From Teen Heartthrob to Leading Man: The 18 Highest Grossing Leonardo DiCaprio Films of All-Time

The Oscar cloud has been hanging over Leonardo DiCaprio‘s head ever since What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Despite the lack of hardware, DiCaprio has established himself as one of the leading actors of his generation and one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood. To date, Leo’s films have grossed over $6.4 billion worldwide.

$59 million - The Revenant
DiCaprio's latest film might also be his best shot at an Oscar. The actor described the role as the hardest performance of his career. Despite the fact that Leo is a vegetarian, he had to eat a raw slab of bison liver. He also had to learn to shoot a musket, build a fire, and speak two Native American languages, Pawnee and Arikara.
$75 million - Revolutionary Road
Revolutionary Road reunited Titanic co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet for the first time since 1997. The movie contains several easter eggs and references to their previous collaboration. At around the 61 minute mark you can see a painting of the Titanic in the bottom left hand corner of the screen.
$84 million - J. Edgar
Reviews for the J. Edgar Hoover biopic were mixed, but Roger Ebert called DiCaprio's performance a "fully-realized, subtle and persuasive performance, hinting at more than Hoover ever revealed, perhaps even to himself."
article continues below ad
$115 million - Body of Lies
Body of Lie marked the first time Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio collaborated together. DiCaprio chose to do the movie because he saw it as a throwback to 1970s political thrillers like The Parallax View and Three Days of the Condor.
$144 million - The Beach
Originally Ewan McGregor was Danny Boyle's first choice for the lead role. However, the studio pushed Leonardo Dicaprio and the rest is history. McGregor refused to talk to Boyle for many years, but the two later reconciled.
$147 million - Romeo + Juliet
Leonardo Dicaprio was director Baz Luhrmann's first choice to play Romeo and was probably the best choice for the role. Leo's performance of Romeo's speech at Juliet's deathbed was so powerful it made Claire Danes breakdown in tears. When the director called "cut!" Danes smacked Dicaprio and told him, "Don't make me cry. I'm supposed to be comatose, here!"
article continues below ad
$171 million - Blood Diamond
Leonardo DiCaprio received an Oscar nom for his role in Blood Diamond, but did you know that Leo's mother and grandmother both appeared in the movie? When Danny Archer arrives in South Africa, they can be seen standing outside the airport.
$183 million - The Man in the Iron Mask
The French historical drama pulled in $183 million worldwide. When MGM analyzed the demographics of the movie's audience, they determined the film's success was "directly related to the appeal of Leonardo DiCaprio." The audience was 55% female and 46% under the age of 25.
$193 million - Gangs of New York
Gangs of New York marked the first collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio. After the first day of filming, the pair asked co-star Daniel Day-Lewis to have dinner with them. However, Day-Lewis refused to break character, ordered his food in accent, and absolutely terrified their waitress. Day-Lewis was incredibly dedicated to his performance. At one point, DiCaprio accidentally broke Day Lewis' nose, but he continued to film the scene anyway.
article continues below ad
$213 million - The Aviator
In order to prepare for the role, Leonardo DiCaprio spent a day with Howard Hughes' close personal friend, actress Jane Russell. Russell told DiCaprio that Hughes was quiet, yet stubborn. DiCaprio also spent time with an OCD patient who advised him about a number of different aspects of the condition, particularly the tendency to repeat sentences.
$289 million - The Departed
Fans were shocked when Leo didn't even receive an Oscar nomination for his performance in The Departed, however this has a lot to do with Hollywood politics. Warner Brothers didn't want to play favorites with DiCaprio and promote in the leading actor category (while his Departed co-stars all received supporting actor nods) and DiCaprio himself refused to campaign against his co-stars and so Warner Bros didn't push for a supporting actor nom either.
$294 million - Shutter Island
Shutter Island was DiCaprio's best opening weekend at the time with $41 million (it was later beat by Inception). It was also the fourth collaboration between DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese (after Gangs of New York, The Aviator, and The Departed). Shutter Island is also the only Scorsese-DiCaprio film that failed to garner any Oscar nominations.
article continues below ad
$351 million - The Great Gatsby
Fun fact, DiCaprio says the phrase "old sport" 51 times during the film. Many people don't know this, but Leonardo DiCaprio and co-star Tobey Maguire are childhood friends. DiCaprio said he was originally drawn to the the role of Jay Gatsby, because he liked "the idea of a man who came from absolutely nothing, who created himself solely from his own imagination. Gatsby's one of those iconic characters because he can be interpreted in so many ways: a hopeless romantic, a completely obsessed wacko or a dangerous gangster, clinging to wealth."
$352 million - Catch Me If You Can
The real life Frank Abagnale Jr. didn't think DiCaprio was "suave" enough to play him, until he saw the final cut of the movie. Speaking of suave, in order to get Amy Adams to sloppily kiss Leo, director Steven Spielberg told her to "pretend she was starving to death and eating a cheeseburger."
$392 million - The Wolf of Wall Street
Leonardo DiCaprio had been obsessed with playing Jordan Belfort ever since he read The Wolf of Wall Street and even outbid Brad Pitt for the rights to the film. In particular, DiCaprio was attracted to Jordan's honest and uncompromising portrayal of his experience. In order to prepare for the role, Jordan Belfort himself coached DiCaprio on how he reacted to Quaaludes.
article continues below ad
$425 million - Django Unchained
Django Unchained was Leo's first time playing a villain since 1998's The Man in the Iron Mask. DiCaprio was initially incredibly uncomfortable with how racist his character was, but director Quentin Tarantino told that if he didn't give it his all, then people would hold it against him for the rest of his life. While filming one scene, DiCaprio had to stop because he was having a difficult time with the number of racial slurs his character was saying. Co-star Samuel L. Jackson allegedly pulled DiCaprio aside and told him, "Motherfucker, this is just another Tuesday for us."
$825 million - Inception
Inception is Leonardo DiCaprio's highest rated film on IMDB and the actor was director Christopher Nolan's first and only choice for the lead role. The movie also contains a subtle easter egg of one of DiCaprio's previous films. At one point, DiCaprio's character states "Extradition between France and the United States is a bureaucratic nightmare." In Catch Me if You Can, DiCaprio's character Frank Abagnale Jr. is arrested in France and extradited to the United States.
$2,128 million - Titanic
Titanic was the first movie to earn more than $1 billion worldwide and was the highest grossing film of all-time for 12 years. When James Cameron originally pitched Titanic to 20th Century Fox, he described it as "Romeo and Juliet on the Titanic." The studio initially wanted Matthew McConaughey to play Jack, but James Cameron insisted on Leonardo DiCaprio, who had starred in Romeo + Juliet the year before.