Forbes has released their annual look at how Hollywood’s leading men and women are doing financially and as you will probably not be surprised to hear, many of them seem to be making a pretty comfortable living.
With regards to the fellas, the most comfortable of them all this year is Marky Mark Wahlberg, who brought in $68 million between his Transformers: Oh Please Make It Stop and Daddy’s Home 2, which implies there must have been a Daddy’s Home 1 at some point.
Wahlberg narrowly edged out human totality and future President Dwayne Johnson, who made $65 million between Baywatch and Jumanji. If you’re finding that none of these movies are very good, you’re learning an important lesson about fixed income, which means the stars get a paycheck whether or not the movie does well. We’ll see how both Jumanji and Daddy’s Home 2 do at the box office, but neither Johnson nor Wahlberg need them to make bank for them to cash the checks.
In third place is Vin Diesel, whose xXx: Who Even Knows Anymore alongside his voiceover role for Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2 netted him $54.5 million. The next two entries will probably surprise you, too: Adam Sandler and Jackie Chan. Sandler’s on the list thanks to a massive Netflix deal where he gets to make whatever terrible movies he wants and still get paid, which is good work if you can get it. And while Jackie Chan isn’t a regular fixture in the American box office anymore, he continues to clean up in China.
In fact, of this year’s top 20, a full quarter come from outside the U.S. That includes three Bollywood stars (Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar), Canadian Ryans Reynolds and Gosling, and Aussie/Norse god Chris Hemsworth. All of the white Avengers made an appearance, in fact, but Chadwick Boseman and Don Cheadle are notably absent. Samuel L. Jackson is the only black actor to make the list.
But the list of highest paid men is a veritable rainbow of humanity compared to the list of highest-paid women. Emma Stone tops the list with $26 million over the last year. She comes out just ahead of Jennifer Anniston, whose made $25.5 million, mostly in endorsements; and Jennifer Lawrence, who made $24 million. Melissa McCarthy and Mila Kunis round out the top five. Just below them are newcomer Emma Watson, Charlize Theron, Cate Blanchett, Julia Roberts and Amy Adams. So don’t let anyone tell you Hollywood is stuffed full of “PC police.” When you peel back the curtain, the old, ugly roots of white privilege are just as prevalent there as they are anywhere.
In any case, these women are doing financially well compared to say, you and me. But relative to their male colleagues, it’s a different story. The top 10 highest paid male actors made a cumulative $488.5 million. The top ten highest paid female actors pulled in just $172.5 million. Gender pay disparity remains a serious issue across the board, and no one wants to spend too much time weeping for wealthy, beautiful celebrity millionaires. But sometimes you don’t really recognize the truth of something in your own life until you see it in the movies.