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Who's Better? Angelina Jolie vs. Charlize Theron

Updated on May 20, 2017

TALE OF THE TAPE

Angelina Jolie
vs.
Charlize Theron
June 4, 1975
Birthdate
August 7, 1975
40
Age
40
Los Angeles, California, USA
Birthplace
Benoni, Transvaal Province, South Africa
5'6 1/2"
Height
5'9 3/4"
115 lbs.
Weight
135 lbs.
36-23-35
Vital Statistics
36-24-36

INTRODUCTION

In the second instalment of Who’s Better?, we take a closer look at the careers of two of Hollywood’s most beautiful women to see who is better than the other. Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron’s movie careers, in the roles they play, are almost identical to one another. They are both married (and separated) to actor husbands and they found a connection in their humanitarian work outside of acting which developed into friendship. But, while the similarities are there, whose career is better has been thrown usually in the conversation.

Much more than just an oral debate, we place them side-by-side and look at the data from their bodies of work such as: movie ratings, box-office results, and consensus reports, and fill 7 categories. Each category is placed in a fantasy sports-style table to show who has the most edges and be declared as the winner.

Who's your bet to win?

See results

CATEGORY 1:

THE MOVIES

They came into public consciousness, not as pretty girls, but already as gorgeous women. Jolie catered to the fantasies of men, blew up the hot meter in her reign as sexiest woman on the planet. Theron, on the other hand, crowned herself too, as the one and only woman of your dreams. Early on, their movies were defined by their faces and their glamour. And during the course of their careers, their characters became more independent and strong-willed, eventually graduating from being objects of beauty to more mature-themed roles.

How scores are computed: First, we gather 10 of their highest rated movies as based on the ratings from the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) and Rotten Tomatoes. The two scores for each are combined to get one average, then added to the rest of the other movies’ averages. The actress gets a total average for all 10 of her best movies.

Angelina Jolie

To say that Jolie has ever been under the shadows of her actor father Jon Voight is a misconception. Even though she had her debut at age 5 in Lookin’ to Get Out (1982), a movie which starred Voight, it was her actress mother Marcheline Bertrand that inspired her to pursue acting. This, plus her indifference to her father made her a woman on her own, motivated to succeed. And this came with a role in Hackers (1995), which sort of became her signature: the pretty punk looker. Following her lauded role as Gia (1998), and her Best Supporting Actress win for Girl, Interrupted (1999), Jolie became the hottest actress in two fronts: as the sexiest actress and the most bankable. She has about 50 full length films to date and has concentrated her time to a career in directing.

10 Best Angelina Jolie Movies

Movie
Director
IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Scores=Average
A Mighty Heart (2007)
Michael Winterbottom
67/79=73
Changeling (2008)
Clint Eastwood
78/62=70
Wanted (2008)
Timur Bekmambetov
67/72=69.5
Beowulf (2007)
Robert Zemeckis
63/71=67
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
Kerry Conran
61/72=66.5
Playing By Heart (1998)
Willard Carroll
72/60=66
Girl, Interrupted (1999)
James Mangold
73/54=63.5
Salt (2010)
Philip Noyce
64/62=63
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
Doug Liman
65/59=62
The Good Shepherd (2006)
Robert DeNiro
67/54=60.5
 
Total (Average):
66.1

Charlize Theron

The South African-born model turned actress started her career as just another pretty face. In movies like The Devil’s Advocate (1997), Mighty Joe Young (1998), The Cider House Rules (1999), and Sweet November (2001), Theron became the new yardstick for beauty, her height obviously adding to her favor. Add that Vanity Fair magazine labeled her as a “White Hot Venus” in its cover, Theron was put on the pedestal of gorgeous A-list actresses. But, the god-like beauty showed she can act with the best of them in Monster (2003), a scary method turn playing a notorious real-life serial killer, followed by several dramatic acting in serious movies, Theron re-invented herself as an actress of undeniable talent and range. After Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), she slowed down for awhile before returning with a vengeance in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). After 35+ movies, she again, is peaking and better than ever.

10 Best Charlize Theron Movies

Movie
Director
IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Scores=Average
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
George Miller
81/97=89
That Thing You Do! (1996)
Tom Hanks
69/93=81
Monster (2003)
Patty Jenkins
73/82=77.5
The Road (2009)
John Hillcoat
73/75=74
The Cider House Rules (1999)
Lasse Hallstrom
74/71=72.5
In the Valley of Elah (2007)
Paul Haggis
72/73=71.5
The Italian Job (2003)
F.Gary Gray
70/73=71.5
Young Adult (2011)
Jason Reitman
63/80=71.5
Prometheus (2012)
Ridley Scott
70/73=71.5
The Devil's Advocate (1997)
Taylor Hackford
76/66=70.5
 
Total (Average):
75.2
Theron and Hardy didn't get along while filiming Mad Mad: Fury Road, and that made their roles even better with the intensity.
Theron and Hardy didn't get along while filiming Mad Mad: Fury Road, and that made their roles even better with the intensity.

THE MOVIES BOX SCORES

Angelina Jolie
Charlize Theron
66.1 (ave. rating)
75.2 (ave. rating)

The results

Jolie’s two top rated movies are the biopics A Mighty Heart (2007) and Changeling (2008) which have 73 and 70 percentage ratings respectively. Theron’s best movie is Mad Max: Fury Road, which is the no.1 ranked movie of 2015 on Rotten Tomatoes with 97%. That Thing You Do! (1996), directed by Tom Hanks, is her second best rated with 81. These are the two movies of Theron’s that rated 80+ while Jolie has none. In fact, Jolie’s highest rated A Mighty Heart at 73, is nearly Theron’s lowest rated best movie, which is The Devil’s Advocate (1997) with 70.5. That alone would sum up this category which Charlize wins by a large margin.

EDGE: THERON

CATEGORY 2:

THE ROLES

These are the characters that Angelina Jolie and Charlize Theron were born to play: Beauties and bad-asses. In this category, we list 5 of their best roles and compare.

How scores are computed: First, how roles are chosen—its a combination of greatest or best roles/characters and best performances as collected from various dependable lists on the internet. Appearances of those roles in lists are then tallied to give the actor an overall score. So, its basically a numbers game.

Charlize Theron

5 Best Theron Roles

Role
Movie
Mary Ann Lomax
The Devil's Advocate (1997)
Aileen Wournos
Monster (2003)
Josey Aimes
North Country (2007)
Mavis Gray
Young Adult (2011)
Imperator Furiosa
Mad Max: Fury Road (2011)

Theron and the ugly side of beauty

Theron has repeated during interviews that being beautiful doesn’t necessarily get you the best roles. Or as she described them, roles with “gravitas.” If you’re a stunning 6-foot blonde model in heels in Hollywood, you get stuck with 6-foot blonde model roles in heels. But, not Charlize. She had to gain weight, lose her eyebrows, wear boots and practically be “ugly” to get the role of America’s most notorious female serial killer Aileen Wournous in Monster (2003), in which she won an Academy Award for Best Actress. A method-to-the-most, gravitas-filled acting turn many critics are still feeling to this day. Then there was Mad Max: Fury Road in which Theron shaved her head, wore black make-up and lost an arm (although, in CG). As Imperator Furiosa, she drove a truck towards damnation and was the most kick-ass heroine since Aliens’ Ripley, as far as anyone would remember. The thing is, the Mad Max movie is really about Theron’s character, that she even has the character’s name on the title.

Imperator Furiosa and Aileen Wournos are among Theron’s five best roles, together with three others that aren’t exactly glamorous. Only in The Devil’s Advocate, playing Keanu Reeves’ wife, was she dressed for the part of gorgeous leading lady, still, she had to put on her horns there with her character being seduced by Pacino’s devil. So, in other words, Theron’s best roles are the ones where she had to be perfectly imperfect.

Angelina Jolie

5 Best Jolie Roles

Role
Movie
Gia Carangi
Gia (1998)
Lisa
Girl, Interrupted (1998)
Mariane Pearl
A Mighty Heart (2007)
Christine Collins
Changeling (2008)
Evelyn Salt
Salt (2010)

Angelina, the real and make believe

With her pouty lips, physical attributes and attitude, Jolie was bound to play exaggerated versions of herself. In portraying broken-down women in Gia (1998) and Girl, Interrupted (1999), Jolie didn’t have to go far than her own experiences. Physically, she’s a perfect fit for the fantasy comic-book heroine in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), Sky Captain and the Word of Tomorrow (2004), Wanted (2008), and Maleficent (2014). In the land of make-believe, she is the female alpha and doesn’t second-bill to any other actress. The only one who came close was Gwyneth Paltrow in Sky Captain, still, Jolie was the one who wore a uniform.

But, Jolie broke free from being typcast as an action hottie, she also revelled in playing real-life women in biopics like George Wallace (1997), The Good Shepherd (2006), A Mighty Heart (2007), and Changeling (2008). Although criticized for her whitewashed role in A Mighty Heart, she was the only choice of the real Mariane Pearl and Jolie turned in perhaps, the best performance of her career, earning nominations from numerous award-giving organizations. These are the roles that turned out to be closer to Jolie’s heart and played a big part in her other role as a humanitarian. Incidentally, it was while filming Lara Croft in Cambodia that opened her eyes to world problems. Her character went there seeking for treasures and the actress returned with a new found purpose in life.

THE ROLES BOX SCORES

Angelina Jolie
No. of appearances
Charlize Theron
No. of appearances
Gia Carangi (Gia)
5
Mary Ann Lomax (The Devil's Advocate)
5
Lisa (Girl, Interrupted)
5
Aileen Wournos (Monster)
10
Mariane Pearl (A Mighty Heart)
5
Josey Aimes (North Country)
3
Christine Collins (Changeling)
3
Mavis Gray (Young Adult)
5
Evelyn Salt (Salt)
3
Imperator Furiosa (Mad Max: Fury Road)
4
TOTAL
21
TOTAL
27
They both played supermodels in their movies, but Jolie is tops with Gia (1998)
They both played supermodels in their movies, but Jolie is tops with Gia (1998)

The results

In 10 internet lists that cite Theron’s best character performances, her role in Monster (2003) was in all of them. Not only is Monster one of the best performances of the 2000s, or one of the best Oscar-winning performances regardless of gender, it was one of the best performances by an actress, ever. She outscores Jolie by 6 points and gets the edge in this category.

EDGE: THERON

CATEGORY 3:

AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

Every actress’ dream is to be recognized for her acting and this comes in the form of an award, the most coveted being the Academy Award. This is the fulfillment of all the hard work put into a role and the movie. In this category, we’ve chosen 11 major award-giving bodies to which scores were based. Aside from the Oscars, other award-giving bodies include the British Academy of Films Awards, the Golden Globes, the National Board of Review, the Screen Actors Guild, as well as several critics societies.

How scores are computed: It’s the number of times an actress was nominated and won in an acting category. A breakdown is given separately for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories. Totals for wins and nominations for each actress are shown side by side to see who has the advantage.

For the record, Jolie wore a Marc Bouwer gown during Oscar night 2000.
For the record, Jolie wore a Marc Bouwer gown during Oscar night 2000.

Jolie's Oscar

In an award category that could be snatched by 10 or 11 year olds*, Jolie got her Oscar Best Supporting Actress trophy for Girl, Interrupted when she was only 24 years old. This is, by all accounts, still young despite the 14 year difference from the youngest recipient. Only two other awardees are younger, Patty Duke and Anne Baxter.** This is a big deal, especially for a rebel rouser (at the time, before Brangelina) like Jolie, who, during Oscar night created a bit of a buzz when she kissed her brother James Haven in the mouth and thanked him in her acceptance speech. But, roles like Girl, Interrupted never happened again, it will be 9 years before Jolie gets nominated again, and for a mature role. Her lone acting Oscar could be destined to be lonely forever.

* Tatum O’ Neal in Paper Moon, 1974 and Anna Paquin in The Piano, 1994
** Duke won for The Miracle Worker, 1963 and Baxter for The Razor’s Edge, 1947

Watch Angelina Jolie's acceptance speech for Oscar Best Supporting Actress

The 73rd Academy Awards

Angelina Jolie Oscar Awards & Nominations

Movie
Category
Result
Girl, Interrupted (1999)
Best Supporting Actress
WON
Changeling (2008)
Best Actress
NOMINATED
Just as well, Theron was wearing a Gucci gown during 2004's Oscar night.
Just as well, Theron was wearing a Gucci gown during 2004's Oscar night.

Theron's Oscar

“One of the greatest performance in the history of cinema,” quipped Roger Ebert. Theron’s performance and subsequent Oscar Best actress win for Monster (2003) was monumental. Although her competition that year was quite slim: Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whale Rider), Diane Keaton (Something’s Gotta Give), Samantha Morton (In America), and Naomi Watts (21 Grams). I mean, c’mon, right? But, in any other year, Monster would have won anyway. Critics like Ebert, have crowned it as the best performance of the decade. Among the 2000s Best Actress winners, it would still place on top of Julia Roberts (Erin Brockovich, 2000), Halle Berry (Monster’s Ball, 2001), Nicole Kidman (The Hours, 2002), Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby, 2004), Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line, 2005), Helen Mirren (The Queen, 2006), Marion Cotillard (La vie en rose, 2007), Kate WInslet (The Reader, 2008), and Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side, 2009).

Theron’s next Best Actress nomination came just two years later, in North Country (2005), and she has been a no-show at the Academy nomination block until the present. Oscar jinx? Some would say, but, Theron’s success in Mad Max: Fury Road may yet turn the tide in her favor.

Watch Charlize Theron's acceptance speech for Oscar Best Actress

The 76th Academy Awards

Charlize Theron Oscar Awards & Nominations

Movie
Category
Result
Monster (2003)
Best Actress
WON
North Country (2005)
Best Actress
NOMINATED

ACADEMY AWARDS (THE OSCARS) SCORE SHEET

 
Angelina Jolie
Charlize Theron
Best Actress Wins
0
1
Best Actress Nominations
1
2
Best Supporting Actress Wins
1
0
Best Supporting Actress Nominations
1
0
TOTAL (W/N)
1/2
1/2
In North Country (2005), Theron acted beside Frances McDormand. Her bid for another Oscar Best Actress fell short against Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line).
In North Country (2005), Theron acted beside Frances McDormand. Her bid for another Oscar Best Actress fell short against Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line).

Oscar re-cap

Both are tied with 1 win and 2 nominations apiece. But, we’ll give a slight nod to Theron here since, by standards, the Best Actress category outweighs a Best Supporting Actress category. Something to consider should it result in a tie after the other awards are tallied, which we’ll see below.

OTHER AWARDS SCORE SHEET

Award (Wins/Nominations)
Angelina Jolie
Charlize Theron'
BAFTA
0/1
0/2
Golden Globe
3/6
1/4
Screen Actors Guild
2/4
1/3
National Board of Review
1/1
1/1
Berlin International Film Festival
0/0
1/1
Los Angeles FIlm Critics Circle
0/0
0/1
National Society of Film Critics
0/0
0/1
New York Film Critics Circle
0/0
1/1
Chicago Film Critics
0/3
1/2
Critics Choice Movie Awards
1/3
2/4
Emmys
0/2
0/0
TOTAL
7/20
8/20

AWARDS & NOMINATIONS BOX SCORES

 
Angelina Jolie
Charlize Theron
Academy Awards
1/2
1/2
Other awards
7/20
8/20
TOTAL
8/22
9/22

The results

Tied in the Oscar race, Jolie and Theron looked to have the same numbers again when the other awards scores were tallied. For Jolie, Girl, Interrupted won thrice at the Golden Globes, Screen Actor’s Guild and the Critics Choice Movie Awards; Playing By Heart won at the National Board of Review, and her TV movies George Wallace and Gia won at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild, adding another 6 wins giving her a total of 7 with 20 nominations.

Theron tied Jolie’s 7 wins with just her performance in Monster which won at the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, National Board of Review, Berlin International Film Festival, New York Film Critics Circle, Chicago Film Critics and Critics Choice Movie Awards. But, a surprise win by Mad Max: Fury Road in the Critics Choice Movie Awards gave her a one point edge.

EDGE: THERON

Mad Max: Fury Road BLACK & CHROME EDITION

CATEGORY 4:

THE BOX-OFFICE

The Box-Office category will show which actress has the most drawing power based on their movies’ receipts. First, we get their ten best movies as listed in Category 1 and add in their 5 highest grossing movies not on that list for a total of 15 movies. It is important that only movies in which the actress is the main character, or if in a supporting role, has ample screen time, should be selected. Animated movies are not included since, we believe, people (especially kids) go to see them without really knowing who the voice actors are. Makes everything fair that we concentrate on actual appearances with acting.

How scores are computed: For each of their 15 movies, we gather data of its Adjusted Domestic earnings, then sum it up to get a total Average Box-Office take. The actress with the highest average gets the edge.

Why Domestic and not Worldwide Box-Office results? Two reasons. One, accuracy. Domestic results are more or less, accurate, and international box-office results are prone to exaggeration and other factors that affect accuracy. Two, some movies were not shown internationally that data were not available.(Source: www.ultimatemovierankings.com)

CHARLIZE THERON'S BOX-OFFICE NUMBERS

Movie
Adjusted Domestic Box-Office in Millions
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
153,470,000
That Thing You Do! (1996)
47,900,000
Monster (2003)
46,300,000
The Road (2009)
8,900,000
The Cider House Rules (1999)
92,600,000
In the Valley of Elah (2007)
8,100,000
The Italian Job (2003)
237,100,000
Young Adult (2011)
17,100,000
Prometheus (2012)
129,100,000
The Devil's Advocate (1997)
108,000,000
Hancock (2008)
257,400,000
Fate of the Furious (2017)
211,099,000
Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
158,300,000
Mighty Joe Young (1998)
87,700,000
Men of Honor (2000)
73,900,000
TOTAL
$1,636,969,000
Average
$109,131,267
Charlize Theron was inducted to the Walk of Fame on September 29, 2005.
Charlize Theron was inducted to the Walk of Fame on September 29, 2005.

Theron's Star Power

Theron’s top 5 highest grossing movies were her action/adventure movies: Hancock (2008), The Italian Job (2003), Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) and Fate of the Furious (2017), combined for $1billion. In the era of the super blockbuster superhero movies, only Hancock was able to place in the top 10 of the highest grossers of its year. It placed at no.4 behind Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Iron Man and top movie, The Dark Knight. Overall, Theron’s 2010s movies did relatively well.

ANGELINA JOLIE'S BOX-OFFICE NUMBERS

Movie
Adjusted Domestic Box-Office in Millions
A Mighty Heart (2007)
10,600,000
Changeling (2008)
40,600,000
Wanted (2008)
151,800,000
Beowulf (2007)
196,400,000
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
49,500,000
Playing by Heart (1998)
6,500,000
Girl, Interrupted (1999)
46,300,000
Salt (2010)
121,800,000
Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
236,300,000
The Good Shepherd (2006)
73,900,000
Maleficent (2014)
241,100,000
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
188,400,000
Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
153,500,000
The Bone Collector (1999)
106,400,000
Lara Croft, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)
88,500,000
TOTAL
$1,711,600,000
Average
$114,106,667
Star overload. The most beautiful power couple's net worth is $385 million.
Star overload. The most beautiful power couple's net worth is $385 million.

Jolie's Star Power

Jolie’s own top five were action/adventures, topped by Maleficent (2014) with $241 million, together with her next top four, namely Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Beowulf (2007), Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), and Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) made $1 billion collectively. Maleficent did very well in the US Box-Office, finishing at no.8 above X-Men: Days of Future Past and Big Hero 6 and just below Transformers: Age of Extinction. The no.1 movie domestically was American Sniper. This goes to show that Jolie is still a big box-office draw.

THE BOX-OFFICE BOX SCORES

Angelina Jolie
Charlize Theron
$114,106,667
$109,131,267
Ave. Domestic Box-Office earnings/movie
Ave. Domestic Box-Office earnings/movie
SOURCE: www.ultimatemovierankings.com

The results

Angelina Jolie and guns. Nothing is more sexier. And moviegoers rushed to see her in action. Her $114 million average gross beat Theron’s $109 million. A close fight.

EDGE: JOLIE

CATEGORY 5:

THE FLOPS

They may be perfect, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t prone to making bad decisions when it comes to choosing movie projects. Both Jolie and Theron have their shares of mediocre movies, box-office disasters and roles that didn’t fit them like their wonderful dresses do. This is the category that exposes their bad angles.

How scores are computed: We’ll re-visit three previous categories: best films, best roles and box-office gains and gather data that are the reverse: 5 worst rated films, 5 awfully bad roles and 5 box-office bombs. Again, we’ll go to IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes to see which movies rated the lowest, look at the box-office numbers to know which movies tanked, and finally, search the Razzies to see which actresses were nominated as well as lists that show which of their roles are their worst. The score sheets will then have three sub-categories with the actress having the most edges, wins.

Sub-category 1: WORST MOVIES

It is unavoidable to not make bad movies when you’re just starting. Usually, they’re low-budget, shot in weeks starring no name stars. Charlize Theron had her debut in a bit part in Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (1995) while Angelina Jolie’s sophomore movie was Cyborg 2 (1993), a movie that was so murdered by critics, it left Jolie in tears. We start off with Jolie and Theron’s worst rated movies as based on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes ratings.

5 Worst Angelina Jolie Movies

Movie
Director
IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Scores=Average
Cyborg 2 (1993)
Michael Schroeder
38/19=28.5
Without Evidence (1996)
Gill Dennis
43/25=34
Playing God (1997)
Andy Wilson
56/13=34.5
Alexander (2004)
Oliver Stone
55/16=35.5
Original Sin (2001)
Michael Cristofer
60/12=36
 
Total (Average)
33.7

5 Worst Charlize Theron Movies

Movie
Director
IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Scores=Average
Aeon Flux (2005)
Karyn Kusama
55/10=32.5
Waking Up in Reno (2002)
Jordan Brady
55/13=34
The Astronaut's Wife (1999)
Randy Ravich
53/16=34.5
Sleepwalking (2008)
William Maher
62/17=39.5
Trapped (2002)
Luis Mandoki
62/18=40
 
Total (Average)
36.1
Charlize Theron Waking up in Reno (2002) with Patrick Swayze. Hey, this could be watchable after all.
Charlize Theron Waking up in Reno (2002) with Patrick Swayze. Hey, this could be watchable after all.

Worst movies re-cap

The worst movie of the two is Jolie’s Cyborg 2, one of the most unwatchable movies of 1993—the year that also gave us the cringe-binge Weekend at Bernie’s II, Boxing Helena, Body of Evidence, and Surf Ninjas. Theron’s Aeon Flux (2005) came in second. This is a movie that really disappointed fans of the MTV cult animated series.

For Jolie, it was her early 90s films that sucked versus Theron’s mostly early 2000s failures, which is understandable, and she lost by only a narrow margin.

Sub-category 2: BOX-OFFICE BOMBS

Unfortunately, for these two bombshells, some of their movies bombed heavily at the box-office. Apparently, not all of Jolie and Theron’s movies were surefire hits, there were those that just didn’t click with the audience.

CHARLIZE THERON'S TOP 5 BOX-OFFICE BOMBS

Movie
Budget ($)
Domestic Gross ($)
Losses ($)
The Astronaut's Wife (1999)
75,000,000
17,100,000
-57,900,000
The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)
80,000,000
46,300,000
-33,700,000
Aeon Flux (2005)
65,000,000
32,500,000
-32,500,000
The Yards (2000)
24,000,000
1,600,000
-22,400,000
The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001)
33,000,000
10,600,000
-22,400,000
Total
277,000,000
108,100,000
-$33,780,000

ANGELINA JOLIE'S TOP 5 BOX-OFFICE BOMBS

Movie
Budget ($)
Domestic Gross ($)
Losses ($)
Alexander (2004)
155,000,000
44,700,000
-110,300,000
The Tourist (2010)
100,000,000
69,000,000
-31,000,000
Beyond Borders (2003)
35,000,000
5,700,000
-29,300,000
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
70,000,000
49,500,000
-20,500,000
Life, or Something Like It (2002)
40,000,000
20,300,000
-19,700,000
TOTAL
400,000,000
189,200,000
-$42,160,000
Like The Astronaut's Wife (1999), the pairing of Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp in The Tourist (2010) just didn't click as well.
Like The Astronaut's Wife (1999), the pairing of Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp in The Tourist (2010) just didn't click as well.

Box-Office Bombs re-cap

In all fairness, Alexander (2004) whose box-office loss was $110 million, is not the biggest box-office disaster of all time. That reputation is still being held by Cutthroat Island (1995) and the more recent John Carter (2012). In truth, Alexander is a long ways in the pecking order. But, it certainly took the glamour out of Jolie’s competition with Theron, whose biggest box-office letdown is only about half of that amount, at $57.9 million, the movie The Astronaut’s Wife (1999).

Speaking of which, Charlize’s co-star in The Astronaut’s Wife was Johnny Depp, who also starred with Angelina in The Tourist (2010). Incidentally, both were big failures, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Depp never makes a movie with these two again.

The bottom line: Jolie’s 5 box-office bombs’ budget combined for $400 million and only grossed half of that amount, leaving her with a $42 million deficit versus Theron’s $33 million.

Sub-category 3: AWFULLY BAD ROLES

Then there were the roles that didn’t quite suit them or that something terrible happened that they forgot to act well. Or was it just for the paycheck?

5 Awfully Bad Jolie Roles

Role
Movie
Lara Croft
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
Julia Russell
Original Sin (2001)
Lanie Kerrigan
Life or Something Like It (2002)
Olympias
Alexander (2004)
Illenea Scott
Taking Lives (2004)

5 Awfully Bad Theron Roles

Role
Movie
Sara Deever
Sweet November (2001)
Candy Kirkendall
Waking Up in Reno (2002)
Aeon Flux
Aeon Flux (2005)
Mary Embrey
Hancock (2008)
Anna
A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)

Awfully Bad Roles Box Scores

Angelina Jolie
No. of appearances in lists
Charlize Theron
No. of appearances in lists
Lara Croft
2
Sara Deever
1
Julia Russell
2
Candy Kirkendall
1
Lanie Kerrigan
2
Aeon Flux
4
Olympias
2
Mary Embrey
1
Illenea Scott
1
Anna
2
Total
9
Total
9
Aeon Flux (2005) was voted as one of the worst superhero movies ever.
Aeon Flux (2005) was voted as one of the worst superhero movies ever.

Awfully bad roles re-cap

Angelina Jolie’s choice to play Lara Croft was initially met with raised eyebrows from die-hard fans who wanted a more incredibly bosomed actress (what?!), plus that Jolie is not British and had to act with an accent--an effort, found by many as one of the worst ever.

But, since Tomb Raider did well, Jolie was deemed as just "a-ok," thus, a sequel. Not so for Charlize Theron and her super heroine bid as Aeon Flux. Theron’s intense training for the part, including being coached Cirque du Soliel-style trampoline, was for naught. Though the Flux costume is jaw-dropping, many thought Aeon Flux the movie and role, was the lowest point of Theron's career.

Croft and Flux are the roles often mentioned as the two's bad choices after winning their Oscar awards. The others were just terrible choices the Razzies happened to agree with. Jolie and Theron have equal shares of awfully bad roles, and the result is a tie.

THE FLOPS BOX-SCORES

 
Angelina Jolie
Chralize Theron
Edge
Worst Movies
33.7 (ave.rating/movie)
36.1 (ave.rating/movie)
THERON
Box-Office Bombs
$42,160,000 (ave./movie)
$33,780,000 (ave./movie)
THERON
Awfully Bad Roles
9 (appearances in lists)
9 (appearances in lists)
TIE
 
 
FINAL EDGE
THERON (2) / JOLIE (0)
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004) looked more expensive than its reported $70 million budget. Still, it fell from the sky and crash landed with $20.5 million in damages.
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004) looked more expensive than its reported $70 million budget. Still, it fell from the sky and crash landed with $20.5 million in damages.

The results

It was nearly a landslide with Theron getting the edge in Worst Movies and Box-Office Bombs. Her five Worst Movies are, well, less awful with an average rating of 36.1 to Jolie’s 33.7. Likewise, with her Box-Office Bombs faring better than Jolie’s. Then they got tied with each scoring 9 in the Awfully Bad Roles sub-category. With 2 edges for Theron, she climbs further in this contest with this win.

EDGE: THERON

CATEGORY 6:

OTHER SKILLS

Long ago, in the era of musicals, studio bosses were always on the lookout for talents who could act as well as sing and dance. It was a prerequisite in Hollywood auditions. Nowadays, they just cast a recording artist and hope she could act. Some actresses turn out to be singing sensations midway in their careers. For who knew that Anna Kendrick, Reese Witherspoon, Amanda Seyfried and Scarlett Johansson are talented enough as singers they could make a music album.

Then there are those actresses who could also direct a movie as well as write screenplays. In this category, we’ll decide which actress has other skills besides acting. There are 7 sub-categories: Directing, Producing, Writing, Voice Talent, Music, TV, and Broadway.

How scores are computed: There are 7 sub-categories, namely Directing, Writing, Producing, Voice Talent, Music, TV Acting, and Broadway. In Directing, movies are scored based on their IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes average ratings. The other 6 sub-categories are scored through a battle of numbers. The score sheet is divided into 7 of these sub-categories and points are assigned to each to see which actress has the edge. Whoever has the more edges in the total tally, wins.

Directed by Angelina Jolie

Movie
A Place in Time (2007) Documentary
In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011)
Unbroken (2014)
By the Sea (2015)
Jolie directs husband Brad Pitt in By the Sea (2015), a movie she also wrote and starred-in.
Jolie directs husband Brad Pitt in By the Sea (2015), a movie she also wrote and starred-in.

OTHER SKILLS SUB-CATEGORIES

1) DIRECTING. This is Jolie’s category by default. She already has four full-length features under her belt. The average IMDB/RT rating of her movies is 52%, which is fairly good. Theron has yet to direct one.

EDGE: JOLIE.

2) WRITING. Jolie has written two movies: In the Land of Blood and Honey (2011), and her recent movie with husband Pitt, By the Sea (2015). Theron has yet to pen a screenplay.

EDGE: JOLIE.

3) PRODUCING. Theron has Producer credits for Monster, the documentary East of Havana (2006), Sleepwalking (2008), The Burning Plain (2008), and Dark Places (2015). She was Executive Producer for the TV Mini-series Hatfield & McCoys which starred Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton.

Jolie produced most of the movies she directed. She was Executive Producer of Maleficent, Difret (2014), and the documentary Trudell (2005). They both have 7 production credits.

EDGE: NONE.

4) VOICE TALENT. Jolie was the voice of Tigress in the animated movie franchise Kung Fu Panda, and also played the character Lola in Shark Tale (2004). Theron was in the cast of the animated movie Astro Boy (2009) and guest-starred in an episode of the TV stop-motion animation series Robot Chicken.

EDGE: JOLIE.

5) MUSIC. Jolie performed songs in Girl, Interrupted (1999), Beyond Borders (2003), and Beowulf (2007). Theron has no singing performance in her films.

EDGE: JOLIE.

6) TV ACTING. Theron played the actress Britt Ekland in the TV movie The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (2004). She also appeared in another TV movie called Hollywood Confidential, and was a recurring guest character in the hit series Arrested Development.

Jolie won acting awards in the TV movies George Wallace (1997) and Gia (1998). She also was in the cast of the TV mini-series True Women (1997). Theron and Jolie are tied with 3 credits each.

EDGE. NONE

7) BROADWAY. They have no Broadway acting credits.

EDGE. NONE.

Charlize Theron played the actress Britt Ekland to Geoffrey Rush's Peter Sellers.
Charlize Theron played the actress Britt Ekland to Geoffrey Rush's Peter Sellers.

OTHER SKILLS BOX SCORES

Sub-category
Angelina Jolie
Charilze Theron
Edge
Directing
4 full-length movies
0 movies
JOLIE
Writing
2 movies
0 movies
JOLIE
Producing
7 movies
7 movies/TV Mini Series
NONE
Voice Talent
7 movies/TV
2 movies/TV
JOLIE
Music
3 musical performances in movies
0
JOLIE
TV Acting
3 TV movies
3 TV movies/TV series
NONE
Broadway
0
0
NONE
 
 
TOTAL
JOLIE (4) / THERON (0)
 
 
FINAL EDGE
JOLIE
Jolie played the character Tigress in the Kung-Fu Panda animated movies.
Jolie played the character Tigress in the Kung-Fu Panda animated movies.

The results

The multi-talented Jolie dominates in this category, getting the edge in 4 sub-categories: Directing, Writing, Voice Talent, and Music. She and Theron are tied in 3 other more: Producing, TV Acting and Broadway. Jolie wins easy 4-0.

EDGE: JOLIE

CATEGORY 7:

LEGACY

Legacy is what the actress has accomplished in a lifetime in films. The diversity of directors she has worked with. All the other wonderful and likewise, great actors and actresses she has acted with in movies. All these define her legacy.*

How scores are computed: There are 3 sub-categories: 1) the directors the actresses worked with, 2) other great actors they’ve worked with, and 3) other great actresses they've worked with. We’ll once again, look at Jolie and Theron’s filmography and list all the notable directors and actors.**

In each sub-category, there are up to 4 tiers ranking directors and actors. Each actress gets the following score: TIER 1 - 4 points, TIER 2 - 3 points, TIER 3 - 2 points, and TIER 4 - 1 point. Whoever has more edges in the final count, is the winner in the category.

*a more detailed explanation can be found in the Who’s Better? #1: Robert DeNiro vs. Jack Nicholson.
** based on various internet lists. We've ranked the best directors from the 90s-00s based on their output in those eras and their legacy. For actors, its a combination of experience, acting awards and star power.

Sub-category 1: DIRECTORS THEY'VE WORKED WITH

Throughout their careers which started in the 90s, both Jolie and Theron have worked with some of the best directors from two eras: old school and new school directors.

DIRECTORS SCORE SHEET

 
Angelina Jolie
Charlize Theron
TIER 1
Clint Eastwood
Ridley Scott
 
Hal Ashby
Woody Allen
TIER 2
John Frankenheimer
John Frankenheimer
 
Oliver Stone
 
TIER 3
Doug Liman
Jason Reitman
 
MIke Newell
George Miller
 
Robert Zemeckis
Lasse Halstrom
TIER 4
Jan De Bont
James Gray
 
Martin Campbell
John Hillcoat
 
Michael Winterbottom
Karyn Kusama
 
James Mangold
Paul Haggis
 
Robert De Niro
Peter Berg
 
Florian Von Donnersmarck
Robert Redford
 
Simon West
F Gary Gray
 
Timur Bekmambetov
 
TOTAL
28
24
Angelina Jolie and director Clint Eastwood on the set of Changeling (2008)
Angelina Jolie and director Clint Eastwood on the set of Changeling (2008)

Directors they've worked with re-cap

There is a wide variety of directors Jolie and Theron have worked with. And although they’ve worked with the same directors on several occasions. The top tiered directors for Jolie are Clint Eastwood and Oliver Stone, while for Theron, they are Ridley Scott and Woody Allen. Jolie has two more directors on the list and gets the advantage.

Sub-category 2: ACTORS THEY'VE WORKED WITH

As two of the most popular female stars, Jolie and Theron have a long string of leading men throughout their careers.

In romantic comedies and action thrillers, Charlize Theron has shared top billings with Keanu Reeves, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Johnny Depp. She’s a nightmare to be paired with because most of the time, she’s taller than her leading man.

For Angelina Jolie, it’s a different story. She was not made for romantic movies. Her leading men are usually the ones she’s trying to escape from or trying to kill.

ACTORS SCORE SHEET

 
Angelina Jolie
Charlize Theron
TIER 1
Anthony Hopkins
Al Pacino
 
Denzel Washington
Leonardo DiCaprio
 
Robert DeNiro
Robert DeNiro
 
Nicolas Cage
Tom Hanks
 
Robert Duvall
Robert Duvall
 
 
Liam Neeson
 
 
Will Smith
TIER 2
Brad Pitt
Ben Affleck
 
Matt Damon
Matt Damon
 
Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp
 
Morgan Freeman
Geoffrey Rush
 
Sean Connery
Michael Caine
 
John Malkovich
Mark Wahlberg
 
William Hurt
Tommy Lee Jones
 
Eddie Redmayne
Edward Norton
 
 
Keanu Reeves
TIER 3
Alec Baldwin
Jack Lemmon
 
Antonio Banderas
JK Simmons
 
Billy Bob Thornton
Billy Bob Thornton
 
Chiwetel Ejiofor
Joaquin Phoenix
 
Colin Farrell
Kenneth Branagh
 
Daniel Craig
Michael Fassbender
 
Ethan Hawke
Viggo Mortensen
 
Jared Leto
Woody Allen
 
John Cusack
 
 
Jude Law
 
TIER 4
Christopher Plummer
Idris Elba
 
Joe Pesci
James Caan
 
Timothy Hutton
Dennis Hopper
 
Jack Palance
Cuba Gooding Jr.
 
Val Kilmer
Donald Sutherland
 
Jon Voight
Joe Pesci
 
 
Tom Hardy
 
 
Kevin Bacon
 
 
Woody Harrelson
TOTAL
70
80
Keanu wooed Charlize in Sweet November (2001) and also, after the movie ended.
Keanu wooed Charlize in Sweet November (2001) and also, after the movie ended.

Actors they've worked with re-cap

Jolie is the star of her movies. The titular character in movies like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), Lara Croft, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003), Salt (2010), and Maleficent (2014). Theron’s movies, on the other hand, are those with a big ensemble, like Celebrity (1998), The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001), The Italian Job (2003), Battle in Seattle (2007), and Prometheus (2012). This gave Theron more opportunity to work with a lot of good actors and thus, wins this sub-category 33-29.

Sub-category 3: ACTRESSES THEY'VE WORKED WITH

They also worked with a wide variety of great actresses. A collection of veterans, peers, and upcoming stars.

ACTRESSES SCORE SHEET

 
Angelina Jolie
Charlize Theron
TIER 1
Cate Blanchett
Faye Dunaway
 
Gwyneth Paltrow
Helen Hunt
TIER 2
Anne Hathaway
Jennifer Lawrence
 
Gena Rowlands
Kim Basinger
 
 
Louise Fletcher
 
 
Susan Sarandon
 
 
Sissy Spacek
 
 
Frances McDormand
TIER 3
Whoopi Goldberg
Emily Watson
 
Vanessa Redgrave
Melanie Griffith
 
 
Jessica Chastain
 
 
Kristen Stewart
 
 
Emily Blunt
TIER 4
Ann-Margret
Vera Farmiga
 
Ellen Burstyn
Ellen Burstyn
 
Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder
 
 
Penelope Cruz
TOTAL
21
40
The girls of Girl, Interrupted (1999)
The girls of Girl, Interrupted (1999)

Actresses they've worked with re-cap

Same story, but with actresses. While Angelina Jolie, shared screen time with the likes of Winona Ryder, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Cate Blanchett, usually, the actresses she worked with were supporting her character. Theron too, shared billings with Frances McDormand, Kristen Stewart and Emily Blunt. And a whole lot more in the aforementioned ensemble movies. And that whole lot means she gets the edge here.

EDGE: Theron

LEGACY BOX SCORES

 
Angelina Jolie
Charlize Theron
Edge
Directors they've worked with
28
24
JOLIE
Actors they've worked with
70
80
THERON
Actresses they've worked with
21
40
THERON
 
 
TOTAL
JOLIE (1) / THERON (2)
 
 
FINAL EDGE
THERON

The results

The category easily favored Charlize Theron, getting the edges in actors and actresses by overwhelming margins. If you total them both, comes to a whooping 61 against 44. Theron has 17 more actors/actresses she has worked with than Jolie, a number that is practically unreachable. Jolie did get the narrow win in directors, but that doesn’t give her the edge in this category.

EDGE: THERON

Will it be Maleficent or Queen Ravenna?
Will it be Maleficent or Queen Ravenna?

THE FINALS

WHO'S BETTER? ANGELINA JOLIE OR CHARLIZE THERON?

This is the part where we say, “the envelope, please.” But before we announce the winner, Who’s Better? would like to thank two of the most beautiful and desirable actresses ever and all those wonderful movies of theirs. Thanks for being the eye candies that you are. Now, that we’ve reached the end, it is only fitting to take off our hats and pay tribute with videos of their best movie moments courtesy of watch-mojo.com:

Angelina Jolie

Charlize Theron

FINAL BOX-SCORES

Categories
Angelina Jolie
Charlize Theron
Edge
1: The Movies
66.1 (ave. rating)
75.2 (ave. rating)
Theron
2: The Roles
21 (list appearances)
27 (list appearances)
Theron
3: Awards & Nominations
8/22
9/22
Theron
4: The Box-Office
$114,106,667 (ave./movie)
$109,131,267 (ave./movie)
Jolie
5: The Flops
0 Edge
2 Edges
Theron
6: Other skills
5 Edges
0 Edge
Jolie
7: Legacy
1 Edge
2 Edges
Theron
 
 
TOTAL
Jolie (2) / Theron (5)
 
 
FINAL EDGE
THERON

WINNER: CHARLIZE THERON

Agree with the result?

See results

Finals re-cap.

A quick rundown of the 7 categories:

Category 1: THE FILMS. Theron’s “serious” drama films were better received by critics than those of Jolie’s, plus, the resurgence of director George Miller and Mad Max: Fury Road has a lot to do with it. At 89% average rating, Mad Max pushes Theron to a win. EDGE: THERON.

Category 2: THE ROLES. Such a role as Aileen Wournos doesn’t come often (yes, there aren’t many female serial killers in America, too) and Theron was waiting for it. It was an acting show that Jolie or even many of the best actresses working today, couldn’t touch. EDGE: THERON.

Category 3: AWARDS & NOMINATIONS. It was the closest contest in all of the categories and was decided by a single point. But, even if it did result in a tie, the weight of the win should still go to Theron if you compare the two’s Oscar winning performances. EDGE: THERON.

Category 4: THE BOX-OFFICE. Some of Angelina Jolie’s blockbuster movies were carried by her star power, and that is really saying a whole lot. I mean, would Beowulf have made that much if it wasn’t for her? Or if another actress had played Maleficent? Jolie will always be a big box-office draw. EDGE: JOLIE.

Category 5: THE FLOPS. A close contest, too. And Jolie would’ve fared better (even, won) if its not for that blasted Cyborg 2 and that epic disaster Alexander! EDGE: THERON.

Category 6: OTHER SKILLS. This is something Jolie had an early lead from the beginning. Her directing ventures have proven to be a glimmer of hope for her future. The WW2 true-to-life prison drama Unbroken (2014) got high marks in IMDB, but was so-so in Rotten Tomatoes. It is really a good movie. EDGE: JOLIE.

Category 7: LEGACY. It should have been a Jolie category, but Theron has been careful in choosing her projects and it led to so many opportunities to work with a lot of great people. On paper, she has built a better legacy for herself. EDGE: THERON.

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      john 11 days ago

      Both are very impressive! Anne Hathaway could whip both of them though because of her tremendous accomplishmentments as an actress and her super super beautiful super super strong body!

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