While Hollywood’s highest-paid actor shouldn’t come as a shock, you might be surprised to learn who didn’t make this year’s top 10.
Forbes has released their annual list of the top 10 highest paid actors. This list is Forbes’ estimate of each actor’s earnings from June 2012 to June 2013 based on information they’ve gathered from reliable sources.
Quite a bit of Liam Neeson’s 2013 earnings came from Taken 2, where he reportedly earned $15 million, a salary at which he finally listened to the studio’s pleas to have a sequel. Though he didn’t appear in The Dark Knight Rises for very long, he was probably able to get quite a bit of money for his important cameo. Neeson likely was also paid well for his upcoming role in Anchorman: The Legend Continues. The star-studded comedy hits theaters this December 20.
Denzel Washington hasn’t had that busy of a year, having only made two movies, but he must have been paid well for them. Earlier this year, Washington’s starring role in Flight got him an Oscar nomination for best actor. The actor took a 90% pay-cut to make the movie, but it’s likely he made quite a bit on the back end as it brought in $161 million, and only took $31 million to make. Washington’s only other project is 2 Guns, which is set to be released on August 2.
The past year has been an equally busy and diverse year for Tom Cruise. Last June, Cruise starred as Stacee Jaxx in the karaoke-like musical comedy Rock of Ages. In December, he played the titular role in Jack Reacher, the adaptation of Lee Child’s 2005 novel One Shot, and this April, he portrayed another Jack, this time in the sci-fi film Oblivion. Though the past year has been a financial success, it’s been less so critically. Cruise hopes his return to the Mission Impossible in 2015 will help.
The past year has been all financial success and no critical success for Adam Sandler, but that’s his status quo. In June, Sandler starred alongside Andy Samberg in the comedy That’s My Boy. Come September, Sandler voiced Dracula in Hotel Transylvania. Interestingly enough, the 43% it received on the movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes is his highest grade in a long time. Sandler’s most recent film to hit the box office is Grown Ups 2, where it is performing decently.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s past year has been a very up-and-down one, but like his overall career, there’s been more up than down. In December, he co-starred in Quentin Tarentino’s Django Unchained, in a role which earned him a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the Golden Globes, but he ultimately lost to his co-star Christoph Waltz. In May, DiCaprio starred in the mixed-reviewed The Great Gatsby. In November, he’ll star in The Wolf of Wall Street, a role he’s already expected to pick up an best actor nomination for.
How far “The Rock” has come. If you’d have told us that the guy who gave up wrestling in order to pursue acting would ultimately become one of the highest grossing actors in the business, well, we’d have called you crazy. Nonetheless, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has become as big of a force on the screen as he was in the ring. And not only is he cashing in financially, but he’s blossoming into a solid actor. The past year has seen Johnson star in Snitch, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Pain & Gain, and Fast & Furious 6.
Dwayne Johnson’s Pain & Gain co-star Mark Whalberg has had a year to remember as well. After having no movies come out in 2011, Whalberg got back into it with a bang last June with the hit comedy Ted. Since Ted‘s success, he’s also starred in Broken City and the aforementioned Pain & Gain. He’ll also be starring along side Denzel Washington in 2 Guns which is set to be released on August 2. Whalberg likely made the majority of his money off of Ted though, seeing as it brought in over $218 million at the box office.
If Tom Cruise has had equally busy and diverse year, it’s nothing to the year that Hugh Jackman has had. Jackman started off the year with his least known film of the year, Butter. It barely cracked $175 thousand at the box office, so it wasn’t a big part of his income. Where Jackman did make his money, however, was on his two movies that also received critical success, Rise of the Guardians and, most notably, Les Misérables. (He also probably made money on Movie 43, but we don’t want to talk about that. Yes, that.)
Ah, C-Tates. Though Channing Tatum has always been in the limelight, this past year is the year that truly pushed him into the upper echelon of A-list actors. The $60 million he earned likely doesn’t even include his biggest hit of 2012, 21 Jump Street, and that’s really saying something. Between Magic Mike, the tiny 10 Years, Side Effects, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and the currently playing White House Down, Tatum has had a monster year, financially as well as critically.
It’s not even a question right now: Robert Downey Jr. is the King of the box office. He’s only had two movies come out in the past year*, but they’ve been huge ones. Downey Jr. has only appeared as one character, Tony Stark/Iron Man, but whenever he does, it’s a big payday for him as well as Disney. And as he’s now signed on for Avengers 2 and Avengers 3, don’t expect him to give up the throne any time soon. It’s nice to see his story of coming from a damaged-goods heroine addict all the way to the top where he is now.
*Marvel’s The Avengers came out last May, but it’s included in the data. It’s unclear exactly where the line is drawn.
We were surprised to see that Johnny Depp didn’t crack this year’s top 10. Depp’s two most recent films – this year’s The Lone Ranger and last year’s Dark Shadows – have been box office flops, and that’s been enough to keep him from making enough money on the back end.
The reason that there are no females on this list is that they aren’t eligible. Forbes publishes a separate list for actors and actresses. Their actress list has yet to be published.
A previous version of this story incorrectly assumed that no actresses were listed because of a lower pay. There’s still the potential for this to happen, but it’s also possible that a woman did make enough money.
Regardless, it’s unlikely that any made enough money to put them near the top, and that’s still an issue. Even at these inflated salaries, women still don’t earn as much as their male counterparts.