Forbes loves to put out their Top Ten Whatever lists, knowing that they're great ways to start instant comment wars around the internet and drum up attention for themselves. (But then, isn't that always the point of list articles?) Their latest entry, on the highest-paid actors in Hollywood, isn't necessarily all that controversial, although it might not be completely accurate. As they put it, "to compile our earnings numbers we talked to agents, lawyers, producers and other industry insiders to come up with an estimate for what each actor earned between May 1, 2010 and May 1, 2011." Whether that considers just what they earn from acting, or whether it draws in production salaries (which likely netted Will Smith more money than his Men In Black III paycheck) and advertising bonuses is a bit unclear.
Regardless, it's tough to say that these are completely accurate unless they were based on conversations with the actors' attorneys and accountants, but here's Forbes' best guess for the top-ten highest-paid actors in Hollywood (from Studio Briefing):
|1. Leonardo DiCaprio|
$77 million. No doubt DiCaprio's Inception money is the driving force here, as I'm sure he took a hefty chunk of the profits off the film, which did far better than anyone really expected it to.
|2. Johnny Depp|
$50 million. If we counted the earlier portions of 2011, when Alice In Wonderland topped a billion dollars by itself, no doubt Depp would be at the top of this list. I hope he'll be able to afford the rent with only fifty million.
|3. Adam Sandler|
$40 million. Grown Ups is Sandler's all-time most successful film and I want to shoot myself even typing that.
|4. Will Smith|
$36 million. An off-year for Smith, but then he hasn't acted in much lately. I'm sure the bulk of this is from his up-front payment for Men In Black III, but he also probably made a ton of money from the Karate Kid remake he produced.
|5. Tom Hanks|
|6. Ben Stiller|
$34 million. Ah, that sweet, sweet Fockers money.
|7. Robert Downey Jr.|
$31 million. Between Iron Man 2 and Due Date coming out and whatever he's earning on his up-front money for Sherlock Holmes 2 and The Avengers, I'm honestly surprised this guy isn't way higher on this list.
|8. Mark Wahlberg|
|9. Tim Allen|
$22 million. If you're telling me that Tim Allen can make as much money as Tom Cruise just from being in Toy Story 3, then holy shit do I ever have to get into voice acting.
|10. Tom Cruise|
$22 million. How'd Knight And Day work out for you there, Mr. Cruise? Ha, ha, you only made $22 million this year! Take that! ...oh, wait, $22 million is still a boatload of money.