Zoe Saldana is now the first and only actor to star in four different movies that grossed over $2 billion.
Franchise actors are a somewhat new invention in Hollywood; people who have held down leading roles in multiple blockbuster franchises are a rare breed. However, Zoe Saldana joined the list of people like Harrison Ford (Star Wars and Indiana Jones), Ian McKellen (X-Men and Lord of the Rings), and Chris Pratt (Jurassic Park and Guardians of the Galaxy) with her roles in Guardians of the Galaxy and Avatar. According to The Direct, these two roles also allowed her to become the first actor to appear in four movies to cross the $2 billion mark.
With the massive success of Avatar: The Way of Water, it became the sixth movie to join the $2 billion club, joining its predecessor, Avatar, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Titanic. If you are keeping count, Zoe Saldana appeared in the two Avatar films as Neytiri, the female lead and love interest to human Jake Sully (Sam Worthington). She also appeared as Gamora in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, losing her life at the hands of Thanos in Infinity War and returning as a different version of herself in Endgame.
Many other actors have been in multiple movies on this list since there are two entries in two different franchises. Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, and many others appeared in both MCU films, while Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, and Stephen Lang appeared in both Avatar films. But it is Zoe Saldana’s crossover of the two franchises that put her into rarified air, and it is only going to get better for her as time goes on.
Theoretically, with Avatar 3, 4, and 5 on the horizon, the actress could be the only person to appear in all but two of the top nine box office earners of all time. Now that, of course, assumes that the sequels continue to do as well as the first two, Neytiri survives until the end of the franchise and that other films don’t blow the box office out of the water. From all reports, it sounds like Guardians of the Galaxy 3 is going to be the end of the particular team that Gamora was a part of, so her time may be over there, but having three more films with the probability to reach $2 billion puts her in a great place to continue.
That also puts her on the cusp of entering into another exclusive group. At the moment, Zoe Saldana sits at number four all-time with a total box office pull for her movies at $12.5 billion, sitting behind her fellow MCU actors Samual L. Jackson ($14.36 billion), Robert Downey Jr. (14.39 billion), and Scarlett Johansson ($14.51 billion). While the former still has some MCU life left in his tank, the latter two are seemingly finished, meaning it is a race between Saldana and Jackson.
With Samuel L. Jackson likely winding down on his time as Nick Fury in the MCU and Zoe Saldana with the opportunity to add another $6 billion to her lifetime gross on just three more films, she is set up to be the most profitable actress of all time.