Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd Top ‘SNL’s Biggest Box Office Earners
Out of all the comedy icons who launched their careers on Saturday Night Live, none have contributed more to the North American box office than Eddie Murphy, who helped rake in $5.79 billion with his 38 films. In a new infographic, Businessweek uses data from Rentrak to calculate the top 25 SNL veterans based on the gross revenue of their filmography. Dan Aykroyd came in at the Number Two spot ($4.26 billion), with Robert Downey Jr. rounding out the top three ($3.9 billion).
Most of the top 10 is fairly predictable: Ben Stiller comes in at Number Four ($3.87 billion), followed by Bill Murray ($3.43 billion), Adam Sandler ($3.22 billion), Chris Rock ($3.07 billion), Will Ferrell ($3.06 billion) and Mike Myers ($2.89 billion). But at this point in the list, the results become more surprising, with rankings from several lesser-known cast members – many of whom based on their voice-acting work or minor supporting roles in blockbusters. Joan Cusack ranks Number 10 (at $2.81 billion), with Brian Doyle-Murray at Number 13 spot ($2.49 billion), Laurie Metcalf at Number 14 ($2.39 billion) and David Koechner at Number 17 ($2.04 billion).
Other members of the diverse Top 25 are Rob Schneider, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Molly Shannon, Jon Lovitz, Amy Poehler, Chevy Chase, Billy Crystal, Harry Shearer, Randy Quaid, David Spade and Martin Short.
According to a statement accompanying the article, the revenue in Business Week’s list was adjusted for inflation and “ranked on total inflation-adjusted box office receipts for their films’ original release.” The list excludes films featuring actors who appear “briefly as themselves” or in uncredited roles. In addition, “some films released before 1984 are not included because accurate figures from the studios were not available.”