AnimationCelebritiesFilm IndustryMoviesTV

Who's Better? Ben Affleck vs. Matt Damon

Updated on June 30, 2017

TALE OF THE TAPE

Ben Affleck
vs.
Matt Damon
August 15, 1972
Birthdate
October 8, 1970
43
Age
45
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.

Who's your bet to win?

See results

CATEGORY 1:

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.

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.

10 Best Ben Affleck Movies

Movie
Director
IMDB/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

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.

10 Best Matt Damon Movies

Movie
Director
IMDB/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
Interstellar (2014)
Christopher Nolan
86/71=78.5
 
Total (Average):
84.6
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

Ben Affleck
Matt Damon
81.4 (ave. rating)
83.8 (ave. rating)

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, 84.6 over 79.7.

EDGE: DAMON

CATEGORY 2:

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: First, how roles were 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.

Matt Damon

5 Best Damon Roles

Role
Movie
Will Hunting
Good Will Hunting (1997)
Tom Ripley
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1998)
Jason Bourne
The Bourne Identity (2002)
Colin Sullivan
The Departed (2006)
Mark Watney
The Martian (2015)

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

5 Best Affleck Roles

Role
Movie
Fred O'Bannion
Dazed and Confused (1993)
Chuckie Sullivan
Good Will Hunting (1997)
Doug MacRay
The Town (2010)
Tony Mendez
Argo (2012)
Nick Dunne
Gone Girl (2014)

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

Matt Damon
No. of appearances
Ben Affleck
No. of appearances
Will Hunting (Good Will Hunting)
6
Fred O'Bannion (Dazed and Confused)
5
Tom Ripley (The Talented Mr. Ripley)
5
Chuckie Sullivan (Good Will Hunting)
4
Jason Bourne (The Bourne Identity)
7
Doug MacRay (The Town)
4
Colin Sullivan (The Departed)
5
Tony Mendez (Argo)
5
Mark Watney (The Martian)
4
Nick Dunne (Gone Girl)
4
TOTAL
27
TOTAL
22
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

CATEGORY 3:

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

Movie
Category
Result
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

Movie
Category
Result
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

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

ACADEMY AWARDS (THE OSCARS) SCORE SHEET

 
Ben Affleck
Matt Damon
Best Actor Wins
0
0
Best Actor Nominations
0
2
Best Supporting Actor Wins
0
0
Best Supporting Actor Nominations
0
1
Best Original Screenplay Wins
1
1
Best Original Screenplay Nominations
1
1
Best Picture Wins
1
0
Best Picture Nominations
1
0
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 Affleck
Matt Damon
BAFTA
2/3
0/2
Emmys
0/0
0/2
Golden Globe
3/4
2/7
Screen Actors Guild
0/0
0/3
National Board of Review
0/0
2/1
Berlin International Film Festival
0/0
1/0
Venice Film Festival
1/1
0/0
New York Film Critics Circle
0/2
0/0
Chicago Film Critics
0/3
1/1
Critics Choice Movie Awards
2/4
0/0
Online Film Critics Circle
1/2
0/2
TOTAL
9/19
6/18

AWARDS & NOMINATIONS BOX SCORES

 
Ben Affleck
Matt Damon
Academy Awards
2/2
1/5
Other awards
9/19
6/18
TOTAL
11/21
7/23

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. With 4 more wins, Affleck gets the edge over Damon.

EDGE: AFFLECK

CATEGORY 4:

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. 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 actor is the main character, or if in a supporting role, has ample screen time, should be selected. Animated movies have not been included since, we believe, people (especially kids) go to see them without really knowing who the voice actors are.

MATT DAMON'S BOX-OFFICE NUMBERS

Movie
Adjusted Domestic Box-Office in Millions
Good Will Hunting (1997)
254,200,000
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
375,100,000
The Departed (2006)
163,200,000
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
Jason Bourne (2016)
162,434,000
Ocean's Thirteen (2007)
138,000,000
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
130,700,000
Courage Under Fire (1996)
108,800,000
TOTAL (Average)
$201,420,266
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.

BEN AFFLECK'S BOX-OFFICE NUMBERS

Movie
Adjusted Domestic Box-Office in Millions
Good Will Hunting (1997)
254,200,000
Argo (2012)
144,100,000
The Town (2010)
98,500,000
Gone Girl (2014)
173,100,000
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
180,300,000
Chasing Amy (1997)
22,100,000
State of Play (2009)
41,600,000
Changing Lanes (2002)
97,100,000
Dogma (1999)
51,100,000
Boiler Room (2000)
26,500,000
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 (Average)
$159,444,652
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

Ben Affleck
Matt Damon
$159,444,652
$201,420,266
Ave. Domestic Box-Office earnings/movie
Ave. Domestic Box-Office earnings/movie
SOURCE: www.ultimatemovierankings.com & http://www.boxofficemojo.com

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. In terms of box-office edge, Affleck v Damon goes to Matt.

EDGE: DAMON

CATEGORY 5:

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.

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

Movie
Director
IMDB/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

Movie
Director
IMDB/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
The Brothers Grimm (2005)
Terry Gilliam
59/38=48.5
 
Total (Average)
46.7
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

Unfathomable as it may seem, but Gigli (2003) with an average rating of 15%, is unbelievably bad. That’s bad with a capital B. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 6—that’s a rating reserved for a really, really awful B-Movie. We're talking crap here. In fact, 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). What’s even worse is that Affleck has two other movies that are as terrible according to Rotten Tomatoes: Surviving Christmas (2004) at 7% and Runner Runner (2013) at 8%. His 5 worst movies average a measly 30.3% in the rotten scale.

Damon is entirely a different story. His worst movie scored a 45% on IMDB/RT combined average. That is, to say honestly, is not that bad. That is average. All of Damon’s worst movies are average rated movies, and this category runs just for the sake of argument. However, it is interesting to note that Damon’s worst movies were directed by A-list filmmakers like Coppola, Van Sant and Gilliam. There’s no real argument here though, the numbers are clear. Damon prevails.

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

Movie
Budget ($)
Domestic Gross ($)
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
The Brothers Grimm (2005)
80,000,000
47,900,000
32,100,000
Total
497,000,000
226,157,000
270,843,000
Average
 
 
54,168,000

BEN AFFLECK'S TOP 5 BOX-OFFICE BOMBS

Movie
Budget ($)
Domestic Gross ($)
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
The Company Men (2010)
15,000,000
4,700,000
10,300,000
Total
204,000,000
88,800,000
115,200,000
Average
 
 
23,040,000

Box-Office Bombs re-cap

With Affleck having the worst rated movies, you’d probably expect this to favor Damon, but it doesn't. Affleck’s top 2 bombs is Gigli and Surviving Christmas with $45.5 million and $29.2 million respectively. But, it is followed by minimal losses from his next three movies giving him an average loss of only $23 million. Damon has an average loss of $54 million with The Great Wall a staggering $104 loss. The reason Affleck wins this, is that his movie disasters have smaller budgets than Damon’s, making the loss manageable. Consider this: the budget of Damon’s 5 movies is more than half of Affleck’s.

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 with some of the roles they played—which means, there is no way they would’ve connected with the audience, who probably knew them more than their own selves. This sub-category lists their worst roles to date.

5 Awfully Bad Affleck Roles

Role
Movie
Rafe McCawley
Pear Harbor (2001)
Matt Murdock / Daredevil
Daredevil (2003)
Larry Gigli
Gigli (2003)
Ollie Trinke
Jersey Girl (2004)
Drew Latham
Surviving Christmas (2004)

5 Awfully Bad Damon Roles

Role
Movie
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)

Awfully Bad Roles Box Scores

Ben Affleck
No. of appearances in lists
Matt Damon
No. of appearances in lists
Rafe McCawley
6
Rannulph Junuh
2
Matt Murdock / Daredevil
5
Gerry
2
Larry Gigli
7
Wilhelm
3
Ollie Trinke
5
George Lonegan
1
Drew Latham
5
Benjamin Mee
2
Total
28
Total
10
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

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

 
Ben Affleck
Matt Damon
Edge
Worst Movies
30.3 (ave.rating/movie)
46.7 (ave.rating/movie)
DAMON
Box-Office Bombs
$23,040,000 (ave./movie)
$54,168,000 (ave./movie)
AFFLECK
Awfully Bad Roles
28 (appearances in lists)
10 (appearances in lists)
DAMON
 
 
FINAL EDGE
DAMON (2) / AFFLECK (1)
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

No close contest here. Both of their edges were won by wide margins. Damon's 46.7% rating of his worst movies beats Affleck's 30.3%, while Ben's Box-Office bombs is less $4,624,000 than Damon's. The biggest gap is in the Awfully Bad Roles with Affleck's unparalleled 28 appearances against Damon's 10.

EDGE: DAMON

CATEGORY 6:

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.

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-category
Ben Affleck
Matt Damon
Edge
Directing
3 full-length movies
0 movies
AFFLECK
Writing
4 movies
3 movies
AFFLECK
Producing
16 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
0
0
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

While Damon was busy acting in movie after movie towards the 2010s, Affleck found a new calling in directing with already 3 to his credit. Among the two, Matt’s voiced is the one in demand with 9 movies under him to Ben’s one. But, Affleck pulls away with having more musical performances in movies and in being the more experienced TV (child) actor. When you speak of other skills sets, Ben is the vet.

CATEGORY 7:

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.

*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

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 Affleck
Matt 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
TIER 4
Billy Bob Thornton
Billy Bob Thornton
 
Roger Michell
George Clooney
 
Zack Snyder
John Dahl
 
Kevin Smith
Kenneth Lonegran
 
 
Kevin Smith
 
 
Neill Blomkamp
TOTAL
28
63
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.

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 Affleck
Matt 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
 
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
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
 
 
Mickey Rourke
 
 
Jon Voight
TOTAL
64
88
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.

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 Affleck
Matt 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
 
 
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
 
 
Vera Farmiga
 
 
Anna Paquin
 
 
Meg Ryan
TOTAL
40
50
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 Affleck
Matt Damon
Edge
Directors they've worked with
28
63
Damon
Actors they've worked with
64
88
Damon
Actresses they've worked with
40
50
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?

THE FINALS

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

Categories
Ben Affleck
Matt Damon
Edge
1: The Movies
79.7 (ave. rating)
84.6 (ave. rating)
Damon
2: The Roles
22 (list appearences)
27 (list appearances)
Damon
3: Awards & Nominations
11/21
7/22
Affleck
4: The Box-Office
$159,444,652
$201,420,266
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 (2) / Damon (5)
 
 
FINAL EDGE
Damon

Agree with the result?

See results

WINNER: 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. However, Affleck has the early start with his directorial efforts. EDGE: AFFLECK.

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 2 edges 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.

Click to Rate This Article