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Who's Better? Ben Affleck vs. Matt Damon

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G. Jones has been an online writer for over 4 years. They are from Manila, Philippines and love writing about the entertainment industry.

whos-better-ben-affleck-vs-matt-damon

TALE OF THE TAPE

Ben Affleckvs.Matt Damon

August 15, 1972

Birthdate

October 8, 1970

47

Age

49

Berkeley, California, USA

Birthplace

Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

1.92 m

Height

1.78 m

98 kg.

Weight

84 kg.

INTRODUCTION

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Siegfried and Roy. Simon and Garfunkel.

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.

Like brothers from different mothers, the two are as inseparable as twins. They started in the movies in their early 20s, almost at the same time, humbly, as supporting characters, even uncredited roles as extras, but soon their road to stardom forked separately into two highly successful careers. Damon would be starring in the lead in a movie, and Affleck would answer back with his own. Now, in their 40s, they are two of the most popular actors working today.

In Who’s Better?, we take a look at the careers of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and see whose is better than the other. 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.

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 actor gets a total average for all 10 of his best movies.

THE MOVIES

Of late, Matt Damon is often found in sci-fi epics such as The Adjustment Bureau (2011), Elysium (2013), Interstellar (2014), and The Martian (2015) while Ben Affleck in crime/political thrillers The Town (2010), State of Play (2009), Argo (2012), and Gone Girl (2014). Seems like the trend they are going to, but in the past, they too have their shares of being leading men in romcoms and action movies. They both went to war (Saving Private Ryan, Pearl Harbor), put on period costumes (The Brothers Grimm, Shakespeare in Love), and appeared side-by-side in Kevin Smith movies. All in all, both Affleck and Damon have appeared in a myriad of genres, and that list goes on. In this first category, we take their 10 best rated movies and see who has the better numbers and gets the edge.

whos-better-ben-affleck-vs-matt-damon

Ben Affleck

“The guy’s a dick…” So said Wiley Wiggins in Richard LInklater’s Dazed and Confused (1993) in reference to Ben Affleck’s bully with a paddle O‘Bannion. A year earlier, Affleck played another bully in School Ties (1992)—the anti-semite who harassed Brendan Fraser. But, Affleck was quick to turn his evil grin into an endearing smile when he got the lead in Kevin Smith’s Chasing Amy (1997), playing comic book artist Holden McNeil. He continued being the good guy chasing the girl starting with Armageddon (1998), his homerun of a movie. But, what followed were critics-disasters one after another. It is not after picking up the reins as a director in the critically-loved Gone Baby Gone (2007) that Affleck was able to redeem himself. In 2012, Argo won Best Picture, and Affleck’s exclusion for the Best Director award was met with such objection, is further proof that Affleck is again being taken seriously as both an actor and as a filmmaker. Batman v Superman (2016) may have polarized fans and critics, but one thing is certain—that Affleck was again able to turn the tide by proving he was good in a role people initially thought he would mess-up. The Affleck doubters were left in shame.

whos-better-ben-affleck-vs-matt-damon

10 Best Ben Affleck Movies

MovieDirectorIMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Scores=Average

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Gus Van Sant

83/97=90

Argo (2012)

Ben Affleck

78/96=87

The Town (2010)

Ben Affleck

76/94=85

Gone Girl (2014)

David Fincher

81/88=84.5

Shakespeare in Love (1998)

John Madden

72/92=82

Chasing Amy (1997)

Kevin Smith

74/88=81

State of Play (2009)

Kevin MacDonald

71/84=77.5

Changing Lanes (2002)

Roger Michell

65/77=71

Dogma (1999)

Kevin Smith

74/67=70.5

Boiler Room (2000)

Ben Younger

70/67=68.5

 

Total (Average):

79.7

whos-better-ben-affleck-vs-matt-damon

Matt Damon

It was not hard for producers and directors to notice how good and intelligent an actor Matt Damon is with him getting important roles early in his career. He was cast in supporting roles in Geronimo: An American Legend (1993), Courage Under Fire (1996), and School Ties (1992). Even before his breakthrough in Good Will Hunting (1997), Damon was already given the lead in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Rainmaker (1997), showed Hollywood was confident he can be a great actor someday. And Damon had nothing to do but proved them right in his succeeding movies: Saving Private Ryan (1998), The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999) and The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000). Damon was a household name by the time he did Ocean’s Eleven (2001), and his popularity shot up with the Bourne series. With the advent of the 2000s, Damon was doing 2 movies a year and doubled it by the end of the decade, churning out good movies in pairs: The Departed and The Good Shepherd in 2006, Ocean’s 13 and The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007, Invictus and The Informant in 2009, Green Zone and True Grit in 2010. There’s no sign of him ever slowing down. His acclaimed performance in The Martian (2015), is his signal that he is on a mission to win an acting award.

whos-better-ben-affleck-vs-matt-damon

10 Best Matt Damon Movies

MovieDirectorIMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Scores=Average

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Gus Va Sant

83/97=90

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Steven Spielberg

86/92=89

The Departed (2006)

Martin Scorsese

85/91=88

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

Paul Greengrass

81/93=87

The Martian (2015)

Ridley Scott

81/92=86.5

True Grit (2010)

The Coen Brothers

77/96=86.5

The Bourne Identity (2002)

Doug Liman

79/83=81

Ocean's Eleven (2001)

Steven Soderbergh

78/82=80

The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

Paul Greengrass

78/81=79.5

Ford v Ferrari (2019)

James Mangold

81/92=86.5

 

Total (Average):

85.4

Damon rode with Jeff Bridges in the Coen Brothers' remake of True Grit (2010).

Damon rode with Jeff Bridges in the Coen Brothers' remake of True Grit (2010).

THE MOVIES BOX SCORES

 Average Rating

Ben Affleck

79.7

Matt Damon

85.5

EDGE

DAMON

The results

Affleck has it going well with three of his movies directed by him averaging 85+%, but then has a sudden drop of -6% in the last three rated movies which are Changing Lanes (2002), Dogma (1999) and Boiler Room (2000). That drop proved vital since Damon movies’ drops were steady at -0.5 to 1%, except that -5% difference between True Grit (2010) and The Bourne Identity (2002). This means that, even if we expand the list from 10 to all of their movies, Damon’s minimal decline would come out favoraby against Affleck. The result of this category is a clear Damon win.

EDGE: DAMON

THE ROLES

From caped crusaders to invincible assassins and daring heroes to brave astronauts, Damon and Affleck have played memorable roles that have become a part of movie pop culture. They have the ability to fill their roles with a larger than life vitality and when they’re onscreen, they always command our full attention. In this category, we magnify the roles they have played and see who is bigger than life.

How scores are computed: Its a popularity contest. Scores are based on 3 award giving bodies: MTV, People's Choice and Teen Choice Awards.

Matt Damon

whos-better-ben-affleck-vs-matt-damon

5 Best Damon Roles

RoleMovieMTV Awards win/nominationPeople's Choice AwardsTeen Choice AwardsTOTAL

Will Hunting

Good Will Hunting (1997)

0/2

-

-

0/2

Tom Ripley

The Talented Mr. Ripley (1998)

0/2

-

0/1

0/3

Jason Bourne

The Bourne Identity (2002)

0/3

1/2

0/1

1/6

Colin Sullivan

The Departed (2006)

-

0/2

-

0/2

Mark Watney

The Martian (2015)

0/1

0/1

-

0/2

TOTAL

 

 

 

 

2/15=17

Damon and the talented all-American outcast

It started with math genius Will Hunting that Damon found himself playing characters with prodigious abilities: as a promising lawyer in The Rainmaker (1997), a skillful poker player in Rounders (1998), an adroit golfer in The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000), an expert pickpocket in Ocean’s Eleven (2001), a master assassin in The Bourne Identity (2002), the star player in Invictus (2009), the greatest botanist on planet Mars in The Martian (2015), and of course, as the Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), and many more others. And all of this so-called geniuses are always at odds with his world, always trying to prove something to himself and to others, and always, comes out victorious.

Ben Affleck

whos-better-ben-affleck-vs-matt-damon

5 Best Affleck Roles

RoleMovieMTV Awards Win/NominationPeople's Choice AwardsTeen Choice AwardsTOTAL

Batman/Bruce Wayne

Justice League movies

-

-

0/1

0/1

Chuckie Sullivan

Good Will Hunting (1997)

0/1

-

-

0/1

Nick Dunne

Gone Girl (2014)

-

0/1

-

0/1

Tony Mendez

Argo (2012)

0/1

0/1

0/2

0/4

Rafe McCawley

Pearl Harbor (2001)

-

-

1/2

1/2

TOTAL

 

 

 

 

1/9=11

Affleck and the devilish leading man

Okay, so it’s a pun on Daredevil, but looking at the roles Affleck played in his movies, there is no denying the dark personalities of those characters. And like Batman changing into the Dark Knight, Affleck also did so in his career: from playing beaming, handsome leading men in Armageddon (1998), Forces of Nature (1999), and Bounce (2000), his mood drastically changed, starting with a man with a mean streak in Changing Lanes (2002), the depressed George Reeves in Hollywoodland (2006), an adulterous congressman in State of Play (2009), a secretive criminal in The Town (2010), a shady husband in Gone Girl (2014), and two vigilante superheroes with horns, Daredevil (2003), and as Batman in Batman v Superman (2016).

THE ROLES BOX SCORES

 Points

Ben Affleck

11

Matt Damon

17

EDGE

DAMON

Not yet as one of his best roles, Affleck was deemed good as Batman, but only so-so as Bruce Wayne. With the coming sequels, Batfleck gets another crack at it.

Not yet as one of his best roles, Affleck was deemed good as Batman, but only so-so as Bruce Wayne. With the coming sequels, Batfleck gets another crack at it.

The results

Coming from lists of Damon and Affleck’s best performances, plus general lists of the best 90s and 00s movie characters, only two roles showed up as iconic, pop culture characters, and they are Jason Bourne and Will Hunting. Bourne is definitely one of the best, most memorable action heroes in films and this gave Damon the knockout punch, sending Affleck down 27 to 22.

EDGE: DAMON

whos-better-ben-affleck-vs-matt-damon

AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

When Leonardo DiCaprio took home an Oscar for Best Actor for The Revenant (2015), we all knew how he felt. That he could sleep more soundly at night knowing his legacy is secured, tucking closely the Oscar trophy. This goes the same for all talented actors. The greatest reward for their acting is standing on stage with the trophy and thanking everybody. Oscar glory.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have stood on stage and did just that when they won an award for Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting (1997) at the Oscars. But as actors, and for Ben the director, an Oscar award is yet to come. In this category, we count their achievements in the field based on awards won and nominations to see who has more glory at the moment.

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

Ben Affleck Oscar Awards & Nominations

MovieCategoryResult

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Best Original Screenplay

WON

Argo (2012)

Best Picture

WON

Affleck's Oscar

Ben Affleck was only 25 years old when he and Matt Damon (27 at the time) won Best Screenplay for Good Will Hunting. He is the youngest to ever win in that category. 10 years later, he made his directorial debut with Gone Baby Gone (2007) which starred his younger brother (by 3 years) Casey Affleck. It was a solid directorial debut followed by another strong movie, The Town (2010), both of which didn’t net him an Oscar nomination. When Argo (2012) got nominated for Best Picture and Affleck didn’t get the nod for Best Director, critics were abuzz, especially when the film won. Affleck did get a trophy for the movie, but as a producer.

Matt Damon Oscar Awards & Nominations

MovieCategoryResult

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Best Original Screenplay

WON

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Best Actor

NOMINATED

Invictus (2009)

Best Supporting Actor

NOMINATED

The Martian (2015)

Best Actor

NOMINATED

Manchester By the Sea (2017) as producer

Best Picture

NOMINATED

Damon's Oscar

Damon became a star overnight in 1997—the year he won Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting, a screenplay he originally wrote and finished with Ben Affleck. He was also nominated for lead actor, but went against tough competition: Robert Duvall (The Apostle), Peter Fonda (Ulee’s Gold), Dustin Hoffman (Wag the Dog), and the runaway winner, Jack Nicholson (As Good As It Gets). And that is the best company of grand actors you’ll ever get. Though, Damon had a series of good roles after, it will be 11 more years before Oscar nominated him once again for Invictus (2009) and The Martian (2015), 6 years later on.

Watch Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's acceptance speech for Oscar Best Original Screenplay

The 1997 Oscar Awards

Watch Robin Williams' acceptance speech for Oscar Best Supporting Actor

Good Will Hunting did win an acting award for Best Supporting Actor for Robin Williams as the self-loathing shrink and the actor thanked Damon and Affleck knowing that the two was also a part of the award.

Watch Ben Affleck's acceptance speech for Best Picture

The 2012 Academy Awards

whos-better-ben-affleck-vs-matt-damon

ACADEMY AWARDS (THE OSCARS) SCORE SHEET

Category Win/NominationBen AffleckMatt Damon

Best Actor Win/Nomination

0/0

0/2

Best Supporting Actor

0/0

0/1

Best Original Screenplay

1/1

1/1

Best Picture

1/1

0/1

TOTAL (W/N)

2/2

1/5

Not exactly the trophy he was hoping for, Damon was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in Invictus (2009), but lost to Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds.

Not exactly the trophy he was hoping for, Damon was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in Invictus (2009), but lost to Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds.

Oscar re-cap

Though Damon has the acting nominations and Affleck has yet to be nominated in that category, Ben owns 1 more trophy for being co-producer of Argo (2012) which won Best Picture. Their shared Oscar for Good Will Hunting seems to be a one-off, since after, they now write scripts separately in their movie projects. Right now, Affleck has the upper-hand when it comes to the Oscars.

OTHER AWARDS SCORE SHEET

Award (Wins/Nominations)Ben AffleckMatt Damon

BAFTA

2/3

0/3

Emmys

-

0/3

Golden Globe

3/4

2/8

Screen Actors Guild

2/3

0/6

National Board of Review

6/6

3/3

Berlin International Film Festival

-

2/2

Venice Film Festival

1/1

-

Chicago Film Critics

-

1/2

Online Film Critics Society

0/1

1/3

Boston Society of Film Critics Awards

0/1

0/2

Broadcast Film Critics Association Award

1/1

2/8

Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award

-

2/4

London Film Critics' Circle

0/1

0/2

Phoenix Film Critics Society

-

0/2

San Diego Film Critics Society

-

0/1

British Academy Film Awards

2/3

0/3

Directors Guild of America Awards

1/1

-

Producers Guild of America Awards

1/1

-

Palm Springs International Film Festival

2/2

-

Santa Barbara International Film Festival

1/1

-

Toronto International Film Festival

0/1

-

César Awards

1/1

-

Satellite Awards

1/5

2/6

Saturn Awards

1/2

0/2

TOTAL

25/38

15/60

AWARDS & NOMINATIONS BOX SCORES

 Academy Awards win/nominationOther AwardsTOTAL=POINTS

Ben Affleck

2/2

25/38

27/40 = 94

Matt Damon

1/5

15/60

16/65 = 97

EDGE

DAMON

The results

When it comes to awards, it is really the battle of Matt the actor and Ben the director. Damon has won acting awards for The Martian at the Golden Globes and the National Board of Review and special awards for Good Will Hunting at the National Board of Review and Chicago Film Critics FIlm Awards. Affleck, on the other hand, won directing awards for Argo at the BAFTA, National Board of Review and Critics Choice Movie Awards. He also won as producer for the same movie while Venice Film Festival awarded him for acting in the movie Hollywoodland. While Affleck had 10 more wins, Damon's staggering 65 total nominations is just overwhelming.

EDGE: DAMON

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 actor 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)

THE BOX-OFFICE

In this category, we’ll show which actor has the most box-office drawing power based on their movies’ receipts. We'll list down their TOP 10 Highest Grossing movies based on domestic returns. It is important that only movies in which the actor is the main character, or if in a supporting role, has ample screen time, should be selected.

whos-better-ben-affleck-vs-matt-damon

MATT DAMON'S BOX-OFFICE NUMBERS

MovieAdjusted Domestic Box-Office in Millions

Good Will Hunting (1997)

254,200,000

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

375,100,000

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

268,800,000

True Grit (2010)

176,200,000

The Martian (2015)

226,470,000

The Bourne Identity (2002)

170,500,000

Ocean's Eleven (2001)

263,900,000

The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

230,600,000

Interstellar (2014)

188,400,000

Ocean's Twelve (2004)

164,000,000

TOTAL

$2,318,170,000

AVERAGE

$231,817,000

Damon received his star on Hollywood Boulevard in 2010.

Damon received his star on Hollywood Boulevard in 2010.

Damon's Star Power

Saving Private Ryan (1998) was the biggest earner of its year in terms of domestic take. Damon’s ensemble war movie earned more than (Affleck’s own) Armageddon, followed by the comedy There’s Something About Mary and the animation A Bug’s Life. But, it was Damon’s two franchises that really produced gold: The Ocean series took home $565,900,000 domestically while the Bourne series raked in $832,334,000. Combined, they gave Damon over a billion. That is star power, indeed.

whos-better-ben-affleck-vs-matt-damon

BEN AFFLECK'S BOX-OFFICE NUMBERS

MovieAdjusted Domestic Box-Office in Millions

Good Will Hunting (1997)

254,200,000

Argo (2012)

144,100,000

Justice League (2017)

229,024,295

Gone Girl (2014)

173,100,000

Shakespeare in Love (1998)

180,300,000

Armageddon (1998)

362,300,000

Pearl Harbor (2001)

296,200,000

The Sum of All Fears (2002)

172,800,000

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

328,369,776

Daredevil (2003)

143,400,000

TOTAL

$2,283,794,071

AVERAGE

$228,379,407

A comic book fan himself, Affleck's turn as the Dark Knight made him more popular than ever.

A comic book fan himself, Affleck's turn as the Dark Knight made him more popular than ever.

Affleck's Star Power

Affleck has some blockbusters under his belt, and these are the epics Armageddon (1998) with $362,300,000, Pearl Harbor (2001) with $296,200,000 and of course, Batman v Superman (2016) went flying with $328,369,776 domestically. However, a lot of Affleck’s movies were poor earners, with 6 of them failing to reach $100 million. Movies directed by him were only modest earners, including the Best Picture winner Argo (2012) at $144.1 million.

THE BOX-OFFICE BOX SCORES

 Average Domestic Gross of Top 10 Movies

Ben Affleck

$228,379,407

Matt Damon

$231,817,000

EDGE

Damon

The results

Affleck’s “weak” movies proved fatal in this contest, even if we add international receipts, they wouldn’t be able to generate that much to box-out Damon’s superior numbers. Just Damon’s two super franchises account for 46% of his total earnings for all 15 movies. Again, Damon gets the best of Affleck. It's 4-0 Damon.

EDGE: DAMON

THE FLOPS

Even if you’re the most successful actor on the planet, nobody gets away without a few bumps along the way. The flops are the flipside to the earlier categories: 5 worst rated films, 5 awfully bad roles and 5 box-office bombs. These are Matt and Ben’s not so proud moments.

How scores are computed: 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 actors 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 actor having the most edges, wins.

whos-better-ben-affleck-vs-matt-damon

Sub-category 1: WORST MOVIES

Every new Matt Damon or Ben Affleck movie is worth checking out, especially if it’s a big budget production and the trailer is interesting. There is an immediate attraction because they have made very good movies in their careers, and expectations are almost always high. But then, they also have duds. These are the movies that rated low in the combined IMDB/Rotten Tomatoes averages.

5 WORST BEN AFFLECK MOVIES

MovieDirectorIMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Scores=Average

Gigli (2003)

Martin Brest

24/6=15

Surviving Christmas (2004)

Mike Mitchell

53/7=30

Runner Runner (2013)

Brad Furman

56/8=32

Phantoms (1998)

Joe Chappelle

54/13=33.5

Reindeer Games (2000)

John Frankenheimer

57/25=41

Total (Average)

30.3

5 WORST MATT DAMON MOVIES

MovieDirectorIMDB/Rotten Tomatoes Scores=Average

All the Pretty Horses (2000)

Billy Bob Thornton

58/32=45

The Monuments Men (2014)

George Clooney

61/31=46

Youth Without Youth (2007)

Francis Ford Coppola

63/30=46.5

Gerry (2002)

Gus Van Sant

34/61=47.5

Suburbicon (2017)

George Clooney

57/28=42.5

 

Total (Average)

45.5

Surviving Christmas (2004) is really about surviving Ben Affleck and Christina Applegate's pairing.

Surviving Christmas (2004) is really about surviving Ben Affleck and Christina Applegate's pairing.

Worst movies re-cap

With an average of 30.3, Ben Affleck may have one of the worst rated movies of an A-rated actor. Much of the blame could be pointed to a movie called Gigli (2003) with an average rating of 15% (Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 6—we're talking crap here). Rotten Tomatoes lists Gigli as one of the 10 Worst movies of the last 10 years. A list that includes Battlefield Earth (2000), Basic Instinct 2 (2006), and Corky Romano (2001).

By comparison, Damon's are watchable "bad" movies. Suburbicon (2017) directed by his "Oceans" pal George Clooney is his lowest rated at 42.5.

whos-better-ben-affleck-vs-matt-damon

Sub-category 2: BOX-OFFICE BOMBS

They made a killing at the box-office with mega-blockbusters, but they also got fired back with box-office bombs. Some of Affleck and Damon’s movies didn’t fare well with audiences due to many reasons such as miscasting, bad direction and poor advertising. In this sub-category, we showcase their top 5 movie mishaps.

MATT DAMON'S TOP 5 BOX-OFFICE BOMBS

MovieBudget ($)Domestic Gross ($)Losses ($)

The Great Wall (2017)

150,000,000

45,157,000

104,843,000

Green Zone (2010)

100,000,000

35,700,000

64,300,000

The Good Shepherd (2006)

110,000,000

73,900,000

36,100,000

All the Pretty Horses (2000)

57,000,000

23,500,000

33,500,000

Downsizing (2017)

68,000,000

24,449,754

43,550,246

Total

485,000,000

202,706,754

$282,293,246

Average

 

 

$56,458,649

BEN AFFLECK'S TOP 5 BOX-OFFICE BOMBS

MovieBudget ($)Domestic Gross ($)Losses ($)

Gigli (2003)

54,000,000

8,500,000

45,500,000

Surviving Christmas (2004)

45,000,000

15,800,000

29,200,000

State of Play (2009)

60,000,000

41,600,000

18,400,000

Runner Runner (2013)

30,000,000

18,200,000

11,800,000

Justice League (2017)

300,000,000

229,024,295

70,975,705

Total

489,000,000

313,124,295

$175,875,705

Average

 

 

$35,175,141

Box-Office Bombs re-cap

With Affleck having the worst rated movies, you’d probably expect this category to favor Damon, but it doesn't. The reason: Affleck's bombs have miniscule budgets. With the exception of Justice League (2017), his 4 other bombs have an average budget of only $47.2M. That's even less than Damon's lowest budgeted movie All the Pretty Horses (2000) with $57M.

whos-better-ben-affleck-vs-matt-damon

Sub-category 3: AWFULLY BAD ROLES

Damon in that awful wig. Affleck with that awful name. Both scream miscast. Matt and Ben just didn’t fit in with some of the roles they played. This sub-category lists their worst roles and scores were based on the awards given them by the Golden Raspberry Awards, popularly known as the Razzies.

5 Awfully Bad Affleck Roles

RoleMovie

Rafe McCawley

Pear Harbor (2001)

Matt Murdock / Daredevil

Daredevil (2003)

Larry Gigli

Gigli (2003)

Ollie Trinke

Jersey Girl (2004)

Batman/Bruce Wayne

Justice League/Batman V Superman

5 Awfully Bad Damon Roles

RoleMovie

Rannulph Junuh

The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)

Gerry

Gerry (2002)

Wilhelm

The Brothers Grimm (2005)

George Lonegan

Hereafter (2010)

Benjamin Mee

We Bought a Zoo (2011)

whos-better-ben-affleck-vs-matt-damon
Golden Raspberry nominated Pearl Harbor (2001) for Worst Screen Combo of either Ben Affleck & Kate Beckinsale, or Ben Affleck & Josh Hartnett. Well, just take your pick.

Golden Raspberry nominated Pearl Harbor (2001) for Worst Screen Combo of either Ben Affleck & Kate Beckinsale, or Ben Affleck & Josh Hartnett. Well, just take your pick.

Awfully bad roles re-cap

Matt Damon is immune to the Razzies, which makes this a one-man show by Ben Affleck.

Golden Raspberry did a number (or numbers) on Affleck. A record total of 6 of his performances were in the running. Nominated for Worst Actor for Pear Harbor in 2001, Jersey Girl and Surviving Christmas in 2004, and Won in Daredevil, Gigli and Paycheck in 2003. And for all 6, as a nominee for Worst Actor of the Decade. His on-screen pairings were also mentioned: Nominated Worst Screen Combo: Armageddon with Liv Tyler, Pear Harbor with either Kate Beckinsale or Josh Hartnett and won in Gigli with JLo. His 3 Golden Raspberry nominations tie with Ashton Kutcher, Keanu Reeves, Burt Reynolds, Steven Seagal and Bruce Willis. That is some elite bad company. With 28 appearances in worst acting/roles lists and the Golden Raspberry, Ben Affleck buries himself in this sub-category.

THE FLOPS BOX-SCORE

 Worst Movies (average rating)Box-Office Bombs (average losses)Awfully Bad Roles (No. of Razzies)

Ben Affleck

30.3

$35,175,141

28

Matt Damon

45.5

$56,458,649

0

EDGE

Damon

Affleck

Damon

FINAL EDGE

 

 

DAMON

Damon has always been decent with the ladies. Goes the same for his worst rated movie All the Pretty Horses (2000), which at 45% rating is actually, pretty decent.

Damon has always been decent with the ladies. Goes the same for his worst rated movie All the Pretty Horses (2000), which at 45% rating is actually, pretty decent.

The results

One word, Gigli. That movie was everywhere: first, handling Affleck a loss in the Worst-Rated Movie sub-cat, then saving his bacon in Box-Office Bombs, before finally burying him in Awfully-Bad Roles.

And thus, once again, Damon prevails. 4-0.

EDGE: DAMON

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 actor has the edge. Whoever has more edges in the total tally, wins.

OTHER SKILLS

This is the day and age when actors dabble in so many things other than memorizing scripts and delivering them. Take James Franco, for example. He is an actor, director, producer, writer, poet, artist, and professor. Although, some of them self-proclaimed, Franco is the prime example of the actor not intent in just acting. Some actors, the more accomplished ones, found success in doing just that. And this is an important measuring stick if for the purpose of knowing if an actor is better than another—here, we'll showcase their other skills.

In this category, we’ll decide which actor has other skills besides acting. There are 7 sub-categories: Directing, Producing, Writing, Voice Talent, Music, TV, and Broadway.

whos-better-ben-affleck-vs-matt-damon

Directed by Ben Affleck

Movie

Gone Baby Gone (2007)

The Town (2010)

Argo (2012)

OTHER SKILLS SUB-CATEGORIES

1) DIRECTING. Know what they say about the Coen Brothers? That no movie of theirs suck? Well, all of Ben Affleck’s directed movies are all good. That means, he has a streak going for him. His failure to get nominated for Argo (2012) is a mistake that will be corrected soon. As for Matt Damon. Maybe he’ll direct a movie too in the near future. But, for now, this is Ben’s cup of tea—or mug of lager.

EDGE: AFFLECK.

2) WRITING. Ben and Matt were unknown actors who wrote an award-winning screenplay and starred in it. Forget the rumours (or conspiracy theories!) they had help writing Good Will Hunting, they are really that talented to have cracked it. After Good Will, both have co-writing credits in: Matt in Gerry (2002) & Promised Land (2012), and Ben in Gone Baby Gone (2007), The Town (2010) and Live By Night (2016). Ben has 1 more to his name.

EDGE: AFFLECK.

3) PRODUCING. Both have Producer and Executive Producer credits in movies they starred in separately like Argo and Promised Land, but mostly they share them in mutual projects like the TV series Push, Nevada and Project Greenlight and films The Battle of Shaker Heights (2003), Speakeasy (2002), and others. Recently Affleck produced Live By Night, while Damon has Jason Bourne and Manchester By the Sea which gives him a 1 point edge.

EDGE: DAMON

4) VOICE TALENT. Matt’s voice is the star character of animated movies Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) and Titan A.E. (2000), as well as a main character in Happy Feet Two (2011) while Ben was Joseph in the direct-to-video animation Joseph: King of Dreams (2000). Matt was also used as Narrator in several documentaries giving him ownership of this sub-category.

EDGE: DAMON.

5) MUSIC. Affleck has 4 credits to Matt’s 3 in terms of musical contribution to films.

EDGE: AFFLECK.

6) TV ACTING. There’s that notable portrayal by Damon as Scott Thorson, Liberace’s consort/escort in the biopic Behind the Candelabra (2013) plus two early 90s TV movies and appearances in 30 Rock and Will & Grace. Affleck has some TV movies under his credit and takes the cake with numerous appearances in TV, primarily as the child actor and star of The Voyage of Mimi (1984) when he was 12 years old. Affleck has 8 more TV titles and is obviously the more experienced among the two with regards to TV acting.

EDGE. AFFLECK

7) BROADWAY. They have no Broadway acting credits.

EDGE. NONE.

OTHER SKILLS BOX SCORES

Sub-categoryBen AffleckMatt DamonEdge

Directing

4 full-length movies

0 movies

AFFLECK

Writing

4 movies

3 movies

AFFLECK

Producing

20 movies/TV productions

17 movies/TV productions

DAMON

Voice Talent

1 movie

9 movies

DAMON

Music

4 musical performance credits in movies

3 musical performance credits in movies

AFFLECK

TV Acting

9 TV movies/TV series

5 TV movies/TV series

AFFLECK

Broadway

-

-

NONE

 

 

TOTAL

AFFLECK (4) / DAMON (2)

 

 

FINAL EDGE

AFFLECK

The young Bruce Wayne? Its Ben Affleck as a child actor in the educational TV series The Voyage of the Mimi during the 80s.

The young Bruce Wayne? Its Ben Affleck as a child actor in the educational TV series The Voyage of the Mimi during the 80s.

The results

Finally, Affleck wins one! Other than directing, Affleck was also busy writing his own movies, namely The Town (2010) with Peter Craig and Aaron Stockard; Live By Night (2016); and Gone Baby Gone (2007) with Aaron Stockard. He also has the upperhand when it comes to producing--20 to Damon's 17 movie/TV productions. Affleck took 4 out of the 7 skills set, ergo, wins this category. Or should we say "argo?"

LEGACY

We talk of legacy in terms of an actor’s overall accomplishment in his lifetime in films. All the directors he has worked with, all the other actors and actresses with whom he shared the screen with. And we talk of only those people that help define what legacy* to an actor means, in order for him to say, “I have worked with the best in my field.”

How scores are computed: There are 3 sub-categories: 1) the directors the actors worked with, 2) other great actors they’ve worked with, and 3) other great actresses they've worked with. We’ll once again, peruse Affleck and Damon’s filmographies 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.

TIER 1: Legends, Major Award Winner/Multiple Winner, A-lister
TIER 2: Minor Legend, Major/MinorAward Winner, Multi-nominee, Superstar/Veteran
TIER 3: Veteran, Nominee/Multi-Nominee, Star/Starring Roles
TIER 4: Veteran, Minor Star, Supporting Roles, Character Actors, Newcomer

whos-better-ben-affleck-vs-matt-damon

Sub-category 1: DIRECTORS THEY'VE WORKED WITH

Matt and Ben were so confident during the pitching of Good Will Hunting, they even offered to direct the movie themselves should there be no takers. Good thing their friend director Kevin Smith introduced the script to Harvey Weinstein and the studio gave it a green light with upcoming director Gus Van Sant on the chair. In their rise to stardom, they were schooled by the best filmmakers Hollywood has to offer.

DIRECTORS SCORE SHEET

 Ben AffleckMatt Damon

TIER 1

Terrence Malick

Francis Ford Coppola

 

 

Steven Spielberg

 

 

Martin Scorsese

 

 

Clint Eastwood

 

 

Coen Brothers

 

 

Ridley Scott

TIER 2

Gus Van Sant

Gus Van Sant

 

John Frankenheimer

Steven Soderbergh

 

David Fincher

Christopher Nolan

 

Richard Linklater

Cameron Crowe

 

 

Frank Darabont

TIER 3

Michael Bay

George Miller

 

John Woo

Anthony Minghella

 

John Madden

Terry Gilliam

 

Martin Brest

Walter Hill

 

 

Edward Zwick

 

 

Doug Liman

 

 

Farrelly Brothers

 

 

Paul Greengrass

 

 

Robert Redford

 

 

Zhang Yimou

Alexander Payne

TIER 4

Billy Bob Thornton

Billy Bob Thornton

 

Roger Michell

George Clooney

 

Zack Snyder

John Dahl

 

Kevin Smith

Kenneth Lonegran

 

Joss Whedon

Kevin Smith

 

 

Neill Blomkamp

TOTAL

29

67

Friend, mentor, influencer, director Kevin Smith has been everything to Ben Affleck including being a not so Silent Bob in defending him.

Friend, mentor, influencer, director Kevin Smith has been everything to Ben Affleck including being a not so Silent Bob in defending him.

Directors they've worked with re-cap

Just looking at the score sheet, we duly announce that Matt Damon is one of the luckiest actor of his generation to have worked with so many great directors. 6 Tiered One directors! Spielberg, Scorsese, the Coens, Coppola, Eastwood! And the names below are just as impressive. Wow.

whos-better-ben-affleck-vs-matt-damon

Sub-category 2: ACTORS THEY'VE WORKED WITH

They quickly rose to Hollywood elite status as fast as you could say Armageddon. Studio executives and producers were just too excited to pair them, group them, hell, threw them in the same cauldron with other big name stars hoping to end with blockbuster box-office smash hits. And they did.

ACTORS SCORE SHEET

 Ben AffleckMatt Damon

TIER 1

Al Pacino

Al Pacino

 

Will Smith

Robert De Niro

 

 

Jack Nicholson

 

 

Denzel Washington

 

 

Leonardo Di Caprio

 

 

Robert Duvall

 

 

Will Smith

 

 

George Clooney

TIER 2

Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman

 

Robin Williams

Robin Williams

 

Kevin Costner

Gene Hackman

 

Colin Firth

Mark Wahlberg

 

Adrien Brody

Philip Seymour Hoffman

 

Jeremy Irons

Heath Ledger

 

William Hurt

William Hurt

 

Samuel L. Jackson

John Malkovich

 

Tommy Lee Jones

Matthew McConaughey

 

Geoffrey Rush

Edward Norton

 

Christopher Walken

Brad Pitt

 

Bruce Willis

Christian Bale

TIER 3

Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin

 

Billy Bob Thornton

Benecio Del Toro

 

Colin Farrell

Albert Finney

 

JK Simmons

Martin Landau

 

Bradley Cooper

Jude Law

 

Peter O'Toole

Martin Sheen

Christoph Waltz

Willem Dafoe

TIER 4

Bryan Cranston

Bryan Cranston

 

Alan Arkin

Bruce Dern

 

Javier Bardem

Danny DeVito

 

Laurence Fishburne

Laurence Fishburne

 

Ed Harris

Timothy Hutton

 

Paul Giamatti

Mark Ruffalo

 

Cuba Gooding Jr.

Joe Pesci

 

Jon Voight

Christopher Plummer

 

John Lithgow

Mickey Rourke

 

Chris Cooper

Udo Kier

 

Henry Cavill

Jon Voight

 

Ciaran Hinds

Oscar Isaac

 

Oscar Isaac

 

 

Charlie Hunnam

 

TOTAL

70

97

Ocean's 11? It just so happens that the Armageddon space team also has 11 men.

Ocean's 11? It just so happens that the Armageddon space team also has 11 men.

Actors they've worked with re-cap

Having worked with high-profile directors, it isn’t surprising that Damon got to work with the best of his peers and with legendary actors. His Tier 1 includes no less than 3 of the living legends: De Niro, Nicholson and Pacino. 7 tiered actors to Affleck’s 2, that alone, should clinch it. The final count is 35-28, naturally, in favour of Damon.

whos-better-ben-affleck-vs-matt-damon

Sub-category 3: ACTRESSES THEY'VE WORKED WITH

Young, brusque and overflowing with charisma, Matt and Ben got the goods to be leading men and got the goods too, of beautiful leading ladies.

ACTRESSES SCORE SHEET

 Ben AffleckMatt Damon

TIER 1

Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow

 

Sandra Bullock

Charlize Theron

 

Charlize Theron

Cate Blanchett

 

 

Jodie Foster

 

 

Angelina Jolie

 

 

Julia Roberts

 

 

Kate Winslet

TIER 2

Amy Adams

Marion Cotillard

 

Holly Hunter

Anne Hathaway

 

Jennifer Connelly

Frances McDormand

 

Helen Mirren

Julianne Moore

 

Scarlett Johansson

 

 

Jennifer Aniston

 

TIER 3

Salma Hayek

Salma Hayek

 

Rachel Weisz

Catherine Zeta-Jones

 

Judy Dench

Jessica Chastain

 

Drew Barrymore

Cher

TIER 4

Diane Lane

Monica Belucci

 

Laura Dern

Penelope Cruz

 

Anna Kendrick

Vera Farmiga

 

Elle Fanning

Anna Paquin

 

Sienna Miller

Meg Ryan

 

Zoe Saldana

Kristen Wiig

 

Amber Heard

 

TOTAL

45

54

Will Hunting (Damon) and Skylar (Minnie Driver) dated on and off the screen. How do you like them apples?

Will Hunting (Damon) and Skylar (Minnie Driver) dated on and off the screen. How do you like them apples?

Actresses they've worked with re-cap

The deal is pretty much the same with the actresses with Damon having double the numbers in Tier 1. Combined with his other tiers, Damon has worked with 14 Academy Award-winning major actresses. Affleck has worked with 8. If you thought Affleck has it better with the ladies (remember, he had 3 glamorous relationships with 3 of his leading ladies: Paltrow, J.Lo and Garner), Damon has actually worked with more actresses.

LEGACY BOX SCORES

 Ben AffleckMatt DamonEdge

Directors they've worked with

29

67

Damon

Actors they've worked with

70

97

Damon

Actresses they've worked with

45

54

Damon

 

 

TOTAL

Affleck (0) / Damon (3)

 

 

FINAL EDGE

Damon

The results

Total Damon domination. He has worked with 14 more ace directors, 7 more actors and 4 more actresses. It is totally understandable with Damon having more movies and starred in more huge ensembles.

EDGE: DAMON

Who is going to get his wings back and the title of Who's Better? winner? Loki or Bartleby?

Who is going to get his wings back and the title of Who's Better? winner? Loki or Bartleby?

WHO'S BETTER? BEN AFFLECK OR MATT DAMON?

Once again, we say, "the envelope, please." And before we announce the winner of this edition of Who's Better?, let us give a round of applause (and drinks) to two great actors who, through sheer determination, hard-work, and just having the utmost belief in their talents, have become the biggest stars of their time...and still rising. To Ben and Matt, Matt and Ben, a video tribute courtesy of watch-mojo.com.

BEN AFFLECK

MATT DAMON

FINAL BOX-SCORES

CategoriesBen AffleckMatt DamonEdge

1: The Movies

79.7 (ave. rating)

84.6 (ave. rating)

Damon

2: The Roles

11

17

Damon

3: Awards & Nominations

27/40 = 94 Points

16/65 = 97 Points

Damon

4: The Box-Office

$228,379,467

$231,817,000 ave.

Damon

5: The Flops

1 Edge

2 Edges

Damon

6: Other skills

4 Edges

2 Edge

Affleck

7: Legacy

0 Edge

3 Edges

Damon

 

 

TOTAL

Affleck (1) / Damon (6)

 

 

FINAL EDGE

Damon

whos-better-ben-affleck-vs-matt-damon

Finals re-cap

Category 1: THE FILMS. At 84.6% average rating of his top movies, Matt Damon has an enviable filmography with him having worked with so many great directors. He has made over 60 films and they ranged from great to good. The better ones being those in which he played considerable screen time. Ben Affleck didn't make as much movies as Matt, and unfortunately his batting average is even lower. EDGE: DAMON.

Category 2: THE ROLES. Damon’s characters are just more well-written than Affleck’s and came from movies that are unforgettable—and he gave us moments that we still remember long after we’ve seen them. This is something Affleck is still trying to accomplish. EDGE: DAMON.

Category 3: AWARDS & NOMINATIONS. Sadly for both, they really haven’t been Oscar darlings since unabashedly winning best scriptwriting in Good Will Hunting. But, things are looking good again. Affleck continues to direct, Damon with improved mature roles. Although Affleck had won more awards, Damon has amassed too many nominations and recognition to win with a small margin. EDGE: DAMON.

Category 4: THE BOX OFFICE. Of course, having more movies and bigger ones, Damon again prevails, with Affleck just within firing range. EDGE: DAMON.

Category 5: THE FLOPS. And the bigger the movie, the bigger the damage. Damon’s box-office failures bow down to Affleck’s low-cost movie disasters. But, in the case of worst rated movies and awfully bad roles, Affleck is king, giving Damon, who actually has never made a really bad performance in his life, the needed edge to win. EDGE: DAMON.

Category 6: OTHER SKILLS. Its the Affleck department. Directing, producing, writing...the guy's a renaissance man. EDGE: AFFLECK.

Category 7: LEGACY. Here, it's all out Damon. Directors love him. He is a director's actor and could fit into so many roles. As part of ensembles, Matt also makes other actors better. His legacy is also part of other actor's legacy. EDGE: DAMON.

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