DiCaprio, Depp top list of best-paid actors

DiCaprio and Depp earn $77 million and $50 respectively.

Reuters August 02, 2011

Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp, actors who alternate between box office blockbusters and quirky, independent films, topped the list of Hollywood’s highest-earning actors, Forbes.com said on Monday.

“Hollywood careers are built on smart (and not always obvious) choices,” Forbes said in its annual look at the film world’s best-paid stars. It added that DiCaprio and Depp, who earned $77 million and $50 million respectively, are living proof of that.

Funnyman Adam Sandler, who earned $40 million, captured the number three spot while Will Smith and Tom Hanks were close behind, at a$36 million and $35 million.

Forbes described Sandler, a “Saturday Night Live” alumnus, as one of the surest things in Hollywood, and added that even if his films are not loved by critics they are popular with the ticket-buying public. Although Smith has been focusing more on his family lately, he still managed to be among the top five best-paid actors. Hanks’ film Larry Crowne was a flop but the actor also voices Woody in the Toy Storyfilms. The third Toy Story film was the highest-grossing animated film of all time.

DiCaprio, who vaulted from fifth to first place, had two box office hits last year, Shutter Island and Inception, which between them earned more than $1 billion. In his next films he’ll play FBI chief J Edgar Hoover and the title role in The Great Gatsby. Depp, last year’s top-paid actor, continues to sell tickets with his turn as Jack Sparrow in the popular Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

Forbes compiled the list based on earnings after speaking to agents, lawyers, producers and industry insiders to estimate what each actor earned for the year that ended May 1.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2011.