Dorothy Pomerantz of Forbes is back with another Hollywood financial report and the results of this one are far more satisfying than the last. Minus Sandra Bullock, the five actresses who earned the most cash are all wrong. They may have been deserving of the dough at one point, but now it seems as though they're being rewarded just as well for overflowing our theaters with garbage. Don't get too discouraged yet because the list of the highest-paid actors is out and it's a monumental improvement.
Snagging the top spot is Johnny Depp with a whopping $75 million haul between June 2009 and June 2010. Ever since the very first Pirates of the Caribbean film, Depp has practically been a guaranteed moneymaker. Curse of the Black Pearl earned an impressive $654.3 million worldwide, then Depp went on to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which ended up with a $475 million haul followed by Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest with a staggering $1.1 billion and At World's End with $961 million. That leaves us at Public Enemies, which didn't earn quite as much, but still took in a decent $214.1 million worldwide. However, it's quite obviously Alice in Wonderland that made Depp the year's top earner. After a string of hugely successful films, I'd like to bet he received a hefty paycheck and, to top it all off, the film went on to earn $1 billion worldwide. Not every film Depp makes is fantastic, but he does manage to keep delivering above average flicks. Tack on the reliability from the moneymaking standpoint, and Depp is clearly well deserving of the top spot.
The second position goes to someone who's been stuck in a so-so film rut, but nevertheless, is a smart businessman and clearly knows how to work the industry, Ben Stiller. According to the report, Stiller took home a nice wad of cash to return for Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian as well as the new Meet the Parents movie, Little Fockers. Both contributed to his $53 million total. I don't have high hopes for that franchise's third installment, but Stiller's indie work, namely Greenberg, and his efforts in the producing world keep my respect for him high. #3 is another guy who seems to deliver on a fairly consistent basis, Tom Hanks. Helping him make this list are Angels & Demons and the upcoming film Larry Crowne, which Hanks stars in, wrote and directed.
I've got a little problem with our fourth highest earner. I still consider myself an avid Adam Sandler fan – Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore defined my childhood, as sick as that sounds – but Grown Ups was a colossal disappointment. I know many didn't enjoy Funny People, but at least that was a project Sandler clearly put tons of time and energy into, yet Grown Ups, a comedy with zero funny gags and one that almost appears to have been made on the fly, is one of the highest earners of the summer. Let's just hope Sandler's producing gig, Zookeeper, justifies his $40 million year. Now here's a guy who deserves to be on this list, Leonard DiCaprio. Forbes has him in the #5 spot with $28 million courtesy of Shutter Island. I'd like to bet DiCaprio finds himself on this list again next year because his $699.1 million worldwide earner, Inception, missed Forbes' deadline for this year's list.
Coming in at #6 with $25 million is Daniel Radcliffe obviously thanks to Harry Potter and he's followed by Robert Downey Jr. and his $22 million courtesy of Iron Man 2 and Sherlock Holmes. Next up is another $22 million earner, Tom Cruise. This one's a little shocking considering Cruise is becoming well known for losing his star power. Knight & Day was a box office misfire, so perhaps he's just getting a ton of cash up front for Mission: Impossible IV. Brad Pitt gets the ninth spot with $20 million. Inglourious Basterds was a $313.6 million worldwide earner and Pitt's big winner. Last, but not least with $19 million it's George Clooney. The Men Who Stare at Goats might have flopped, but not only did Clooney received an Oscar nomination for Up in the Air, the film did quite well at the box office with a very minimal production budget, too.
Okay, so the list isn't perfect, but it is far better than the actress counterpart. Whereas that list had a handful of names who didn't just underperform, they fell flat completely, this one's pack with some mediocre material as well as a ton of downright fantastic work. Sadly nobody can perform 100% of the time, but some degree of consistency is greatly appreciated and all ten of these men have achieved that to a point.