February 05, 2002 10:00 AM

Say you’re a movie producer and you want to guarantee that your project will be financed and then will open strong on its first weekend. Who are you going to call? Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts, according to a survey conducted by the Hollywood Reporter, which labels the three of them — who tied for the No. 1 spot — the most bankable stars in Tinseltown. (The poll was based on a ranking of 1,000 actors, rated by industry experts.) The movies starring these three generated a cumulative box office tally of $844 million internationally last year, with $493 million of that in the U.S. alone. The star trio was trailed by the remainder of those at the top of the Reporter’s list (in descending order): Mel Gibson, Jim Carrey, George Clooney, Russell Crowe and Harrison Ford (they tied), Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Nicolas Cage, Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Smith and Denzel Washington. Though the “Erin Brockovich” Oscar winner was the lone woman at the front of the what the trade paper calls its StarPower 2002 survey, several other female stars — such as like Sandra Bullock, Cameron Diaz and Nicole Kidman — ranked high. Worth noting is that three years ago, which was the last time that the 72-year-old publication generated a similar list, Roberts was ranked No. 8.

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