Highest paid actors of 2009

September 27, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

It was a good year for the top-earning men in Hollywood. Seven of our top 20 raked in more than $30 million. To figure out earnings we spoke to agents, managers, producers and lawyers to come up with estimated earnings between June 2008 and June 2009.

Harrison Ford

$65 million

After years of staying on the down low, Ford reemerged this year for Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, the fourth installment of the Indiana Jones series that started in 1981. Ford’s earnings on the movie come exclusively from his share of the profits of the film, which earned $786 million at the worldwide box office.

Adam Sandler

$55 million

The former Saturday Night Live star has proved himself to be a solid hit maker with movies like this year’s Bedtime Stories and You Don’t Mess With The Zohan, which earned a combined $413 million at the box office. Up next: Funny People, directed by his former roommate Judd Apatow.

Will Smith

$45 million

Smith proved once again that he owns July 4 with last summer’s Hancock. Despite middling reviews, the film grossed $624 million at the worldwide box office. Smith’s status as a global superstar helped keep his downer film Seven Pounds from being a total disaster. The movie earned almost $100 million overseas.

Eddie Murphy

$40 million
Despite the failure of Meet Dave (the film made only $50 million at the worldwide box office), Murphy continues to earn big paychecks for his work in family comedies. That could change if his two upcoming movies, Imagine That and A Thousand Words, don’t perform.

Nicolas Cage

$40 million

The actor doesn’t earn the same size paychecks as some of the other men topping our list, but he works twice as hard. Cage currently has six films scheduled for release over the next two years. Part of the reason for his work ethic could be the fact that he owes millions to the IRS.

Tom Hanks

$35 million

Hanks is one of the few stars who still earns $20 million upfront paychecks for his work in movies like Angels & Demons, which has grossed $407 million for Sony at the worldwide box office. Hanks also makes a nice living producing hits like last year’s Mamma Mia.

Tom Cruise

$30 million

Cruise managed to avoid any embarrassing tabloid moments over the last 12 months, and his movie Valkyrie did better than expected, earning $200 million at the worldwide box office. But the thing that most helped Cruise rehab his image this year was his cameo as an obnoxious Hollywood executive in Tropic Thunder.

Jim Carrey

$28 million

The funny man took a big risk this year on his film Yes Man. In lieu of his $20 million upfront pay, Carrey became an investor in the movie taking one-third of the film’s profits. The unusual deal turned out to be a good one for Carrey. By the time the movie has earned all its money he’ll pocket $35 million.

Brad Pitt

$28 million

Pitt was nominated for an Oscar this year for his work in The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button and also earned some cold cash from the film, which brought in $333 million at the worldwide box office. Up next: hunting for Nazi scalps in Inglourious Basterds.

Johnny Depp

$27 million

Depp falls to 10th place on our list after earning $72 million last year. The reason: no new Pirates Of The Caribbean movie. The fourth installment is scheduled for 2012. In the meantime, he’ll play John Dillinger in Public Enemies and the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland.

George Clooney

$25 million

The star hasn’t appeared in a blockbuster hit outside of the Ocean’s series since 2000’s The Perfect Storm. Instead, Clooney has opted for smaller films like last year’s ensemble movie Burn After Reading. Up next: Men Who Stare At Goats, which was one of the few films to find a buyer at the recent Cannes Film Festival.

Russell Crowe

$20 million
The volatile actor stumbled with last year’s Body Of Lies that costarred Leonardo DiCaprio. The film grossed $115 million. But Crowe can still earn big paychecks on movies like the upcoming Robin Hood, which will hit theaters next summer.

Robert Downey Jr.

$20 million

Iron Man grossed $580 million at the worldwide box office, proving that despite his checkered history, Downey is still a draw in the right part. The film’s success allowed him to boost his asking price on Iron Man 2, helping the actor earn $20 million over the last 12 months.

Denzel Washington

$20 million

While starring in blockbusters like American Gangster and Inside Man, Washington has also been honing his skills behind the camera, directing 2007’s The Great Debaters. Coming up next: a remake of The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3 and The Book Of Eli about a post-apocalyptic America.

Vince Vaughn

$14 million

The comedian continues to be a solid draw in movies like Four Christmases and Fred Clause, even if his films don’t set the box office on fire. He’s a producer on this fall’s Couple’s Retreat, a comedy that costars Jon Favreau and Jason Bateman.

Ben Stiller

$14 million

The actor had a hit with last summer’s Tropic Thunder, which grossed $188 million at the worldwide box office. Stiller was the star of the film and also the writer, director and producer. He also makes big bucks starring in comedies like Night At The Museum 2, which has so far earned $280 million at the worldwide box office.

Seth Rogen

$12 million

Rogen appeared in four movies over the last 12 months, including Pineapple Express and Monsters Vs. Aliens, in which he was the voice of B.O.B., a blob-like monster. Up next: Funny People, directed by his mentor Judd Apatow and starring Adam Sandler.

Matt Damon

$11 million

Damon makes the big bucks when he plays Jason Bourne in the action series, but brings in less for more serious movies. This year there was no Bourne, so his earnings are coming mostly from his work in the upcoming Nelson Mandela biopic starring Morgan Freeman and directed by Clint Eastwood.

Christian Bale

$10 million

Bale got more ink for his abusive rant on the set of Terminator Salvation than for his acting this year, but he still managed to appear in several blockbusters, including The Dark Knight, which is the second highest-grossing film of all time behind Titanic. Up next: He plays federal agent Melvin Purvis hot on the trail of John Dillinger in Public Enemies.

Will Ferrell

10 million
The funnyman had a rough year. His movies Step Brothers and Semi-Pro under-performed his earlier hits like Blades Of Glory and Talladega Nights. Things got even worse last weekend when his big-budget remake of Land Of The Lost opened to only $18 million, putting it in third place behind The Hangover and Up.

SOURCE : FORBES

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