Hollywood's 10 Most Overpaid Actors

The Big Year movie poster

Photo: The Big Year

Actors notoriously make millions per film, but there are a few who are paid more than their work deserves.Forbes compiled this year’s list of the most overpaid stars by looking at the actors’ salaries compared to how much their three most recent films grossed (only the ones shown in over 2,000 theatres) and how much the movies cost to make.

According to Forbes, in order for a film to earn money, it has to make twice its production budget in ticket sales, plus the millions spent on marketing. A majority of the films on these actors’ résumés didn’t meet this criteria.

The biggest movie flop on the list is Jack Black’s “The Big Year,” which cost $41 million to produce, but only brought in $7 million in ticket sales.

*Production budgets and worldwide gross figures are from Box Office Mojo.

10. Sarah Jessica Parker

This 'Sex and the City' star returns $7 for every $1 she's paid. Since her stint as Carrie Bradshaw, Parker has not been incredibly successful at the box office. Two of her recent films, 'I Don't Know How She Does It' and 'Sex and the City 2,' barely made enough to cover their estimated budgets.

Last three films:

'New Year's Eve': $56 million budget, $142 million worldwide gross

'I Don't Know How She Does It': $24 million budget, $31 million worldwide gross

'Sex and the City 2': $100 million budget, $95 million worldwide gross

9. Ben Stiller

The 'Meet the Parents' actor brings in $6.50 for every $1 he makes. 'Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted' was a major hit of Stiller's, but he makes the list because of flops like 'The Watch' and a less-than-stellar grossing from 'Tower Heist.'

Last three films:

'The Watch': $68 million budget, $68 million worldwide gross

'Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted': $145 million budget, $742 million worldwide gross

'Tower Heist': $75 million budget, $153 million worldwide gross

8. Denzel Washington

Washington returns $6.30 for every $1 he's paid. His movies haven't done terribly, but he commands too high a paycheck, making it hard for his films to break their budgets.

Last three films:

'Flight': $31 million budget, $85 million worldwide gross

'Safe House': $85 million budget, $208 million worldwide gross

'Unstoppable': $100 million budget, $168 million worldwide gross

7. Adam Sandler

Funnyman Sandler returns $6.30 for every $1 he pockets. While 'Hotel Transylvania' was a major success this year, it was overshadowed by the disaster of 'That's My Boy.'

Last three films:

'Hotel Transylvania': $85 million budget, $297 million worldwide gross

'That's My Boy': $70 million budget, $58 million worldwide gross

'Jack and Jill': $80 million budget, $150 million worldwide gross

6. Nicholas Cage

This 'National Treasure' star brings in $6 for every $1 he makes. 'Drive Angry's' dismal box office return made him a contender for this year's list.

Last three films:

'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance': $57 million budget, $133 million worldwide gross

'Drive Angry': $50 million budget, $29 million worldwide gross

'Season of the Witch': $40 million budget, $92 million worldwide gross

5. Jack Black

Black returns $5.20 for every $1 he profits. Like other stars on our list, one of his film's flops over shadows his other project's successes. 'The Big Year' was a giant failure, not even grossing 20 per cent of its estimated budget.

Last three films:

'The Big Year': $41 million budget, $7 million worldwide gross

'Kung Fu Panda 2': $150 million budget, $666 million worldwide gross

'Gulliver's Travels': $112 million budget, $237 million worldwide gross

4. Sandra Bullock

Bullock star earns her films $5 for every $1 she's paid. While 'The Blind Side' was a major box office success, 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close' barely made enough to cover its budget, despite its Oscar nomination for best movie.

Last three films:

'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close': $40 million budget, $48 million worldwide gross

'The Blind Side': $29 million budget, $309 million worldwide gross

'All About Steve': $15 million budget, $40 million worldwide gross

3. Reese Witherspoon

Witherspoon brings in $3.90 for every $1 she earns. One of her recent films, 'How Do You Know,' was one of 2010's worst performing movies.

Last three films:

'This Means War': $65 million budget, $156 million worldwide gross

'Water for Elephants': $38 million budget, $117 million worldwide gross

'How Do You Know': $120 million budget, $49 million worldwide

2. Katherine Heigl

The actress earns her films $3.40 for every $1 she pockets. Heigl's films have been in steady decline since her huge success in 'Knocked Up.' Her 2012 movie, 'One for The Money,' didn't attract enough people to the theatres to turn a profit.

Last three films:

'One For The Money': $40 million budget, $37 million worldwide gross

'New Year's Eve': $56 million budget, $142 million worldwide gross

'Life As We Know It': $38 million budget, $106 million worldwide gross

1. Eddie Murphy

Dr. Doolittle himself is this year's most overpaid actor. He only earns his films $2.30 for every $1 he makes. His most recent movie, 'A Thousand Words,' barely made enough to cover half of its production budget.

Last three films:

'A Thousand Words': $40 million budget, $21 million worldwide gross

'Tower Heist': $75 million budget, $153 million worldwide gross

'Shrek Forever After': $165 million budget, $753 million worldwide gross

You've seen the most overpaid actors of 2012...

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