Over the last couple of years, the star of the ‘Hunger Games’ series Jennifer Lawrence has gone from pretty much an unknown figure, to something of a rising star, to one of the most bankable actresses in Hollywood. But the impact that her performances in the original ‘Hunger Games’ movie and ‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ have made has best been exemplified by a recognition that she had recently received.
Lawrence was voted the Top Money-Making Star of 2013 in Quigley Publishing Company’s 82nd Annual Poll. This was a pretty big deal in itself when one looks at the names Lawrence finished ahead of, but it also represents an incredibly meteoric ascent in her profile. This is in fact Lawrence’s first appearance in the Quigley list, and represents the first time in its entire history, which spans nearly a century, that an actor has gone from Star of Tomorrow one year to the Top Money-Making Star the next. In short, Lawrence’s rise is literally the most dramatic in movie history, at least in commercial terms.
Not only has Lawrence garnered commercial success during this period, but she has also been critically acclaimed as well. This can be a tremendously difficult balancing act for young actresses in particular to achieve. But with Lawrence having received almost universal praise for her performances in ‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ and ‘American Hustle’, and carrying off both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe earlier this year, she has already established herself as an acknowledged serious actress as well as a big star.
It was definitely a year which showed that women can deliver in cinema, as Sandra Bullock, star of ‘Gravity’ and ‘The Heat’ during the calendar year, finished second on the list. This was only the second time in history that females have taken the first two slots in the list, and the first since the Second World War. The only other time females were voted the top two spots in history was during Quigley’s very first poll in 1932 when Marie Dressler and Janet Gaynor were first and second respectively.
The growing reputation and prominence of Jennifer Lawrence can only be a good thing for the ‘Hunger Games’ movies. Lawrence has now reached the level where people will go to watch a movie just because her name is associated with it, and this could draw in a new audience for the third ‘Hunger Games’ movie, ‘Mockingjay: Part I’. In the meantime, being listed at the apex of a chart which includes Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio is no mean feat.