Follow us on

Analysis: March Bankability and the Top Dramatic Actors

April 1st, 2014

In the March update to our Bankability Index, our list of industry influencers increases to 14 people and we examine the top actors and actresses in dramatic roles in movies.

Overall, March's chart reflects the relatively modest start to the year at the box office. Samuel L. Jackson moves back into second place in the overall chart thanks to his appearance in RoboCop, Hans Zimmer was helped by his composing for Winter's Tale and Son of God (and will be further helped in April's chart through his involvement in Divergent–does the man ever sleep?). Leonardo DiCaprio continues to benefit from his producing roles in The Wolf of Wall Street, Out of the Furnace and Runner Runner. Finally, Frozen helps John Lasseter solidify his 11th place in the chart.

This month's new entry is Morgan Freeman, who got a very handy boost from his voice role in The LEGO Movie, and was also helped by some work we did on our archive of credits. That combination takes him to 14th on the Worldwide Chart, up 3 places from February.

All this activity has kept us pretty busy, but it's our new Bankability feature that really kept us burning the midnight oil this month: The Bankability Index Casting and Hiring Guides...

The motivation for compiling the Casting and Hiring Guides is a request we've had a great deal since we launched the Bankability Index, which is to use the index to help film producers with casting and hiring decisions. These new charts (we plan to publish one each month) will each seek to find the people who are the best fit for a specific type of role in a specific type of film.

This month's list shows the people that the index considers the best fit for an acting role in a drama. It's created by comparing the bankability of an actor or actresses in drama films with their bankability in all films. The higher their relative score in dramatic films, the higher their ranking on this chart. These are the people, in other words, who are associated with dramatic roles above all others, and should be high on one's list of people to consider for a role in a drama film.

The full list of the top 95 people in drama roles is in this month's Bankability Index, which can be purchased below. The top 10, listed here, reveals some highly-regarded actors and actresses, all of whom have long and distinguished careers in the industry. James Woods tops the list, thanks to a formidable 51 movie credits, mostly in dramas. Giancarlo Esposito is somewhat surprisingly in second place, until one looks at his formidable career record in mostly supporting dramatic roles. In total, the list highlights some of the best actors and actresses in the business, and will hopefully prove useful insight into the right people to reach out to for meaty dramatic roles.

Top Dramatic Actors and Actresses
Relative Score
1 James Woods Actor 100.00
2 Giancarlo Esposito Actor 91.43
3 Sean Penn Actor 90.49
4 David Strathairn Actor 78.98
5 Tim Blake Nelson Actor 76.07
6 Vanessa Redgrave Actress 75.52
7 Ray Liotta Actor 74.22
8 Jared Leto Actor 72.99
9 Jena Malone Actress 71.56
10 Juliette Binoche Actress 69.53

Our monthly Top 250 Edition lists the 250 most influential people in the movie industry, updated at the beginning of each month based on the latest performance of films in release, and additions to our database. In addition to the Worldwide Bankability Index™ report, the top 14 of which appears on The Numbers web site, the Top 250 Edition includes the Domestic Bankability Index™, which measures performance based on domestic box office, a list of the biggest gainers over the past month, and a monthly Casting and Hiring Guide for a specific area of the film industry.

Our introductory pricing for a one-time purchase of the Top 250 Edition is $99.

By signing up for a monthly subscription, you will receive a new report each month as soon as it is published, and also receive an exclusive discount on the Print Edition, which will be published later in the year.

You can download an view a sample of the November Top 250 Edition by clicking clicking here. The sample is identical to the report you will receive, but the names have been replaced by placeholder text.

Purchase and download the latest The Numbers Bankability Index Top 250 Edition as a PDF document, suitable for viewing on your laptop, tablet or phone.


Purchase a subscription to the The Numbers Bankability Index Top 250 Edition and receive an instant download of the latest edition, and new editions as they are published.

Benefits: Receive the latest Top 250 as soon as it is published each month. Get an exclusive discount on The Numbers Bankability Index Print Edition when it is published in 2014.


Cancel an existing subscription. For any subscription questions or help, please email us at

Filed under: Analysis, RoboCop, The Lego Movie, Divergent, Winter's Tale, Son of God, Morgan Freeman, Samuel L. Jackson, Ray Liotta, Sean Penn, Vanessa Redgrave, James Woods, Juliette Binoche, Leonardo DiCaprio, Giancarlo Esposito, John Lasseter, Jared Leto, Jena Malone, Tim Blake Nelson, David Strathairn, Hans Zimmer