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Top 10 Most Overpaid Hollywood Actors

Posted: November 6th, 2011 by WorstPreviews.com Staff
Top 10 Most Overpaid Hollywood ActorsSubmit Comment
Eddie Murphy is in the middle of a comeback with his "Tower Heist" film and the upcoming job of hosting the Academy Awards. But even though he has delivered box office bomb after box office bomb during the last few years, he was only the second most overpaid actor in Forbes' list of Hollywood's Most Overpaid Stars.

Taking first place is Drew Barrymore, whose films returned just $0.40 for every dollar the studios spent on her. The actress doesn't earn as much as some of the other people on the list, but her films have consistently performed poorly, like "Everybody's Fine" and "Lucky You."

Murphy landed in second place with hit films grossing $2.70 for every dollar spent on him. "Imagine That" and "Meet Dave" earned the actor millions, but neither film earned back its production budget.

Looking at the rest of the list, you might find it surprising that Reese Witherspoon, Denzel Washington, Adam Sandler and Tom Cruise are on there. All four take a massive cut of the budget for their salaries, which means that each film has to earn hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office just to break even. Considering that Cruise brings in $6.35 for every dollar spent on him, makes the actor a good bet for the studios.

1. Drew Barrymore: $0.40

2. Eddie Murphy: $2.70

3. Will Ferrell: $3.50

4. Reese Witherspoon: $3.55

5. Denzel Washington: $4.25

6. Nicolas Cage: $4.40

7. Adam Sandler: $5.20

8. Vince Vaughn: $5.20

9. Tom Cruise: $6.35

10. Nicole Kidman: $6.70

Source: Forbes


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Displaying 33 comment(s) Profanity: Turn On
Freudian_Nightmare writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 7:52:27 AM

No surprises here. Well, maybe Vince Vaughn, didn't even know he could demand salaries.
Johnnyb writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 8:02:46 AM

Hell, where is Christian Bależ? His Batman films and Oscar winning doesn´t come at nothing. The man has a reputation in Hollywood, a long time ago.....
boogiel writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 8:06:13 AM

Denzel is an overpaid actor? Whoever made this list is dumber than an Ass.
bandolero999 writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 8:09:12 AM

Nicholas Cage is in This list? He's had many flops on in the last decade.
SACdaddy writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 8:16:35 AM

Hard for me to hate on any of the stars on this list. Each of these actors has made plenty of great films that are well worth the price of admission. They've made some crap too, but nobody's perfect. The pay scale system in Hwood is a little wacky but if some producer is willing to pay them this much then more power to them. They'll take a pay cut if they feel the project is worth it.
saddison13 writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 8:24:32 AM

The only thing shocking about this list is that Cage isn't number 1.
bandolero999 writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 9:05:32 AM

Really Reese Witherspoon and Drew Barrymore made good movies?

You must own legally blonde and Never been kissed.
HorrorJunky4Life writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 9:06:45 AM

What Saddison said.
Ranger writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 10:00:08 AM

Folks... this isn't about good or bad movies, it's about ROI (return on investment). Tom Cruise would make the list if they paid him $100mil per movie because even though his box office take is (usually) great, they would have made back only so much IF they paid him that much.

Saddest thing on this list was to see Denzel on it.

Worst thing on this list is that unfunny Ferrel isn't #1.

Drew, Eddie, Reese and others do their own producing sometimes. That ups the cost to a project and may hurt it's return.

So again it's not who is 'overpaid' - by most people's standards ALL people in Hollywood are overpaid. Also, I don't agree with the wording 'overpaid.' Everyone is paid what they're worth. Sometimes that's unfortunate. I'm pretty sure EVERYONE on here thinks they're worth more money at work. Fine... go get someone to pay you more. If you can't find it, you're not worth more. Michael Jordan made $36mil. first year back from his 'retirement.' Was he worth that? Apparently so, because someone paid him that. If they could have gotten him for lower, that then would have been what he was worth that year. Nike once felt Tiger Woods was worth endorsing for $100-$200mil. Is he 'worth' that? Apparently.

And I hope no one posts after this about the injustice of wealth distribution in the world. No one person on here would turn down the $'s these celebs make, so don't expect them to. And if you're going to go on about hunger in the world - YOU send the starving some cash. These celebs do that all the time (it keeps the tax man off their ass - unless you're Nic Cage and had to have that million $ dino skull). I have come to learn that those that always rally behind those they view as underdogs, secretly (or not) view themselves as one as well.

If you don't like the money these folks make. Go to Hollywood and beat them at their own game.
Ranger writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 10:10:14 AM




PS: is Lohan dead yet?



trailertrash writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 10:35:21 AM

No

and good post mate
synthetic1985 writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 11:18:53 AM

agreed with Ranger, next list, 10 most overexposed actors/performers that need to just not exist basically because entertainment was better without them...seriously who should be number one on that list?
nawtnt writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 11:42:01 AM

I thought Tom Crusie or Eddie Murphy would be at the top.

trailertrash writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 12:27:01 PM

Sure these figures don't include the sale of Blu Rays, DVDs and TV, If they did their pay dollar to return dollar would look a lot better.

Which is why all these stars like Murphy still get big(ish) pay packets even though their films seem to tank at the boxoffice.
Rambo writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 12:55:10 PM

the only person who doesn't belong in this list is denzel washington.he always brings the goods.
Ranger writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 12:55:23 PM

Thx. synthetic and tt.

@nawtnt - Cruise is very bankable (despite a jealous, bitter wife of a Paramount President that got Tom canned because that 'President' had no working balls - Paramount lost MILLIONS on that stupid decision to can Tom).

Any Paramount exec's visiting this site? f*ck off!
Cannon writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 1:17:32 PM

Ya know what? I don’t care if Barrymore is overpaid -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ax95V7VEGY

With tits like that, she deserves every last cent.

BadChadB33 writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 1:23:29 PM

Ranger- Spot on!

Agreed Denzel does not net to bed on here.
Ranger writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 1:25:13 PM

@Cannon - I was actually going to use 'Charlie's Angels' as a reference in my post. Produced BY Drew. So if she self-produces, and gets a decent distributor, she's going to make more bank (and deservedly so over actors that don't... self-produce). I'm so glad that one didn't do the suicide thing that was on her mind in her earlier years. I like her boobage and girlish charm as well. Dare I go so far to say I'd fill up her ass like a hot water bottle.
Ranger writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 1:26:35 PM

@BC - I was pretty shocked to see Denzel on this list. The man couldn't give a bad performance if his life depended on it, AND he's very watchable. So, I don't know why fans don't pay to see his movies at the theater.
Ranger writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 1:29:15 PM

For clarity: 'The man couldn't give a bad performance if his life depended on it.' --- I'm aware that the actor's caliber is not the reason they made (or didn't make) this list. It's strictly $'s paid for box office earned. Still sucks that Denzel is on this list.

Denzel and Ferrel on the same list?! End of Days can't be far behind!
trailertrash writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 2:12:07 PM

So how many sandwiches is it before the studio have made some money back on Thomas Jane then ??
Ranger writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 2:20:45 PM

I don't think it's the number of sandwiches. I think it's the quality of the 'special sauce.'
trailertrash writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 2:28:48 PM

Does he have to swallow the special sauce then..
birnam writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 4:11:25 PM

It's true Denzels movies haven't always brought in much more then they cost. American Gangster, unstoppable etc were critical hits, but didn't make much back and yet everyone considers him a bankable star. On the other hand, if a Tom Cruise Movie doesn't bring in 400 million world wide it's a flop? Tom Cruises biggest flop was lions for lambs and that movie brought in almost twice what it cost. Even Valkyrie brought in 200 mill off it's 75mill budget. I really don't see how he's supposedly box office "poison" with these numbers. I'm sure most stars wish their worst movies still produced that much profit.

That being said most of the stars on this list get paid more because the studio is usually guaranteed somewhat of a return on their investment because of their name. If you look at an actor like Christian Bale the only reason his movies don't bomb usually is because he chooses big concept pieces that people go see because of the content and not the star. Similar to Transformers. Shia could have been replaced with a cat and it hardly would have made a difference to their success.

For more proof of this theory lets get back to Bale, Rescue Dawn, harsh Times, I'm Not There, Thew New World, and The Machinist were all great movies staring him that made very very little money.

Enough said.
synthetic1985 writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 4:43:47 PM

@ Ranger, i have to credit drew barrymore, she does a lot of work on her own films besides acting and as mentioned above, she most certainly deserves every cent with tits like those...plus she's been in the business longer than a handful of nobodies of today
Ranger writes:
on November 6th, 2011 at 7:28:50 PM

Yep.

I liked it when she flashed Letterman.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LYV9AZNlFU

jikae writes:
on November 7th, 2011 at 3:38:04 AM

Re: Denzel on the list.

Denzel is a GREAT actor in my opinion, but I question SOME of his choices for films. For every Malcolm X and Training Day, there are some iffy choices for movies. For reference, here are his last 10 films:

Unstoppable
Book of Eli
The Taking of Pelham 123
The Great Debaters
American Gangster
Deja Vu
The Inside Man
The Manchurian Candidate
Man on Fire
Out of Time

Now, if you look at that list, there are a few films that were deemed "flops" considering the money that went into it. Also, you have to consider that at this stage in his career, Denzel probably takes in at least $15 million/film while I won't be surprised if he takes in at least $20 million.
jikae writes:
on November 7th, 2011 at 3:39:32 AM

And speaking of great actors who haven't done anything lately, I'd like to see the return comparisons for Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro for the past 10 years.
DaveThePhotoGuy writes:
on November 7th, 2011 at 4:46:43 AM

Surprised to see Denzel on there, didn't think he asked for too much money.
sri_91 writes:
on November 7th, 2011 at 8:55:39 AM

Most overpaid actors in Hollywood?

Uhm, how about EVERYONE?
Kurskij writes:
on November 7th, 2011 at 9:51:34 AM

Denzel commands $20 mil. per picture if it's not a personal project like "The Great Debaters" or smaller, quicker friend-fare like "Inside man".

He also reportedly got about $15mil. instead of $20 for Unstoppable, but he also got some non-monetary rewards from the studio for that discount (Tom Jane package perhaps).

As Russell Crowe once put it "I do charity, but not for major studios".

As Ranger deservingly put it - you always get what you're worth unless of course you're enslaved in Cambodian jungle.

If someone is smart enough to get that kind of money (or someone is stupid enough to pay them) - he deserves it, no matter if the work itself is worth any piece of it.
Ranger writes:
on November 7th, 2011 at 10:46:28 AM

Tom Jane package - literally... a sandwich or Tom's actual package!

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