Money doesn’t make the world go around, but it sure gives people comfortable lives. The summer was dominated with news of raising salaries in the NBA, but Hollywood is still a money-making machine according to Forbes‘ list of the highest paid actors between June 2016- June 2017. No one on this list comes anywhere close to Sean “P. Diddy” Combs’ reported $130 million, but neither does anyone on this list has any reason to complain about their finances.
Just remember, all the reported amounts are pre-tax numbers, so that doesn’t mean these celebrities are actually taking home this much money at the end of the day. Additionally, the cut given to various members in the actors’ posse, like managers and agents, hasn’t been accounted for here. Put together, these 15 thespians brought home a whopping $629.5 million dollars. Unfortunately, there’s only one actress in the top 15 list this year, which reflects an existing issue of pay equality in Hollywood – and in the world in general.
There are a lot of similar faces here and on last year’s list, but there are also some new names on the list. Check out the 15 Highest Paid Actors of 2017 According to Forbes.
15. Emma Stone – $26 million
Unlike last year where there were four actresses in the top 15 list, Emma Stone is the only one to crack the top 15 this year. In addition to winning her first Oscar, for Best Actress in a leading role no less, Stone took the top-dog spot from Jennifer Lawrence to be the highest paid female in Hollywood.
Right now, she is working alongside her Superbad co-star Jonah Hill for a new Netflix series, Maniac. The whole series is set to be directed by Cary Fukunaga, the director of True Detective’s first season, and will be a dark-comedy. In addition to starring in the series, she is also an executive producer, bumping her paycheck even higher.
14. Ryan Gosling – $29 million
Just like his La La Land co-star Emma Stone, Gosling had quite the year. In addition to the critically praised La La Land, for which he received his first Oscar nomination since 2006’s Half Nelson, Gosling tapped into the geekier side of Hollywood to star in Blade Runner: 2049.
Alongside other A-listers like Harrison Ford and Jared Leto, Warner Bros. is hoping that Gosling can help Blade Runner can become a new hot franchise. The film’s budget was reportedly $200 million, making it the most expensive R-Rated film yet.
Even though Gosling doesn’t have any major endorsement deals, he headlined this year’s Adobe Summit in Las Vegas. The tech show has no problem doling out big money for their hosts, bringing in George Clooney last year to MC the event.
13. Samuel L. Jackson – $30.5 million
Lucky for him, his voice is so iconic that he also gets a lot of voice-over work. In addition to appearing in Blazing Samurai and working on Incredibles 2, Jackson narrated an eight minute short film that is a twist on Bambi. He’s also set to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe with 2019’s Captain Marvel, currently in pre-production.
Not only can he be seen or heard on the big-screen, but Jackson is a constant presence in the advertising world now. His Capitol One commercials seem to come on during every break, and he’s been plastered around cities holding a credit card and flashing his signature smile.
12. Tom Hanks – $31 million
Even if some of his movies don’t perform too well in the box office, Tom Hanks is always a safe bet. The biggest chunk of his salary this year came from returning to the Dan Brown inspired trilogy with Inferno. He also starred in Sully, the bio-pic about Captain Chesley Sullenberger landing a plane on the Hudson River, and The Circle alongside Emma Watson.
Hanks’ next film, The Post, which co-stars Sarah Paulson, Carrie Coon, and Meryl Streep, is already in post-production and slated to come out in January.
A significant portion of his income now comes from the production side. In addition to serving as executive producer on the TV documentaries The Eighties and The Nineties for CNN, he was a producer on My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, a follow up to the cult-classic.
11. Chris Hemsworth – $31.5 million
Though the contracts aren’t public knowledge, it’s been reported that there was a fee increase for actors returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As a result, Chris Hemsworth, the mighty Thor himself, saw his income skyrocket compared to last year. He recently filmed Avengers: Infinity War and is currently filming the as-yet-untitled Avengers 4. He also had a big part in last years Ghostbusters reboot as the cute, but dumb secretary to the team.
Thor:Ragnaroak comes out in November, and his next film, Horse Soldiers, is due out in . The film, which co-stars MCU alum Michael Peña, follows the first group of Special Forces that are sent to Afghanistan after September 11th. Hemsworth plays the team new, inexperienced captain as his squad is forced to work with a local warlord to fight the Taliban.
10. Akshay Kumar – $35.5 million
Hollywood may dominate the local headlines, but Bollywood is a powerful force that puts out more films every year. Akshay Kumar, who started acting because he had experience modelling and doing martial arts, has been a staple of the Bollywood scene for more than 25 years.
He’s already been in three films this year and it’s possible another project, Crack, will also be released this year. In addition to all that, he’s already completed 2.0, which will be released in January, and is preparing to play Indian music mogul Gulshan Kumar in Mogul. According to IMDb, he’s hard at work on two filming projects concurrently, Gold and Padman, both of which are expected to be released next year.
9. Salman Khan – $37 million
Salman Khan, who has been in more than 85 films since his debut nearly 30 years ago, has no problem staying relevant. He was in the second-highest earning Bollywood movie last year, Sultan, which saw him win the Zee Cine Award for Best Actor.
Khan doesn’t stick to one genre – he jumps around and does serious dramas like last year’s Tubelight and comedies about twins separated at birth like Judwaa 2 – set to come out September 29th. In addition to adding his voice to animated projects, Khan has recently become more focused on the production side of things.
Khan is somehow even busier than Kumar, working on four filming projects simultaneously. In addition to that, he’s also already attached to four other projects, two of which have release dates next year.
8. Shah Rukh Khan – $38 million
The last Bollywood star on the list, Shah Rukh Khan, is a clever businessman. At this point, a good deal of his roles include upfront fees for his work and a cut of the total profit at the end of the project. His most recent film, a romantic comedy about a tourist striking up a relationship with a tour guide in Europe called Jab Harry met Sejal, was just released in the states on August 4th.
He’s got the rock hard abs and the singing voice to keep him a Bollywood star for years to come. The 51 year old star, who made his Bollywood debut twenty-five years ago in 1992, is already hard at work on three projects to be released through 2019.
7. Tom Cruise – $43 million
It makes so much sense now. In all of his movies, Tom Cruise must be running straight to the bank. Even though The Mummy under performed in the box-office, Tom Cruise still took home a nice check.
His next film, American Made, a reunion with Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman, comes out on September 29th. The film looks like a return to form for Cruise, who plays a pilot who ends up working as a drug runner in the 1980s for the CIA.
The notorious stunt-man recently injured himself in a jump gone wrong on the set of Mission Impossible 6, a franchise which he produces. He’s recovering nicely and will be in tip-top shape when he’s finally called back to duty for Top Gun: Maverick, which is currently in pre-production.
6. Robert Downey Jr. – $48 million
Robert Downey Jr. might not be worth as much money as Tony Stark, but he’s working on it. Even though Captain America: Civil War came out last summer, he earned a share of the total profit, meaning he’s still making money off that movie every time someone buys the blu-ray.
He has a big-role in All-Star Weekend, Jaime Foxx’s feature directorial debut that still hasn’t been given a release date but is already in post-production.
He returned to playing Stark in Spider-Man: Homecoming and is currently hard at work working on the next two Avengers movies. In addition to another Sherlock Holmes movie, he’s also announced to play John Brinkley in an upcoming bio-pic which he’s also set to produce.
5. Jackie Chan – $49 million
Jackie Chan is a lucky man. Not only is he an A-list celebrity in the United States who does voice work in movies like The Nut Job 2 and The Lego Ninjago Movie but he’s also doing huge movies for the Chinese market like Kung Fu Yoga and Bleeding Steel.
While Chan hasn’t had an action packed movie in the U.S. in some time, he’s set to return to the big screen soon in The Foreigner, opposite Pierce Bronson. Directed by Martin Campbell, who helmed Golden Eye and Casino Royale, hopefully The Foreigner is a return to form for Chan.
4. Adam Sandler – $50.5 million
Good thing critics don’t determine how much money a movie star should make, otherwise Adam Sandler wouldn’t be anywhere near the top five earners of 2017.
Thanks to Netflix, Sandler is still as relevant as ever and he’s been tapped to producer four more original films for the streaming service. His 2017 release, Sandy Wexler, didn’t break the viewing records set by The Ridiculous 6, but it proved to Netflix audiences still love his brand of comedy. Right now he’s busy executive producing and lending his voice to Hotel Transylvania 3, which comes out next year.
The Meyerowitz Stories, co-starring Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller, and Emma Thompson, has been getting good reviews on the festival circuit. Perhaps this water boy has another Punch Drunk Love level performance he’s ready to share with the world.
3. Vin Diesel – $54.5 million
Vin Diesel is still a big draw for the box-office. He’s already starred in three blockbusters this year: xXx: Return of Xander Cage, The Fate of the Furious, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, in addition to lending his voice to the new Guardians ride at Disney’s California Adventure.
Fate of the Furious, which arguably focused on Diesel more than the last few Fast movies, brought in a whopping $1.16 billion dollars, so it makes sense that Universal already has two sequels and a spin-off in the works for the franchise. He’s already returned to the booth for Avengers: Infinity War, and is likely to return for the unnamed sequel and Guardians Vol. 3.
2. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – $65 million
The Rock must sleep with a smile on his face at this point now that he’s been called the second-highest paid actor in the world two years in a row. Not bad for a former wrestler who was cut from the Canadian Football League two months into his career.
Dwayne Johnson is easily one of the hardest working people in Hollywood. In addition to starring in the HBO series Ballers, he also serves as an executive producer on the project. His production company, Seven Bucks Productions, keeps exciting projects on his desk and the checks rolling in. Plus, there’s no underestimating how big of a splash Moana made in the box-office and the Billboard charts.
Just in case audiences thought they’d have to deal with a shortage of The Rock in their life, you can rest easy. He’s already attached to six announced movies, filming Skyscraper for a 2018 release, dealing with pre-production for Jungle Cruise, and working on post-production for Rampage.
1. Mark Wahlberg – $68 million
Marky Mark Wahlberg is a bonafide A-lister. His rapping days may be behind him, but he’s still doing pretty well. With Transformers:The Last Knight performing in theaters around the world, Daddy’s Home 2 preparing to hit theaters in November and All the Money in the World coming in December, 2017 has been quite impressive for Wahlberg.
Acting isn’t his only gig, though. In addition to being the face of AT&T, Wahlberg is a production superstar. Audiences may not know this, but he produced Entourage, Boardwalk Empire, and is now hard at work with Ballers.
He’s also producing his next three movies, one of which is still untitled. The other two films are called Mile 22 and The Roman.
What does everyone think of the list? Did anyone not deserve to be on here in your opinion? Sound off in the comments!
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