There are many English actors who have transferred from England and made their way over to Hollywood, making a huge success of their acting careers. But we’re not talking about Superman’s Henry Cavill or The Transporter’s Jason Statham, although he is professionally in the same category as these celebrities. Instead, we’re talking about Idris Elba, the man who has been requested by fans to replace Daniel Craig as the new James Bond. He was launched into stardom with his depiction of Stringer Bell in the HBO drama series, The Wire. Born in the London Borough of Hackney in 1972, he has starred in over 50 movies and has been featured alongside actors such as Dwayne Johnson, Taraji P. Henson, Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, and Denzel Washington. These are 10 of Idris Elba’s highest-grossing movies, ranked.
10 Avengers: Infinity War
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In most of his movies, Elba is able to shift through a wide variety of characters, ranging from a bonafide villain to a devoted husband married to the music industry diva, Beyonce, to the biographical film of the South African President, Nelson Mandela. But he has taken up a reprised role in the Marvel Comics superhero film, Avengers, but out of them all, the highest-grossing was Avengers: Infinity War. Released in 2018, the film surrounds the joint effort of the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy, namely Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Captain America (Chris Evans), Spider-Man (Tom Holland), and James Rhodes (Don Cheadle). Elba’s character, Heimdall, was killed in this film series. It grossed $2.018 billion at the box office.
9 Avengers: Age Of Ultron
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The 2015 Marvel superhero film, Avengers: Age of Ultron, is another one of the Avengers franchise cash cows. The film follows the Avengers as they raid a Hydra facility run by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann), who has used the scepter previously held by Loki to experiment on humans. After Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) retrieves Loki’s scepter and apprehends Strucker, Banner (Mark Ruffalo) joins him in their discovery of artificial intelligence found within the gem of the scepter, which Stark decides to use for his Ultron global defense program. However, this proves to be a mistake, as Ultron (James Spader) gains its own consciousness and believes it must eradicate humanity to save Earth. Elba also reprises his role as Heimdall in this movie series. The film grossed a total of $1.395 billion at the global box office.
8 Finding Dory
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Even adults who have been around since 2003 and have seen the animation film, Finding Nemo, have an idea of what a classic movie this is. It’s almost like Spongebob Squarepants minus the goofy antics of some of the characters, being that the back story has a bit more depth. This time, Pixar Animation Studios produced a direct sequel in 2016 called Finding Dory, which focuses on a regal blue tang fish named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) who gets separated from her parents as a child. But despite her best efforts to search for them, she often forgets her motives due to her short-term memory loss. She is then joined by a clownfish named Marlin (Albert Brooks) who is also looking for his son, Nemo (Hayden Rolence). Inspired by a flashback of an address where her parents might be, she heads out to “Jewel of Morro Bay, California.” Along the journey, she meets friends such as a sea turtle named Crush (Andrew Stanton), an octopus named Hank (Ed O’Neil), and a California sea lion named Fluke (Idris Elba). The film ended up grossing $1.025 billion at the box office.
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With a net worth of $40 million, it’s easy to see why Idris Elba has been a part of so many billion-dollar-grossing films. And funny enough, a few of those films have been computer-animated films. The film surrounds a bright and optimistic rabbit named Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) who finally fulfills her dream of becoming a police officer in urban Zootopia. She is under the African buffalo police Chief Bogo (Idris Elba), who immediately put her on parking duty despite her being a valedictorian. As she is naive, she is soon hustled by a con artist fox duo named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) and Finnick (Tom Lister Jr.). However, she quickly learns the rules and ends up befriending Nick to solve the theft of a bag of crocus bulbs stolen by Duke Weaselton (Alan Tudyk), which contains a deadly neurotoxin that causes mammals to turn savage. For its compelling storyline and classic blend of actors, the film grossed $1.004 billion worldwide.
6 The Jungle Book
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It seems that Disney is always finding new ways to make money. If they’re not doing sequels to existing movies, they’re taking existing animation films and turning them into actual live-action films, such as was the case with The Jungle Book which was released in 2016. The film was a direct remake of Walt Disney’s 1967 animation film with the same name and follows a young boy named Mowgli (Neel Sethi) who has been raised in the jungle of India when he was brought there as an infant by the black panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley). He is then raised by a pack of wolves, led by the alpha of the pack, Akela (Giancarlo Esposito). However, the boy’s life is in danger as a tiger named Shere Khan (Idris Elba) wants to devour the boy. The re-make film grossed 953.55 million at the box office.
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5 Thor: Ragnarok
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It’s believed that the Marvel Comics Thor franchise is the only film series in which Idris Elba has reprised his role as often as he did apart from HBO’s drama series, The Wire. He again appeared as Heimdall in the 2017 film, Thor: Ragnarok. The film centers around the lead star, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), who has been captured by the fire demon, Surtur. Surtur reveals that Thor’s father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) is no longer on the throne at Asgard and that the entire realm of Asgard will be destroyed once he reunites his crown with the Eternal Flame that burns in Odin’s vault, which will bring out the prophesied Ragnarök. However, there is a key figure that will bring about the prophecy, who is Odin’s firstborn, Hela (Cate Blanchett), and she personifies the saying, ‘There’s no fury like a woman scorned.’ The film grossed $850.482 million at the box office.
4 Fast And Furious Presents: Hobbs And Shaw
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Taking a break from the superhero film, Idris jumped into one of the greatest action film franchises in Hollywood, Fast and Furious. He fully embraced the role of a villain in this 2019 action film, one that calls himself the ‘Black Superman’ and carries a metal chip on his shoulder, and throughout his entire body! Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw center on the lives of the ex-Diplomatic Security Service Agent, Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and ex-M16 Agent, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), who, despite being at odds with each other, are forced to join forces after another ex-16 Agent named Brixton Lore (Idris Elba) who has stolen a programmable supervirus called “Snowflake.” In addition, they must also rescue Hattie (Vanessa Kirby), Deckard’s sister, who Brixton injected with the Snowflake virus after killing her entire team and framing her for it. The action-packed yet comical film grossed $760.38 million in international box office sales.
3 Thor: The Dark World
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Another fantastic Marvel Comics movie series, Thor: The Dark World, released in 2013, features a time when the forces of the Dark Elves are at war with the kingdom of Asgard. It’s understood that eons ago, Bor (Tony Curran) who was the father of Odin (Antony Hopkins) was engaged in a war with The Dark Elf Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), ruler of The Dark Elves of Svartalfheim, who intended to unleash a weapon known as the Aether. However, Malekith and his forces, including one of his top soldiers, Kurse (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), were conquered but some escaped to be suspended in animation. In the present day, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), his loyal warrior Fandral (Zachary Levi), and others who fight alongside him are fighting to restore the Nine Realms after the Rainbow Bridge was destroyed a few years back. Back on Earth, the Aether is found and absorbed by Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), which awakens Malekith, who immediately attacks Asgard. Heimdall (Idris Elba) alerts Thor, and the age-old war again ensues, The film grossed $644.602 million at the box office.
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The most obvious marker of a good investment is when the product gets progressively better returns. In 2011, the movie Thor was released as the first Marvel Studios production of the Marvel Comics character, Thor. It tells the history of Asgard, Thor’s father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), and the war he wages against the Frost Giants of Jotunheim and their leader Laufey (Colm Feore) to prevent their takeover of the Nine Realms, including Earth. In the current time, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) prepares to ascend the throne on Asgard but is interrupted by the Frost Giants who were secretly let in by his brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Thor then travels to Jotunheim with Loki and starts a war with the Laufey, and, for his arrogance, Odin banished him to Earth. While in exile on Earth, he begins a romance with Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), but Heimdall (Idris Elba), Sif (Jaimie Alexander), and the Warriors Three attempt to bring Thor back as they are fed up with Loki’s rule of Asgard. Against a budget of $150 million, the film grossed $449.326 million at the box office.
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Directed by Ridley Scott, the 2012 science fiction horror, Prometheus was released as the fifth installment in the Alien franchise. The original movie was made back in 1979, titled Alien, and starred legends like Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, and John Hurt, grossing $106.3 million at the box office. The film takes place in 2089 and follows archeologists Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) who discover a star map in Scotland that matches that of other ancient civilizations. The wealthy CEO of Weyland Corporations, Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) decides to fund an expedition aboard the Prometheus. Idris Elba plays Janek, the captain of the Prometheus ship. The film grossed a total of $402.488 million at the box office.
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Sources: Roger Ebert, The Guardian, Independent, The New York Times
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