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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

The world’s highest paid actors and the films that got them there

Forbes magazine has released its annual list of the top 10 highest paid actors, with Mark Wahlberg in the lead, three Bollywood bigwigs and no women  

Of the 30 people who made it onto the Forbes 2017 Highest Paid Actors in the World list, only a third are women. And the difference between the earnings of actor Mark Wahlberg, who topped the list, and highest paid actress Emma Stone, who came in at number 15, is a whopping US$42 million (Dh154m).

Ironically, compared to Stone’s mega hit La La Land, Wahlberg’s films didn’t even make the box-office cut. Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day and Transformers: The Last Knight, all grossed less than their million-dollar production costs. Fortunately for Wahlberg, he received his fees upfront, consequently collecting a total of $68m.

Forbes based its report on the pre-taxed incomes of actors around the world between June 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017. This includes the signing amounts that the stars are likely to receive for forthcoming films, as well as money made on television series and any other cinematic collaborations. Case in point: Adam Sandler, who is number four on the list with $50.5m, despite starring in a lone box-office dud this year, the Netflix film Sandy Wexler. This is because the actor cracked a lucrative deal with Netflix, which allows him to produce his own movies for the platform. Likewise, last year’s topper Dwayne Johnson, who is in second position this time around, has his HBO series Ballers and upcoming film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle to credit for his $65m haul, in addition to Baywatch and The Fate of the Furious.

Johnson’s Furious co-star, Vin Diesel, who reprised his role as Dom Toretto, also features on the list at number three ($54.5m). When it comes to owning a role, nobody does it better than Robert “Iron Man” Downey Jr, who’s at number six ($48m) based solely on this year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, followed by Tom Cruise ($43m) for The Mummy and Jack Reacher.

Jackie Chan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar also made it to the top 10 this year. Chan, who came in second last year, is at spot five, while the three Bollywood actors make up the tail-end of the list. Forbes credits Chan’s massive fan following in China for his bank-account and box-office triumphs, although one suspects it is also due to the number of roles the martial arts expert lends himself to. Between this June and the last, Chan has acted in five films and signed up for another nine, including Karate Kid 2 and Rush Hour 4.

The three Bollywood bigwigs were part of the comprehensive Forbes 2016 list last year, as were Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone, but only Shah Rukh Khan was in the top 10.

The Hollywood stars who didn’t make it at all from last year include Johnny Depp and Ben Affleck, while actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Melissa McCarthy lost their spots on the top 10 to go down to positions 17 and 21 respectively. Amy Adams came in “last”, at spot 30, with $11.5m.

In the past, Lawrence has famously spoken out about the gender pay gap, which seems to be widening every year. For instance, 16 actors made more than $20m, compared to a measly three actresses. And the top 10 actors earned a total of $488.5m, which is nearly three times more than the combined earnings of the top 10 actresses.

See the full list here.

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