer Lawrence

Overall Position: #55

Gross: $2.4 billion

#1 Film: Catching Fire

We had expected the star of the Hunger Games series to have climbed a little higher, but by no means is Jennifer Lawrence out of the running. Despite leaked nudes, Lawrence remains one of Hollywood's sweethearts and has a mouth that butter wouldn't melt in. In 2012 she had her gateway to bigger roles thanks to the adaptation of Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games books - ending with last year's The Hunger Games: Mockingly Pt.2. She went on to spend hours in makeup, to play blue-skinned Mystique in X-Men: First Class, and this year she was back in blue for X-Men: Apocalypse. Lawrence is set to return again for the series's next '90s-era film.

Kathy Bates

Overall Position: #58

Gross: $2.3 billion

#1 Film: Titanic

This list's most veteran actress proves age is just a number. Kathy Bates's highest-grossing role was as 'The Unsinkable Molly Brown' in James Cameron's Titanic. We are sure there is no 'misery' in Bates's life after her huge role in the film version of Stephen King's psychological thriller. She won an Emmy for her role as the ghost of Charlie Harper on Two and a Half Men, taking over the role from an absent Charlie Sheen! Up next, Bates will be back for the sixth season of Ryan Murphy's American Horror Story, which has once again made the 68-year-old a household name. All we need to do now is burn the image of her hot tub scene in About Schmidt out of our minds and we can go back to loving Kathy.

Sigourney Weaver

Overall Position: #60

Gross: $2.3 billion

#1 Film: Avatar

Weaver is arguably the ultimate final girl, rising from the ranks of Ridley Scott's Alien film to take over the franchise. Across three sequels, she battled Xeneomorphs across the galaxy. Hopefully Weaver will eventually reprise her role as Ellen Ripley in Neill Blomkamp's delayed Alien 5. Sigourney also played the female lead in 1984's Ghostbusters and will cameo in the all-female reboot that is released this month:


There is no Dana, only ZUUL.

Unsurprisingly, her highest grossing film is Cameron's Avatar which still holds the world record of "All Time Highest Grossing Movie". Despite Weaver's demise in the film, it is unknown if she will return for the (long-awaited) Avatar sequels.

So, it isn't just the men bringing home the pay cheque in Hollywood. Whilst the likes of Harrison Ford, Samuel L. Jackson and Morgan Freeman still take the top spots, Johansson's inclusion as the first female to make the Top 10 gives hope to the rest of our leading ladies. We always knew women were the fairer sex and these actresses prove it!

Which leading ladies were you shocked didn't make the list? Sound off below!


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