A-listers’ paychecks versus profit and other reminders that you’re poor


Think you’re underpaid? Think

the guy three cubicles down from you is overpaid? Well, take heart.

Your pay scale cannot be as wonky and egregious as that of the Hollywood

elite. Forbes magazine did some complex calculations based

on some superstars’ last three films (don’t ask me to explain the equation;

I’m a writer and therefore allergic to math). They found that some were paid

appropriately based on their rate of return, and others were vastly

overpaid. Now, I may not be good at math, but duh.

The high and low ends of the scale

belonged to male stars. Matt Damon had the best pay-to-profit

ratio; for every $1 he earned, his films grossed $29. The worst? Russell

Crowe — for each $1 he made, his films made $5. Talk about your fuzzy

math. Of course, I’m most interested to see how the female A-listers


The worst earners weren’t a

shock, per se: Cameron Diaz ($1/$9), Nicole Kidman ($1/$8)

and Jennifer Lopez ($1/$7). The artist formerly known as J-Lo

has been cranking out stinker after stinker. Nicole’s pale perfection

has inspired similarly pallid box office, and that’s not even counting

the Golden Compass disappointment. But Cameron? That’s a tad

surprising, especially after all those Shrek triumphs.

Those in the middling earnings

department included

Sandra Bullock
($1/$13), Reese Witherspoon ($1/$13) and

Renée Zellweger
($1/$14). I kind of thought they’d fare worse,

so good for them.

And the most profitable female

stars? Oooh, the tabloids are gonna love this. Angelina Jolie

(at $15 profit for every $1 she earns) and Jennifer Aniston (at

$17 profit for every $1 she earns). And just to ensure that Us Weekly editors

will be salivating for weeks to come, Brad Pitt was the second most

profitable on the list, just behind Matt at $1/$24. I can see the “Jen

comes between Brad and Angie!” headlines now.

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