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How The Highest-Paid Actresses Made Their Money In 2020 | Forbes

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Modern Family‘s Sofia Vergara tops our new ranking of the world’s highest paid actresses with $43 million, as the TV star led a surge of small-screen paydays that eclipsed those in the movie business. Hollywood veteran Angelina Jolie ($35 million) and Red Notice star Gal Gadot ($31 million) come in second and third on the list. 

Most American movie theaters have been dark since late March, leading major studios to postpone big-budget releases, including the female-led Black Widow and Wonder Woman 1984. Since many movie stars earn large bonuses based on box-office performance, the lack of new theatrical releases has made room at the top of the pay scale for TV icons like Vergara and Grey’s Anatomy’s Ellen Pompeo (No. 8; $19 million), who capitalized on lucrative salaries from traditional television and streaming services, where the bulk of the pay comes upfront. Another TV-star, Viola Davis (No. 10; $15.5 million) makes the list for the first time thanks to her roles in ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder’s and the Netflix film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

In all, the ten highest-paid actresses earned a combined $254 million in the 12 months leading up to June, down 20% from last year. All but two —Angelina Jolie and Emily Blunt– made the bulk of their earnings from television and streaming. Those who typically make most of their money from traditional films earned an aggregate of $58 million this year, down from $136.5 million in 2019. 

“A film produced for a global streaming service can and will likely be seen by tens of millions of people,” says Hollywood attorney Tom Ara . “In the world of theatrical releases, that type of success could potentially translate into billions of dollars of revenues garnering the talent large box office bonuses and back-end profits.”

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