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By the Numbers: Box-Office Ride

Jean Dujardin in

Yes, even the world's biggest stars (Clooney, Pitt, Streep) had to start somewhere, sometimes with less than great success.

Brad Pitt

  • Highest-Grossing: Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) $478.3 million
  • Lowest-Grossing: Johnny Suede (1992) $90,901
  • Breakthrough Film Role: Thelma & Louise Pitt's supporting role in the 1991 box-office hit firmly established him as a sex symbol after years of supporting work in television and film.
  • Did You Know?: Pitt was given his first leading role in 1988, but the movie -- The Dark Side of the Sun -- was shelved and never released.
  • Total Worldwide Box-Office Gross: $5.7 billion

Demian Bichir

  • Highest-Grossing*: Sexo, Pudor y Lagrimas (1999) $10.9 million
  • Lowest-Grossing: Ciudades Oscuras (2002) $1.8 million
  • Breakthrough Film Role: Sexo, Pudor y Lagrimas The 1999 movie broke box-office recordsin Mexico and earned Bichir an Ariel nom.
  • Did You Know?: Bichir got his start acting in telenovelas when he was 14. Many years later, he starred in Steven Soderbergh's Che, playing Fidel Castro.
  • Total Worldwide Box-Office Gross:  $23.2 million

Gary Oldman

  • Highest-Grossing: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011 $1.3 billion
  • Lowest-Grossing: Chattahoochee (1990) $259,486
  • Breakthrough Film Role: Sid and Nancy Oldman had starred in only two small films before landing the role of Sid Vicious in the 1986 biopic, rocketing him to fame.
  • Did You Know?: After earning a bachelor's in acting, Oldman worked in theater for eight years before going to movies.
  • Total Worldwide Box-Office Gross: $8.5 billion

George Clooney

  • Highest-Grossing: Ocean's Eleven (2001) $450.7 million
  • Lowest-Grossing: Return to Horror High (1987) $1.2 million
  • Breakthrough Film Role: Out of Sight The 1998 crimecaper, the first of many collaborations between Clooney and director Steven Soderbergh, was his first lead movie role.
  • Did You Know?: Clooney starred on the short-lived 1984 CBS sitcom E/R -- not to be confused with ER, the medical drama that propelled him to fame.
  • Total Worldwide Box-Office Gross: $3.6 billion

Jean Dujardin

  • Highest-Grossing: Brice de Nice (2005) $50 million
  • Lowest-Grossing: 99 Francs (2007) $10 million
  • Breakthrough Film Role: OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies Dujardin leapt onto the big screen in the 2006 French spy spoof from director Michel Hazanavicius, who later cast him in The Artist.
  • Did You Know?: He first gained attention after appearing on a French TV talent show in 1996.
  • Total Worldwide Box-Office Gross: $128 million

Glenn Close

  • Highest-Grossing: Fatal Attraction (1987) $320.1 million
  • Lowest-Grossing: The Chumscrubber (2005) $351,401
  • Breakthrough Film Role: The World According to Garp The 1982 comedy, her first feature, launched Close's movie career in high style,earning her an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress.
  • Did You Know?: Close spent 15 years trying to make Albert Nobbs into a film after starring in the play of the same name.
  • Total Worldwide Box-Office Gross: $2.6 billion

Meryl Streep

  • Highest-Grossing: Mamma Mia! (2008) $602.5 million
  • Lowest-Grossing: Dark Matter (2008)$66,375
  • Breakthrough Film Role: The Deer Hunter The 1978 war drama, followed a year later by Kramer vs. Kramer, quickly established Streep's reputation as a serious actress and critical darling.
  • Did You Know?: She has picked up 17 Oscar noms (winning two) and 26 Golden Globe noms (winning eight), both the most ever for one actress.
  • Total Worldwide Box-Office Gross: $3.6 billion

Michelle Williams

  • Highest-Grossing: Shutter Island (2010) $296.8 million
  • Lowest-Grossing: The Hawk Is Dying (2007) $15,285
  • Breakthrough Film Role: Brokeback Mountain Already a prolific TV and movie actress, Williams achieved widespread fame for her role in Ang Lee's controversial 2005 drama.
  • Did You Know?: Her role in the comedy Dick attracted the eye of Charlie Kaufman, who cast Williams in Synecdoche, New York.
  • Total Worldwide Box-Office Gross: $733.3 million

Rooney Mara

  • Highest-Grossing: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011) $184.8 million
  • Lowest-Grossing: Tanner Hall (2011) $5,073
  • Breakthrough Film Role: The Social Network Her role in the 2010 Facebook pic was brief but notable enough to win over director David Fincher, who gave Mara the lead in Dragon Tattoo over much more established actresses.
  • Did You Know?: Mara's first lead role was in Tanner Hall, set at a boarding school.
  • Total Worldwide Box-Office Gross: $547.2 million

Viola Davis

  • Highest-Grossing: The Help (2011) $208.4 million
  • Lowest-Grossing: The Architect (2006) $13,737
  • Breakthrough Film Role: Doubt An acclaimed stage actress, Davis appeared in numerous movies before the 2008 drama earned her widespread notice and a supporting actress Oscar nom.
  • Did You Know?: Steven Soderbergh is a longtime fan. Davis has been in three of his films: Out of Sight, Solaris and Traffic.
  • Total Worldwide Box-Office Gross: $1.3 billion