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Bankable Stars

They may not be on anyone's Oscar list this year, but Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts all tied for the title of Hollywood's most bankable star in a poll by showbiz paper The Hollywood Reporter.

While those three will likely not be nominated for 2002's Oscars, Hollywood's highest film honors given out in March each year, winning a little golden statue can make a big difference to a star's moviemaking power.

In 1999, the last time the 72-year-old Hollywood Reporter put out a similar list of celebrities who can draw huge audiences to theaters worldwide, Roberts was back at No. 8.

This year, she became the first woman to lay claim to the No. 1 spot after winning an Oscar last year for "Erin Brockovich" and becoming Hollywood's highest paid movie actress commanding $20 million per picture.

Roberts is the only woman among the top 10 stars on what the Hollywood Reporter calls its StarPower 2002 survey, the results of which are scheduled to be published Tuesday.

Several other female stars like Sandra Bullock, Cameron Diaz and Nicole Kidman, ranked high on the list with ratings in the "Strong Star Power" category -- as opposed to Roberts 100 percent "Maximum Star Power" rating.

Top Ten Stars
A list of the top 10 stars in The Hollywood Reporter's survey and their scores:
  • Tom Cruise (100.00)
  • Tom Hanks (100.00)
  • Julia Roberts (100.00)
  • Mel Gibson (98.68)
  • Jim Carrey (98.46)
  • George Clooney (95.18)
  • Russell Crowe (94.74)
  • Harrison Ford (94.74)
  • Bruce Willis (94.30)
  • Brad Pitt (92.98)
  • "Certainly at the upper levels, you are seeing some strides being made," said John Burman, editor of The Hollywood Reporter's International Edition. "It's pointing in the right direction, but there's still a way to go."

    Burman said the survey polled 114 executives at both major studios and independent companies, financiers and various industry players from around the world.

    It measured not only the stars' box office drawing power, but also the ability to get films funded and obtain wide distribution in multiple countries based on the strength of their names.

    Oscars, which are handed out by the Academy of Motion of Picture Arts and Sciences, boost global bankability because the awards telecast annually is seen by an estimated 1 billion people worldwide.

    Russell Crowe, las year's Oscar winner for "Gladiator," saw his starpower skyrocket this year from a mid-level ranking in 1999 to No. 7 among the 130 celebrities making the list.

    Crowe will likely compete for a best actor Oscar this year in "A Beautiful Mind," as might Kidman for best actress in "Moulin Rouge." Oscar nominations come out on Feb. 12.

    Of the top 20 finishers in this year's poll, 12 have been nominated for an Academy Award as an actor. Eight have won.

    The poll scored 1,000 actors on their "bankability" with a top score being 100. Hanks, Cruise and Roberts all reached that magic mark. Next came Mel Gibson with a 98.68, Jim Carrey at 98.46, George Clooney at 95.18 and Crowe with 94.74.

    After Roberts, the next female was Sandra Bullock with an 87.28, then Cameron Diaz at 84.87 and Nicole Kidman at 84.65.

    Two African-Americans, Will Smith and Denzel Washington, ranked in the "maximum" range with 89.91 and 89.04, respectively.

    Lists like "StarPower 2002" are a serious business in Hollywood, because often industry executives use them to judge an actor's rising popularity around the globe. Josh Hartnett, who stars in the current hit "Black Hawk Down" was a lowly 6.85 in 1999, but is up at 49.56 this year.

    "Legally Blonde" star Reese Witherspoon scored a 40.11 in 1999 and a 66.01 this year. Likewise, Vin Diesel of summer 2001 smash hit "The Fast and The Furious" wasn't on the 1999 list, and this year he came in at a moderately bankable 54.17.

    Kirsten Dunst and Kate Beckinsale also rated higher on this year's list compared to last year's ranking.

    Several new names debuted on the list, including Heath Ledger and Hugh Jackman.

    A separate list for musician/actors ranked Will Smith, Jennifer Lopez and Mark Wahlberg at the top, along with Madonna, Britney Spears, Whitney Houston, Ice Cube, Janet Jackson, Cher and Courtney Love.

    The poll was conducted from late summer to fall of 2001.

    © MMII, CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press and Reuters Limited contributed to this report

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