Markie Mark is officially Richie Rich: The former rapper-turned-actor is Hollywood’s highest-paid leading man, earning $68 million pretax in our 12 month scoring period.
The Boston native recorded his highest-ever payday thanks to soaring fees for movies such as Transformers: The Last Knight and the forthcoming Daddy’s Home 2. The former may have scored a miserable 15% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the lowest gross of the franchise to date, but Wahlberg need not worry – fixed compensation means he benefits even when movies don’t do well.
Wahlberg elbows out last year’s top-ranked star, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (No. 2; $65 million). Johnson continues to rake in top dollar for parts in Baywatch and the upcoming Jumanji, earning $50 million more than his 2016 total. While the lifeguard reboot failed to make a splash at the box office, The Rock’s checking account remains solid thanks to his lucrative role in HBO’s Ballers – and a popularity that pegged him likely to beat President Trump in a prospective 2020 election, per a 2017 poll.
“I can kick ass better than anyone on the planet,” he once told FORBES. “And I have a decent smile.”
Johnson edges The Fate of the Furious costar Vin Diesel (No. 3; $54.5 million), who saw his earnings leap 55% thanks to paychecks from the turbo-charged franchise, in addition to roles in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage and Marvel’s hit sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Rounding out the top five is Adam Sandler (No. 4; $50.5 million) and Jackie Chan (No. 5; $49 million). Sandler returns to the list thanks to a lucrative deal with Netflix that allows him to produce his own movies for the platform; Chan continues to make bank in China.
The world’s 20 highest-paid actors tallied a combined $720 million between June 1, 2016, and June 1, 2017, before fees and taxes. Earnings estimates are based on data from Nielsen, ComScore, Box Office Mojo and IMDB, as well as interviews with industry insiders. All figures are pretax; fees for agents, managers and lawyers are not deducted.
A quarter of this year’s list hail from outside the U.S., including three stars from Bollywood – Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar. Australian-born Chris Hemsworth (No. 11; $31.5 million) returns to the ranking as the biggest percent gainer on the list. After narrowly missing the cut last year, the soap-star-turned-superhero’s earnings are up some 250% over 2016’s estimate thanks to rising fees for Marvel movies, in which he plays Norse mythological deity Thor.
This year, newcomers comprise one fifth of the list, including Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo. Like Hemsworth, Renner and Ruffalo also have their paychecks from the Avengers to thank largely for their totals.
“The percent of budget cost have certainly skewed heavy, particularly on the Avengers movies, to cast now, whereas maybe in the early ones it was more visual effects or below the line,” Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said earlier this year. “But that’s okay because [the actors] are the best effects.”
Unlike his fellow list members, Gosling (No. 14; $29 million) was not required to don a cape for his millions: The newcomer pockets his best ever paycheck thanks to the success of La La Land, the movie-musical which earned him an Oscar nod for Best Actor. He joins the ranking below returnees Tom Hanks (No. 12; $31 million) and Samuel L. Jackson (No. 13; $30.5 million).
Hollywood’s highest-paid actors continue to out-earn their female counterparts: The top 10 actors banked a cumulative $488.5 million – nearly three times the $172.5 million combined total of the 10 top-earning women. While only three actresses made more than $20 million in 12 months, 16 actors broached the mark.
This pay disparity comes down to roles: In release schedules dominated by superhero movies and brawny blockbusters, there are simply fewer parts for women that pay the sizeable backend profits that result in leading men’s large paydays, or the franchise sequels that permit aggressive negotiation for favorable deals. According to a 2016 study, women comprise just 28.7% of all speaking roles in movies and only a quarter of roles for characters over the age of 40 – an ageism and lack of opportunity not facing Hollywood’s leading men.
Until there are an equal number of high-paying roles, there will continue to be an inequality in the paychecks of Tinseltown’s very richest. – Written by ,