Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Movie Talk
Reload this Page >

Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters

Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

Old 04-02-17, 08:47 PM
  #1  
Inane Thread Master, 2018 TOTY
Thread Starter
 
OldBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Are any of us really anywhere?
Posts: 49,655
Received 955 Likes on 797 Posts
Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

And what denotes them as such? Their Oscar worthy performances, their box office returns? Both or none?

Spun off from another thread. It makes an interesting question. Who are the "A-list" actors, etc...?

Last edited by OldBoy; 04-02-17 at 08:57 PM.
Old 04-02-17, 08:52 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Hero
 
TomOpus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 40,171
Received 1,310 Likes on 954 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

I would consider an A-list actor as someone who doesn't have to audition. YMMV, though.
Old 04-02-17, 08:54 PM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Cardsfan111's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Indiana
Posts: 18,519
Likes: 0
Received 385 Likes on 242 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

A person goes to see a movie because an A-list actor is in it.
Old 04-02-17, 10:01 PM
  #4  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Nick Danger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 30,715
Received 1,496 Likes on 945 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

Originally Posted by Cardsfan111
A person goes to see a movie because an A-list actor is in it.
Great masses of people go to see a movie because an A-list actor is in it.
Old 04-02-17, 10:09 PM
  #5  
DVD Talk God
 
DJariya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: La Palma, CA
Posts: 79,293
Received 3,728 Likes on 2,676 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

Someone like George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise are IMO A-listers. Those who command high salaries and are still cast in high profile movies.

B-listers are most TV series stars, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Channing Tatum, most action stars, Gerard Butler, Vin Diesel etc.

C-listers or below: TV series stars, most young adult stars, straight to video etc.

Honestly, I think someone like Nicolas Cage has fallen to C-list level. Bruce Willis is IMO pretty close to here as well.
Old 04-03-17, 01:14 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Ash Ketchum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 12,650
Received 283 Likes on 217 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

Originally Posted by DJariya
Someone like George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise are IMO A-listers. Those who command high salaries and are still cast in high profile movies.

B-listers are most TV series stars, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Channing Tatum, most action stars, Gerard Butler, Vin Diesel etc.

C-listers or below: TV series stars, most young adult stars, straight to video etc.

Honestly, I think someone like Nicolas Cage has fallen to C-list level. Bruce Willis is IMO pretty close to here as well.
These days, A-list actors have plenty of flops. There are few stars who can command unquestioningly loyal audiences anymore. Not even Will Smith. Tom Cruise is smart these days because he only makes the kinds of movies his audience wants to see him in. If he were to try a Hallmark Channel Movie like Will Smith did with COLLATERAL BEAUTY, he'd flop, too.
Old 04-03-17, 02:46 AM
  #7  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,147
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

I'd say an A-Lister has the ability to open a movie based on their name alone. People will say they went to see the new "insert name here" film instead of saying the actual title of the film.

I'd say the actor/actress needs longevity. Be a top name for many years. Some actors will get really famous for a year or two and then fall out of the limelight. Tom Cruise has been a top name for decades. The guy that was in Avatar was in a few high profile movies and now I can't even remember what his name was for this post.
Old 04-03-17, 05:31 AM
  #8  
kd5
DVD Talk Legend
 
kd5's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ohio, USA
Posts: 12,974
Received 380 Likes on 255 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

I think A-list actors are the ones who have gained their status through talent, hard work, and appeal (like Cruise) and are smart enough to know which movies to go with and which ones to avoid. The ones who don't give their performance their full attention or are greedy or desperate enough to act in anything that comes along (like Cage) are the ones who can kiss their A-list status goodbye.

Last edited by kd5; 04-03-17 at 06:07 AM.
Old 04-03-17, 05:33 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
james2025a's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 5,352
Likes: 0
Received 59 Likes on 48 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

Top of that A list... you guessed it....
...
...
...

Frank Stallone.
Old 04-03-17, 08:10 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 8,988
Likes: 0
Received 256 Likes on 179 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

Originally Posted by resinrats
I'd say an A-Lister has the ability to open a movie based on their name alone. People will say they went to see the new "insert name here" film instead of saying the actual title of the film.
This.
"Let's go see the new Clint Eastwood movie"

An A list actor is the most important thing about a movie. More important than the plot or title. On the poster their name is as big, or bigger than the film title. Equal to the title is 100% billing. Larger than the title is around 110% billing. Traditional the actor's name will be above the title.

A list stars have been replaced with franchises for the most part. "STAR WARS" is the most important thing about a Star Wars film regardless of how big the stars appearing in it.

In some cases you have combinations. Harrison Ford/Indiana Jones, Sean Connery/James Bond, Clint Eastwood/Dirty Harry, where the sum is greater than the parts.

Current A listers who stand on their own would be Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Tom Cruise.
Old 04-03-17, 09:53 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 2,551
Received 6 Likes on 4 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

A-Listers are stars who I so big, that their name alone can open up a movie and have huge mainstream recognition. Think name above the title. A-listers are pretty much dead now a days with the birth of the franchise and social media being prevalent, but they still remain. Examples are Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, The Rock, and Jennifer Lawrence.

B-Listers are the actors that people know and recognize, but they oftentimes can't carry a movie by themselves outside of a genre or a franchise, because their name alone won't get people to the theatre. Also features actors that Hollywood push desperately to get them on the A-list. Examples: Channing Tatum, Vin Diesel, Chris Pratt, Jessica Chastin, Gerard Butler, Mark Wahlberg, Seth Rogen, Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham.

C-Listers: The character actors, and people who could never headline an A or B movie, but could headline a straight to video movie or TV series. This is the biggest group. Also includes actors who have that big role that gets their name out. Also typically features former A and B list actors after roles dry up. Examples are Nicholas Cage, Bruce Willis, Jean Claude Van Damme, Steven Segal, Micahel Madsen, Keifer Sutherland or big name TV actors like Norman Reedus or Kit Harrington.

D-list: YouTube celebrities, reality TV show "stars".
Old 04-03-17, 10:42 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Hero
 
GoldenJCJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Colorado
Posts: 27,530
Received 3,294 Likes on 2,114 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

^ It doesn't help when once reputable shows that have since turned to shit like Entertainment Tonight don't know the difference either and will refer to people like Kim Kardashian, Mariah Carey, and Sophia Vergara as "A-Listers".
Old 04-03-17, 06:25 PM
  #13  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Ash Ketchum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 12,650
Received 283 Likes on 217 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ
^ It doesn't help when once reputable shows that have since turned to shit like Entertainment Tonight don't know the difference either and will refer to people like Kim Kardashian, Mariah Carey, and Sophia Vergara as "A-Listers".
In the world of celebrity worship, the biggest celebrities, no matter what they do or don't do, are A-listers. I guess it depends on how many red carpets you appear on and who the video paparazzi converge the most on.
Old 04-03-17, 06:27 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Defiant1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,456
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

I've actually given this some thought in real life. My definitions:

A-List: I divide this into box-office A-list and critical A-list. Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, and so on would be on the box-office A-list. While they are no guarantee of box office success, they are known by pretty much everyone and have been around forever. Critical A-list would be the likes of Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore, Daniel Day-Lewis, Meryl Streep. They tend to veer towards more highbrow work that may not set the box office on fire, but they get plenty of attention during awards season. And of course, actors on both sub-lists will hybridize freely. The ultimate combo is a crowd-pleasing and critically acclaimed movie that stars an A-lister like Titanic or Forrest Gump.

B-List: The majority of famous actors would go here. Most of the Marvel and DC actors like the various white guys named Chris, Jake Gyllenhaal, Emily Blunt, the lead actors on Game of Thrones, etc. They're reasonably well known, can headline a mid or low budget film, or star in a franchise pic where the movie is bigger than them. They can easily be confused for another actor by the general public or be known by their filmography than their actual name though.

C-List: This is a general catch-all. There's a mix of stars who used to be A-list and have aged out (Nicolas Cage, Gwyneth Paltrow), most of the random 20-something interchangeable starlets and hunks, TV stars who have some niche appeal (Mark Harmon, Johnny Galecki), Broadway stage actors, and soap stars. A C-Lister can still make a ton of money and be recognized by the public on some level, but they are most definitely not at a Jennifer Lawrence level of fame.

D-List: The dregs of celebrity, looked down on by those above them. Minimally talented "famous for being famous" people dwell in this basement. While wildly successful, I'd put the Kardashians here, along with most reality stars.

Now of course one can move up or down the ranks depending on how well they navigate the treacherous waters of Hollywood.

Edited to add: I'd add in a Legends category. Veteran actors who may or may not work as actively as in their prime, but everyone knows them for their classic work. Nicholson, De Niro, Pacino, Keaton, Field, Streep, etc.
Old 04-03-17, 07:19 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Drexl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 16,077
Likes: 0
Received 15 Likes on 13 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

Originally Posted by rw2516
This.
"Let's go see the new Clint Eastwood movie"
But these days, that means a film he directed. He's only had 2 acting roles since 2004.
Old 04-03-17, 07:55 PM
  #16  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Formerly known as Groucho AND Bandoman/Death Moans, Iowa
Posts: 18,303
Received 373 Likes on 267 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

Originally Posted by GoldenJCJ
^ It doesn't help when once reputable shows that have since turned to shit like Entertainment Tonight don't know the difference either and will refer to people like Kim Kardashian, Mariah Carey, and Sophia Vergara as "A-Listers".
That's the Ass-List.
Old 04-03-17, 08:13 PM
  #17  
DVD Talk God
 
DJariya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: La Palma, CA
Posts: 79,293
Received 3,728 Likes on 2,676 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

Originally Posted by robin2099

C-Listers: The character actors, and people who could never headline an A or B movie, but could headline a straight to video movie or TV series. This is the biggest group. Also includes actors who have that big role that gets their name out. Also typically features former A and B list actors after roles dry up. Examples are Nicholas Cage, Bruce Willis, Jean Claude Van Damme, Steven Segal, Micahel Madsen, Keifer Sutherland or big name TV actors like Norman Reedus or Kit Harrington.

D-list: YouTube celebrities, reality TV show "stars".

Back in like 2005-2006, I would say Kiefer Sutherland was probably B-list and maybe even close to A list.

24 just came off an Emmy from season 5 and it was their highest rated season ever. Plus, Kiefer was IIRC the highest paid male actor in TV at the time.

But, now in 2017, I think your assessment of him being C list seems pretty accurate. He's on a pretty high profile ABC TV series, but he's 50 now and can't get lead roles in big Hollywood movies anymore. The last feature he did as a lead was Forsaken a couple of years ago, but it was a small Indie movie.
Old 04-04-17, 01:05 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Legend
 
mattysemo247's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 12,551
Likes: 0
Received 5 Likes on 4 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

Originally Posted by robin2099
A-Listers are stars who I so big, that their name alone can open up a movie and have huge mainstream recognition. Think name above the title. A-listers are pretty much dead now a days with the birth of the franchise and social media being prevalent, but they still remain. Examples are Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, The Rock, and Jennifer Lawrence.

B-Listers are the actors that people know and recognize, but they oftentimes can't carry a movie by themselves outside of a genre or a franchise, because their name alone won't get people to the theatre. Also features actors that Hollywood push desperately to get them on the A-list. Examples: Channing Tatum, Vin Diesel, Chris Pratt, Jessica Chastin, Gerard Butler, Mark Wahlberg, Seth Rogen, Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham.

C-Listers: The character actors, and people who could never headline an A or B movie, but could headline a straight to video movie or TV series. This is the biggest group. Also includes actors who have that big role that gets their name out. Also typically features former A and B list actors after roles dry up. Examples are Nicholas Cage, Bruce Willis, Jean Claude Van Damme, Steven Segal, Micahel Madsen, Keifer Sutherland or big name TV actors like Norman Reedus or Kit Harrington.

D-list: YouTube celebrities, reality TV show "stars".
I think this is the best description so far
Old 04-04-17, 07:37 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Godfather & 2020 TOTY Winner
 
Decker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Vegas, Baby!
Posts: 76,644
Received 6,391 Likes on 4,376 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

I think with all these tent-pole movies, there is really a new sub-catagory : Franchise A-Listers.
A Franchise A-Lister is someone who can demand an astronomical salary -- for a certain role only. RDJ is an A-Lister when he plays Tony Stark, but maybe not in The Judge or Due Date. Daniel Craig can ask for the moon as 007, but not for Defiance. If Daniel Ratcliff were to play Harry Potter again, he'd get a fortune no doubt - but as a farting corpse, he's closer to scale wages.
Tom Cruise, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lawrence can ask for more for resuming their franchises, but they're A-Listers regardless of the movie - they can open a picture on name alone. The other guys I mentioned maybe can't.

Eddie Murphy after a string of flops isn't necessarily and A-Lister any more, but as Axel Foley, he certainly still is.
Old 04-05-17, 02:20 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Hazel Motes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 7,524
Received 404 Likes on 270 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

Above the title name credit.
Movies are without exception released theatrically.
Household name recognition.
Closet Homosexuality.
Old 04-05-17, 07:52 AM
  #21  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Ash Ketchum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 12,650
Received 283 Likes on 217 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

Originally Posted by Hazel Motes
Above the title name credit.
Movies are without exception released theatrically.
Household name recognition.
Closet Homosexuality.
Well, that leaves out Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, and Sylvester Stallone...I think.
Old 04-05-17, 12:37 PM
  #22  
DVD Talk Legend
 
mattysemo247's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 12,551
Likes: 0
Received 5 Likes on 4 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

Originally Posted by Decker
Eddie Murphy after a string of flops isn't necessarily and A-Lister any more, but as an animated donkey, he certainly still is.
Fixed
Old 04-05-17, 02:25 PM
  #23  
DVD Talk Hero
 
PhantomStranger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: The Phantom Zone
Posts: 27,624
Received 841 Likes on 708 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

C-listers are usually actors that don't get any billing on the movie's poster and play supporting roles in mainstream Hollywood releases. It can also include recognizable television actors that may be regulars on a hit show but aren't the main stars.

Someone as big as Bruce Willis once was can't really slip into the C or D list. A few bad movies doesn't change the fact he's starred in some of the biggest movies (Die Hard, The Sixth Sense, Armageddon) of all time. Paul Newman didn't suddenly become a C-lister because he got older.
Old 04-05-17, 02:52 PM
  #24  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 24,964
Received 281 Likes on 177 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

Yeah... Bruce Willis will never be the 1-segment secondary guest on a talk show inbetween the 2-segment first guest and the musical guest.
Old 04-05-17, 03:02 PM
  #25  
DVD Talk God
 
DJariya's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: La Palma, CA
Posts: 79,293
Received 3,728 Likes on 2,676 Posts
Re: Who are A-list actors, B-list, etc...?

One can argue that someone like Mark Harmon could be considered a B-lister.

He's not a movie star, but he's on one of the highest rated shows on TV, also it's Executive Producer and is also one of the highest paid actors in TV as well. He's also the EP of one of it's spinoffs.

That's a lot of clout for an actor in TV. I doubt he would fall under Robin2099's definition of C-lister.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.