Brad Pitt is arguably the biggest star in the world -- or at least, the one with enough mystique to have us always wondering what he'll do next. The "World War Z" actor keeps the old notion that a single cast member can make or break a movie, the mere presence of the star acting as a keystone. And he's seemingly capable of anything: Comedy, drama, bit parts, larger-than-life roles -- in Pitt's hands, it all seems to work.
But the truth is, Pitt's stardom is something of a mirage conjured up by adoring fans. When it comes down to box office numbers -- the tangible evidence of an actor's or actress's audience draw -- Pitt leaves something to be desired. Stack him up against his contemporaries: On Box Office Mojo's index of top grossing actors (basing the statistics off of cumulative filmography totals), Pitt ranks 36th. He's never had a movie cross the $200 million mark domestically, unlike say, Will Smith (four films above $200 mil), Tom Cruise (three films), and Robert Downey Jr, whose Marvel appearances (and the "Sherlock Holmes" franchise) have given him five $200+ million films.
Pitt's made better movies than his aforementioned colleagues because he adeptly bounces from big to small films. Or it may not even be that big a leap -- he really bounces from medium-sized to small. Despite being the name that pops up when we consider A-listers, Pitt rarely dabbles in Hollywood's biggest tentpoles. Here's a look back at the star's brush with big-budget blockbusters (if we can call them that), as we ask the question: has he ever made a successful one?