Every year, Forbes releases their list of the highest paid actors and actresses in Hollywood. For us regular folk, this is the reminder of just how much our favorite celebrities make in one year. Sadly for the women of Hollywood, the first lady to crack this list doesn’t even make the top 10… and she earned over $40 million less than the #1 earner on this list.
Forbes calculates the data using many factors. Forbes says the “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 and scored between June 1, 2016, and June 1, 2017; fees for agents, managers, and lawyers are not deducted.” Which celeb on this list surprised you?
20. Chris Pratt
While Chris may be the first Marvel Cinematic Universe guy to make our top 20 highest paid Hollywood actor this list, he will most certainly not be the last. The Guardians of the Galaxy actor had Volume 2 of the franchise come out this year, but 2016 was big for him as well with The Magnificent Seven and Passengers both releasing. We have a feeling he’ll be even higher up on the list in 2018 considering he has Avengers: Infinity War AND Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom on deck for next year. He’s a busy guy!
19. Melissa McCarthy
Not going to lie, this one’s a bit of a shocker. Melissa wasn’t really in much in 2017, except — of course — her hilarious role as Sean Spicer on Saturday Night Live. She does, however, have THREE movies premiering in 2018 including Life of the Party where she also served as a screenwriter and producer. In 2016, she had a lead role in Ghostbusters, Central Intelligence and The Boss. Plus, remember her brief (and we mean BRIEF) cameo on Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life? Sometimes it’s easy to forget the movie star played Sookie St. James, especially now that she’s making $18 mil a year!
18. Chris Evans
People love superheroes and people really love Captain America. Being part of the MCU is proving very profitable for this Chris Evans, as it’s been reported he made two million dollars up front for the 2012 Avengers flick and it’s likely only gone up since them. He cameoed in Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2017, but is still collecting the check for 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. He also won the 2017 Kids’ Choice Award for “Favorite Butt-Kicker” and while that’s probably not factored into his net-worth, we just thought it was still worth a mention.
17. Jeremy Renner
Another Avenger on the list! Jeremy Renner made a lot less than Robert Downey Jr. but still managed to make more than the star of Captain America: Civil War. Between his Marvel movie, a film about the beginning of McDonald’s, and Arrival, Jeremy had a good year. Arrival actually had a number of Oscar nominations in 2017. Looking at 2018, like many of the people on this list, Jeremy is going to have another successful year.
16. Matt Damon
Even though Matt Damon hasn’t had huge box office hits in the last two years, like some of the people on this list, he has retaining star power which can mean money. His acting history means he can negotiate a good contract for each film. What helped him earn over 20 million was playing CIA assassin Jason Bourne once again. Since it was his return to the Jason Bourne series, it’s very likely he earned even more for it. His late 2017 films, Suburbicon and Downsizing definitely didn’t hurt, either.
15. Ryan Reynolds
After Deadpool became the highest grossing R-rated film (until it was later dethroned by It, of course), Ryan Reynolds really made his mark in Hollywood. He went into 2017 with a great year behind him and was able to pull in even more money. In 2017, he was in the films Life and The Croods 2. He worked with fellow high-earner, Samuel L. Jackson, on The Hitman’s Bodyguard. With Deadpool 2 releasing in 2018, it looks like Ryan will have another great money-making year.
14. Jennifer Lawrence
Our beloved J.Law is another star who can ask for the amount she wants now and has publicly discussed when she realized she needed to start fighting for her salary.
In 2016, she played Mystique once again in X-Men: Apocalypse. Then she teamed up with Chris Pratt to get stuck in space in Passengers. This year, she had the very out-there film, Mother! that had audiences talking. She always seems to be in high demand!
13. Jennifer Aniston
This Friends star will probably always make it into the top 20, because of her endorsement deals and her star power. She can do one movie a year and still be a megastar, meaning she can ask for top dollar. In 2016, she had Storks, Mother’s Day, and Office Christmas Party. They weren’t movies that crushed the box office like superhero movies do, but she still pulled in a cool $20 million for herself.
12. Emma Stone
Emma had a great year and La La Land is likely to blame. Even though she’s the one who won an Oscar, her movie love-interest somehow ranks a bit higher than she does! It was Emma’s first Oscar and she was so deserving. It’s also interesting to note that the Oscar winner of this year made over $40 million less than the #1 earner on this list. Hopefully, she is earning even more in 2018 now that she’s got that golden statue!
11. Ryan Gosling
Ryan Gosling had a whirlwind 2016 and 2017. He was nominated for an Oscar! La La Land took over awards season this year and it looked like they were going to sweep the Academy Awards. We all know what happened, but that didn’t actually translate to much money lost on Ry’s part. His salary for La La Land must have been quite decent considering how much he earned in the year. His 2017 film Blade Runner: 2049 also helped bump him up on this list.
10. Samuel L. Jackson
Even when he doesn’t make an appearance in a Marvel movie, he still brings in the cash! He was a film legend way before playing Nick Fury, so he can ask for the money he wants when negotiating film contracts. 2017 was a fun year for him in film, working with Vin Diesel in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage, Kong: Skull Island, and The Hitman’s Bodyguard. Make that money!
9. Tom Hanks
It is no surprise to see Tom Hanks on this list. Since the ‘90s, he’s been a powerhouse in the film industry. With 2016’s Sully receiving so much acclaim, it makes sense that Tom made so much money in the year. Even with flops like 2016’s Inferno and the lukewarm film The Circle in 2017, Tom still pulled in the big bucks. We’ll all happily keep paying movie theater prices to see Tom Hanks in every movie he puts out!
8. Chris Hemsworth
How many Avengers do you think will make this list? All Chris Hemsworth has to do is don his blonde wig and he’s making the big bucks in Thor: Ragnarok. Wielding the hammer, Chris earned a great chunk of change playing the God of Thunder. 2016 treated him well, too, with the Ghostbusters remake and then he starred in The Huntsman: Winter’s War. 2018 is looking pretty exciting for him, as well. Avengers: Infinity War releasing in May.
7. Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise earned the big bucks in 2017 and off of some not very successful films. It is probably safe to say a good chunk of the money earned was from The Mummy, which was a 2017 flop. Some critics even went as a far to call it Tom’s worst movie of all time. He also released American Made in 2017 and Jack Reacher: Never Go Back in 2016, neither of which made much of a dent in the box office. But when you’re Tom Cruise, the movie doesn’t even really need to be good for you to make bank.
6. Robert Downey, Jr.
Playing Iron Man sure comes with a hefty paycheck. In fact, it is more surprising that he isn’t higher on this list. In 2016, he headlined Captain America: Civil War, which is the 14th highest grossing movie of all time. In 2017, RDJ player mentor to a young Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Homecoming. The third Avengers film, Avengers: Infinity War, is set to be released in 2018. We’ve got a feeling Iron Man will be even higher on the list next year!
5. Jackie Chan
Jackie Chain is well-known for doing his own stunts in action films. But in 2017 he earned nearly $50 million by dabbling in animated films. Between the release of Kung Fu Panda Panda 3 in 2016, then The LEGO Ninjago Movie in 2017, he was pretty set. He also starred in and produced The Foreigner in 2017. Animated films might be a very lucrative career move for him moving forward!
4. Adam Sandler
It looks like Adam Sandler’s deal with Netflix has really paid off for him. He does double duty and an actor and producer on his own films. With a special release just on Netflix, he released The Do-Over with David Spade in 2016. In 2017 he starred in Sandy Wexler. He’s currently working on the third Hotel Transylvania, a film he produces and voices the main character.
3. Vin Diesel
Just like the second highest earner on this list, Vin Diesel earned some big bucks off of the release of The Fate of the Furious in 2017. Not only did he star in the film, he also produced it, which means even more money for him. 2017 was the year of sequels for Vin. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 came out and Vin voiced Baby Groot throughout the entire film. Then we saw him in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage. With the Guardians joining the Avengers in 2018, it looks like Vin will have another exciting year next year.
2. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
The Rock was the #1 earner in 2016 and his earnings for 2017 were not far behind. He is literally always working, so honestly, we could have expected him to make even more. He stars and produces the smash hit HBO comedy Ballers. He voiced the demigod Maui in the critically-acclaimed Disney musical, Moana.
But most obvious of all, The Fate of the Furious released in April 2017 and was yet another huge hit at the box office. With Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle set to release around Christmas, 2017 is still a great year for The Rock.
1. Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg was nowhere near the top of the list in 2016. But in 2017, he knocked 2016’s #1 out of the way to be the winner. It’s not surprising that Mark made it to the top of the list, as he starred in Transformers: The Dark Knight released in June 2017. The film has a worldwide box office gross of $605, 425,157. He also had Deepwater Horizon and Patriot’s Day come out in 2016, which contributed to this massive yearly earning.