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Monday, 9 October, 2000, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
Roberts heads Hollywood hot list
Julia Roberts
Sitting pretty: Roberts enters the $20m club
Pretty Woman actress Julia Roberts is Hollywood's most bankable star, according to a guide to movie industry talent.

Roberts, the star of Notting Hill, My Best Friend's Wedding, Sleeping with the Enemy, and Erin Brockovich, tops the list of actors whose name alone can get a film project off the ground.

James Ulmer, the former Premiere magazine columnist responsible for the Hollywood Hot List, rates Roberts ahead of Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson and Bruce Willis, all in the top five.

Ulmer categorises these stars as "A-plus": those "whose marquee value alone can trigger financing for a film, even if there is no script, director or co-stars attached."

"They can also virtually guarantee strong ticket sales for the movie's opening weekend - the Holy Grail of feature film distribution," Ulmer adds.

Hollywood Hot List Top 10
  1. Julia Roberts
  2. Tom Hanks
  3. Tom Cruise
  4. Mel Gibson
  5. Bruce Willis
  6. John Travolta
  7. Brad Pitt
  8. Meg Ryan
  9. Leonardo DiCaprio
  10. Will Smith
Roberts, whose last five films grossed more than $100m (69m) each in the US, is reportedly the first woman to gain admission to the so-called $20m (13.8m) club of Hollywood's highest-paid stars.

Meg Ryan, at number eight, is the only other woman to make the top 20.

Sir Sean Connery, the highest rated British actor in the list, just scrapes in at number 20.

Rounding off the top 10 in the list are John Travolta, followed by Brad Pitt, Meg Ryan, Leonardo DiCaprio and Will Smith.

Outside of the top ten are Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Carrey, Harrison Ford, Keanu Reeves, and Adam Sandler.

'Star power'

The new survey is an outgrowth of Ulmer's The Hot List, an annual industry index that measures the commercial clout of nearly 2,000 movie stars and directors from around the world.

Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks: The only Oscar-winner in the top 10
The list's assessment of actors' box-office "star power" is targeted at studio executives, producers, agents and directors.

Aside from bankability, stars are rated on considerations such as career management, willingness to travel and promote, and professional conduct on and off the set.

Acting talent is also a factor, but of the list's top 10 performers, only one - Tom Hanks - has won an Oscar for acting.

He secured Academy Awards for Forrest Gump and Philadelphia. Mel Gibson won Oscars as director and producer of Braveheart, while five others in the top 10 received nominations.

See also:

15 Jun 99 | Entertainment
Bosses bank on Hanks
15 Mar 00 | Entertainment
Julia joins the big league
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