Is Joseph Gordon-Levitt a Major Movie Star? If not, Why not?

There is something mysterious about the career of Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Especially when it comes to where he sits on the A-list. He has the leading man qualities with his good looks and acting ability. He can even sing and dance, talents he has shown with his website and television show HitRecord. It appears that everyone likes him but he has yet to bring in the big bucks at the box office, but why? The disappointing release of Snowden was another under performer on a list of films in which Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the headliner.

Joe, as he refers to himself, has been acting since he was a child. He scored a lead role in the Disney family film Angels in the Outfield, which not only gave him one of his biggest box-office successes, it also introduced him to his pal Tony Danza. An actor he has worked with in several capacities since.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Sees Box Office Struggle

Snowden Quad

After working steadily in film and television's 3rd Rock from the Sun, Joe grew into teen roles like 10 Things I Hate About You and Halloween H20. These were ensemble pieces which limited his accountability for box office success. It seems that his most successful films are the ones in which he plays a supporting role. For instance, his highest grossing film is The Dark Knight Rises, which earned just under $1.1 billion. Inception also scored major at the box-office with just over $825 million worldwide. Both films were directed by Christopher Nolan and included the likes of Batman and Leonardo DiCaprio,  who are known to bring in the ticket sales.

Similarly, 2012’s Lincoln scored big and earned countless awards and nominations. But none of that was due to Gordon-Levitt’s performance.

A look at films in which Gordon-Levitt carried, Hesher, Uncertainty, Brick, and The Lookout make for a tough sell. Using these for feedback, his name is not enough to inspire film companies to allow a wide release as the potential ticket sales may be bleak.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt Hits

500 Days of Summer Quad

A few of Joe’s films have succeeded on a small scale. Features such as the adrenaline pumping Premium Rush, the quirky romantic comedy 500 Days of Summer, and the surprisingly sweet Don Jon. This is a good thing for fans, as it proves that he will continue to make effective and well-made films on a small scale even if he never achieves the legendary earnings of Will Smith and Tom Cruise.

The question remains: Will Joseph Gordon-Levitt ever become a major player at the box-office with his name being the primary reason for success? Or will he remain in his comfortable spot as a likable actor who is adored by dedicated fans and industry colleagues?

Snowden came in at the number four spot during it's opening weekend with $8 million. Though the film fell short on the optimistic $10 million Open Road sought, it did receive an "A" CinemaScore.