She's In Good Company With These Actresses

by Aly Semigran

Angelina Jolie is awfully close to taking over the world, at least at the movies. Jolie's Maleficent will cross the $600 million mark at the global box office on Wednesday, making it the fourth-highest grossing film in 2014 after just five weeks in theaters. The re-telling of the classic Disney villain is Jolie's most successful live-action feature to date, an impressive footnote for the Oscar-winning superstar in her career. (According the The Hollywood Reporter, the film should continue to make even more money when it opens in Japan on July 5.)

Though Jolie may be the only leading lady who gets top billing in this year's biggest worldwide hits, that doesn't mean she's the only actress who has propelled their blockbuster movies to the top. The films that have, thus far, done better than Maleficent are The Amazing Spider-Man 2 ($702.7 million), Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($711.2 million), and 2014's biggest global hit to date, X-Men Days of Future Past ($713.9 million). While the top-billed stars of all three of these franchises are male actors — Andrew Garfield, Chris Evans, and Hugh Jackman, respectively — lest we forget how much of an impact the women in these films had on their success.

Andrew Garfield may be the titular Spider-Man, but it's his leading lady (on and off-screen) Emma Stone that rocked the hell out of their publicity tour with her usual awesome, no-nonsense self. And, with all due respect to Captain America himself Chris Evans, he doesn't hold a red carpet (or magazine cover) candle to his co-star Scarlett Johansson. These women not only turned out memorable performances, but they were the ones to get audiences pumped for the movies long before they hit theaters.

Now, the entire X-Men Days of Future Past ensemble is a draw, thanks to the likes of Michael Fassbender, Halle Berry, Peter Dinklage, and Ellen Page, just to name a few, but let's be real here, it also features the biggest star on the planet right now: Internet darling Jennifer Lawrence. Yes, this movie would have been a success with or without J.Law, but we can't imagine her high-profile turn as Mystique hurt either.

Jolie may be the only one with top-billing in 2014's biggest worldwide grossers, but she's still got some awfully good company from some of Hollywood's other leading ladies.