Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson tops the list of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors. No stranger to the rankings, having claimed the first place spot in 2016, and second in the last two years, the star of Hobbs & Shaw has had an immensely lucrative career in Hollywood. It’s something that wasn’t always so guaranteed.
While his electrifying charisma has long been evident to those that watched him perform in WWE, his transition to the big screen was a little bumpy at first. His earlier roles, in films like Gridiron Gang, Race to Witch Mountain, and Southland Tales, certainly have their charms. But it arguably wasn’t until he appeared in Fast Five as Luke Hobbs that audiences and studio executives began to see Johnson as the movie superstar he was often pegged to be. Credited among fans for refreshing the long-running Fast and Furious franchise, the character of Luke Hobbs would go on to headline his own movie, alongside Jason Statham’s character of Deckard Shaw. Other opportunities followed, and these days, movies headlined by the former WWE wrestler are a staple of the box office.
The success is reflected in Johnson’s bank account. As reported by Forbes, the actor earned $89.4 million between June of last year and June of this year. For Jumanji: The Next Level, he will be earning his highest upfront salary yet ($23.5 million). And as, Forbes notes, even if Johnson were to take a break from big tentpole films, he still has other sources of income. He gets paid $700,000 an episode for Ballers, an HBO dramedy he is the lead and executive producer of, and he makes seven figures for a deal with Under Armour.
The stars of Avengers: Endgame are well-represented in Forbes’ annual list. Chris Hemsworth earns the second spot with $76.4 million. Robert Downey Jr. is third with $66 million. Bradley Cooper is tied for sixth with Adam Sandler ($57 million) while Chris Evans comes up just ahead of Paul Rudd, at number eight with $43.5 million, while Rudd made $41 million. The record-shattering run of Endgame helped boost the earnings of most of its stars but, in Cooper’s case, he benefited most from A Star Is Born. Forfeiting his own upfront salary in favor of financing the film and Lady Gaga’s paycheck, his faith in the project paid off. Made for a budget of only $36 million, A Star Is Born earned $435 million worldwide.
There are a few relative surprises in the top ten. Akshay Kumar may not be known to most but, as Bollywood’s top-earning actor, he made $65 million. Jackie Chan is still an international hit, nabbing $58 million. On the whole, however, the top ten is a reflection of what currently commands the attention of moviegoers: superheroes and commanding action heroes like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.