Canadians have long been proud of their contribution to Hollywood. The list of famous Canadian faces in Tinseltown is as long as it is familiar to those of us living north of the border.
U.K. research firm Verve Search decided to find out exactly which of these Canadians stars are actually the biggest, and they used box-office hauls to do the measuring.
What they found was a white male club, but a funny one. All five of the most profitable Canadian actors are or were known for their comedies.
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Vervesearch used data from Box Office Mojo to calculate how much revenue each movie star’s films made, on average, for every dollar invested into its budget.
For example, it determined that for every dollar invested in a Michael J. Fox movie, there was $2.62 in revenue at the domestic (U.S. and Canadians) box office.
Fox’s biggest movie, not surprisingly, was “Back to the Future,” which earned $10.08 for every dollar invested.
That’s enough to make Fox the number-five most profitable Canadian actor since 1980.
Here are the most profitable Canadians actors of the last three-and-a-half decades, and what their movies earned (in U.S. dollars).
5. Michael J. Fox
Earnings for every $1 of investment: $2.62
Top grossing movie: “Back to The Future” ($10.08)
Born in Edmonton and raised in Burnaby, Fox gained fame as Alex P. Keaton in the hit 1980s TV series “Family Ties.” His status a teenage heart-throb was solidified with his leading role in “Back to the Future,” which remains his highest-grossing movie. Fox is active in the search for a cure for for Parkinson’s disease, from which he has been suffering since age 28.
4. John Candy
Earnings for every $1 of investment: $2.89
Top grossing movie: “Uncle Buck” ($4.45)
Born in Newmarket, Ont., Candy gained fame as a member of the Toronto branch of the Second City comedy troupe, eventually landing roles in such movies as “Splash,” “Cool Runnings,” “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” and “Uncle Buck.” Candy died of a heart attack at age 43, in 1994.
3. Mike Myers
Earnings for every $1 of investment: $2.95
Top grossing movie: “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” ($5.24)
A native of Scarborough, Ont., Myers gained fame as Wayne in the “Wayne’s World” skits on “Saturday Night Live” in the early 1990s. He then went on to headline a number of major movie franchises, including “Wayne’s World,” the “Austin Powers” movies and the “Shrek” movies, in which he voiced the title character.
2. Seth Rogen
Earnings for every $1 of investment: $3.79
Top grossing movie: “Neighbors” ($7.34)
This Vancouver native first broke into the Hollywood scene with his role in the short-lived but critically acclaimed 2000 TV series “Freaks and Geeks.” Since then, he has been a creative force behind such movies as “Superbad,” “Pineapple Express” and “This is The End.”
1. Leslie Nielsen
Earnings for every $1 of investment: $4.44
Top grossing movie: “Prom Night” ($11.23)
The native of Regina (and brother of prominent parliamentarian Erik Nielsen) was a dramatic Hollywood movie actor for decades before landing a role in 1980’s “Airplane!” in which he famously told Robert Hays, “stop calling me Shirley.” The movie launched Nielsen into a new comedic career that included the high-grossing “Naked Gun” franchise. Nielsen passed away in 2011.
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Author: Daniel Tencer