Hollywood, and now Bollywood too, are definitely the places where dreams really do come true and stars are born. These actors are definitely extremely well paid for their services. But did you know how well? Here’s a list of the highest paid actors. Some of them might even make more than a small country’s GDP.
1. Robert Downey Jr. $80m
Iron Man Robert Downey Jr.’s earnings continue to skyrocket thanks to his roles in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and the forthcoming “Captain America: Civil War,” for which he is commanding a reported $40 million. A large portion of his $80 million paycheck comes from the backend of “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which grossed $1.4 billion at the box office.
2. Jackie Chan $50m
China’s biggest movie star got a boost from back-end participation on “Dragon Blade,” which featured him in a starring role alongside Adrien Brody and John Cusack (the film grossed $120 million in China), and enough brand extensions to make Jay-Z jealous.
3. Vin Diesel $47m
Vin Diesel sped his way to the best annual paycheck of his career this year thanks to his role as Dominic Toretto in Universal’s “Fast and Furious” franchise. The latest installment of multicultural car crusades, “Furious 7,” grossed $1.5 billion at the box office, 77% of that from overseas.
4. Bradley Cooper $42m
Bradley Cooper ranks highly thanks to his ability to balance popcorn cheese such as “Aloha” with Oscar-worthy fare including “American Sniper.” Cooper produced and starred in the latter, which was directed by Clint Eastwood after Steven Spielberg passed on the military epic.
5. Adam Sandler $41m
Though it has been a while since Adam Sandler had an out-and-out multiplex hit, he continues to command top dollar for bloated budget movies such as 2015’s “Pixels.” Sandler, whose films have traditionally been popular with on-demand and DVD-watching couch potatoes, this year signed on to make four films exclusively for Netflix.
6. Tom Cruise $40m
Tom Cruise has defined the role of agent Ethan Hunt in the “Mission: Impossible” movies and has been able to maneuver himself into earning a ton based on how the blockbusters perform at the box office. He earned an estimated $40 million in profit from 2012’s “Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol”, which grossed $694.7 million at global ticketing booths.
7. Amitabh Bachchan $34m
Bollywood stalwart Amitabh Bachchan has starred in more than 150 movies in his 50 year career. He continues to earn top rupee for his roles in flicks such 2014’s “Bhoothnath Returns.” Though Indian movies gross far less than U.S. films at the box office, they recoup costs by selling satellite rights to TV channels. But unlike the U.S., where first dollar gross deals are a thing of the past, Bollywood stars such as Bachchan continue to earn a cut of each film’s ticketing revenue.
8. Salman Khan $34m
One of India’s biggest star, Salman Khan has appeared in some 80 movies since his 1989 breakout role “Maine Pyar Kiya.” Khan continues to produce and star in films, earning well for roles in flicks such as 2014’s “Kick.” He also appears on the small screen hosting reality show “Bigg Boss,” the Indian version of “Big Brother.” Khan’s Being Human clothing line clocked $30 million in 2014 revenue, with proceeds going to his foundation. He makes bank endorsing other brands including Thums Up (India’s Coca-Cola) and Suzuki.
9. Akshay Kumar $33m
Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar has appeared in some 150 movies since his 1992 breakthrough in “Khiladi.” He is one of Bollywood’s busiest leading men, filming an average of four movies a year. Kumar earns top rupee for roles in 2014 movies such as “Holiday” and “Entertainment.”
10. Mark Wahlberg $32m
Mark Wahlberg is banking off the back of 2015’s teddy bear comedy “Ted 2,” which grossed a reasonable $168 million. His 2012 “Ted,” which followed the trials of a crass talking teddy bear, grossed $549 million on a $50 million budget. Wahlberg returns as the main character, John, while screenwriter and executive producer Seth MacFarlane voices the coarse soft toy.
11. Dwayne Johnson $32m
With 2015’s earthquake disaster film “San Andreas,” Dwayne Johnson has proved he is an out-and-out action hero. The movie, carried on The Rock’s sizable shoulders, grossed an impressive $385 million at the global box office.
12. Johnny Depp $30m
Johnny Depp is setting sail as Captain Jack Sparrow for the fifth time, in the forthcoming “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” The big budget blockbuster sees him reprise role as the beloved swashbuckler. Depp is first exploring more gritty territory in “Black Mass,” the story of violent criminal Whitey Bulger who became an FBI informant.
13. Leonardo Dicaprio $29m
“The Wolf of Wall Street” star is returning to the big screen in 2015 with the hotly-anticipated “The Revenant.” The dark western, by “Birdman” director Alejandro González Iñárritu, is set to be an Oscar hopeful for the actor. Outside the multiplex, the fervent environmentalist is also partnering with Netflix on a set of conservation documentaries.
14. Channing Tatum $29m
Channing Tatum’s star is on the rise. Best known for light teen flicks and action movies such as the “Jump Street” series, Tatum is now proving his mettle as a producer. Tatum’s 2012 “Magic Mike” was a massive hit, grossing $167 million on a $7 million budget. He is producing and starring in “Magic Mike XXL”, the hotly anticipated stripper sequel.
15. Chris Hemsworth $27m
Despite earning millions, Hemsworth failed to make the $28 million cut off for the 2015 Celebrity 100 ranking of Highest-Earning entertainers. The “Thor” star stays busy making Marvel movies, including “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” He’s also reprising his role as Eric the Huntsman in forthcoming “The Huntsman,” a dark Snow White spin-off.
16. Daniel Craig $27m
A returnee to the Highest-Paid Actors list, Daniel Craig makes the ranking this year from his formidable Bond paycheck. Craig signed on to make two more films, including 2015’s “Spectre.”
17. Matthew McConaughey $27m
Once dismissed as an aging surfer fit only for romantic comedies, McConaughey is now one of the most respected actors in Hollywood thanks to the double punch of “Dallas Buyers Club” (for which he won an Oscar) and HBO’s “True Detective.” McConaughey’s continued with “Interstellar” and “The Sea of Trees.”
18. Shahrukh Khan $26m
India’s Leonardo DiCaprio earns from movies such as “Happy New Year” and “Fan,” as well as lucrative endorsements including Pan Masala.
19. Will Smith $26m
Will Smith has performed tepidly at the Box Office recently: “Focus” grossed $154 million worldwide on a $50 million budget. He still commands a decent paycheck and earns thanks to a healthy backlist.
20. Matt Damon $25m
A mainstay on the Highest-Paid Actors ranking, Matt Damon maintains his status playing the lead in forthcoming sci-fi book adaptation “The Martian.” He has also signed on to star in east-west co-production “The Great Wall” with fellow highly-paid actor, Andy Lau.
21. Hugh Jackman $23m
A triple threat who can sing and dance and is as comfortable hosting The Tony Awards as he is appearing on the big screen, Hugh Jackman is taking a break from his most famous role as Wolverine in X-Men, starring in “Chappie” and “Pan.” He has also launched a line of fair trade coffee with Keurig.
22. Ben Affleck $20m
Ben Affleck had a hit with 2014’s “Gone Girl,” grossing $368 million worldwide. Though his marital status is set to change as Affleck and Jennifer Garner divorce, some things stay the same: He’s signed on to star as Batman in upcoming superhero flick “Suicide Squad.”
23. Liam Neeson $20m
At 63, Liam Neeson has managed to become a fully-fledged action star. The Irish star banked big bucks from 2014’s “Taken.”
24. Chow Yun-fat $18m
Hong Kong actor Chow Yun-fat joins the Highest-Paid Actors list for the first time. Best known for his role in 2000’s “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon,” he makes the ranking thanks to movies such as “From Vegas to Macau II.”
25. Russell Crowe $18m
Critics may not have loved “Noah” but it was the biggest opening ever as a leading man for Russell Crowe. The biblical blockbuster eventually grossed $362 million and helped Crowe earn a healthy paycheck.