August 17, 2018

Just three of Forbes highest-paid actresses would place on the Forbes actors list

By Luke Christou

Forbes has released its annual highest-paid actresses list, with Avengers: Infinity War’s Scarlett Johansson having knocked Emma Stone off of the top spot.

With earnings of $40.5m, Johansson sits well ahead of second-placed Angelina Jolie, who earned $28m in the past year, according to the financial publication.

Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lawrence, Reese Witherspoon, Mila Kunis, Julia Roberts, Cate Blanchett, Melissa McCarthy and Gal Gadot make up the top ten.

However, compared to some of her male co-stars, Johansson’s earnings fall well short.

If Forbes were to combine the highest-paid actors and actresses lists, very few female leads would place.

Of the 10 actresses named on this year’s list, just three would have made it into the 2017 actors list. These are Scarlett Johansson, who would have placed eighth, Angelina Jolie, who would have placed 16th, and Jennifer Aniston, who would have placed 19th.

Four of the top ten highest-earning actresses made less than the 20th highest-earning male film star, Mark Ruffalo, made last year.

Mila Kunis and Reece Witherspoon both made slightly less than Chris Pratt, who placed 19th in 2017. Likewise, Jennifer Lawrence made the same amount as Chris Evans, who placed 18th.

Forbes highest-paid actresses x highest-paid actors: A combined list

  1. Mark Wahlberg – $68m
  2. Dwayne Johnson – $65m
  3. Vin Diesel – $54.5m
  4. Adam Sandler – $50.5m
  5. Jackie Chan – $49m
  6. Robert Downey Jr. – $48m
  7. Tom Cruise – $43m
  8. Scarlett Johansson – $40.5m
  9. Shah Rukh Khan – $38m
  10. Salman Khan – $37m
  11. Akshay Kumar – $35.5m
  12. Chris Hemsworth – $31.5m
  13. Tom Hanks – $31m
  14. Samuel L. Jackson – $30.5m
  15. Ryan Gosling – $29m
  16. Angelina Jolie – $28m
  17. Ryan Reynolds – $21.5m
  18. Matt Damon – $21m
  19. Jennifer Aniston – $19.5m
  20. Jeremy Renner – $19m

Did not place: Chris Evans ($18m), Jennifer Lawrence ($18m), Chris Pratt ($17m), Reese Witherspoon ($16.5m), Mila Kunis ($16m), Mark Ruffalo ($13m), Julia Roberts ($13m), Cate Blanchett ($12.5m), Melissa McCarthy ($12m), Gal Gadot ($10m).

Note: This is a mix of the 2018 actresses list and 2017 actors list.

Hollywood’s gender pay gap

The gender pay gap between Hollywood’s top male and female leads has been widely discussed in recent months.

The debate was fuelled earlier this year when Kevin Spacey’s sexual misconduct allegations forced a reshoot of crime thriller film All the Money in the World last year. Mark Wahlberg was reportedly paid an additional $1.5m for his time, while female lead Michelle Williams received less than $1,000.

According to Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman, women in Hollywood earn around $0.30 for every dollar that male actors make.

In 2017, the top 10 actors on Forbes’ list made $489m between them. In the same year, the top 10 actresses made $173m, or around 35% of the money earned by their male counterparts.

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