In Depth

Who are the highest-paid actors in 2018?

Male actors’ earnings dwarf their female counterparts’ in new Forbes list

George Clooney has topped Forbes’ annual ranking of the highest-paid actors, which tallies both onscreen and extracurricular earnings in the past 12 months.

The star’s film-based enterprises accounted for only a fraction of his income, with “most coming from the sale of spirit company Casamigos Tequila”, reports The Guardian.

For Clooney, “the sale meant an estimated $233m (£180m) pretax from Casamigos, plus additional earnings from endorsements and older movies”, says Forbes.

Trailing closely behind at No. 2 is Dwayne Johnson. The 46-year-old raked in $124m (£96m) before tax, “the largest ever acting take-home from front-of-camera roles in Celebrity 100 history”, the magazine says.

During that time, Johnson played a soldier turned primatologist in Rampage and an archaeologist explorer in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which proved to be his biggest payday.

Johnson’s “huge social media following (113m on Instagram) helped him pad his wallet, allowing him to nearly double his earnings through promotion”, says USA Today.

“Social media has become the most critical element of marketing a movie for me,” Johnson told Forbes. “I have established a social media equity with an audience around the world that there’s a value in what I’m delivering to them.”

Rounding out the top three on the list is Robert Downey Jr., who pocketed $81m (£63m). The Iron Man star “still negotiates with an iron fist, cashing an estimated $15m up front for 2017’s limited-screen-time role in Spider-Man: Homecoming”, says Forbes.

Clooney “earned some $200m (£155m) more than the highest-paid female actor, Scarlett Johansson, whose $40.5m (£31.5m) total is thought to largely derive from her involvement in Marvel titles”, adds The Guardian.

Among the female actors, Angelina Jolie (£21.5m) is next on the list, with Jennifer Aniston (£14.5m) third. Aniston is thought to make the bulk of her earnings from endorsements for brands such as Emirates, SmartWater and Aveeno.

Forbes’ list of the world’s best-paid male actors 2018:

1. George Clooney - $233m (£180m)2. Dwayne Johnson - $124m (£96m)3. Robert Downey Jr - $81m (£63m)4. Chris Hemsworth - $64.5m (£50m)5. Jackie Chan - $45.5m (£35m)6. Will Smith - $42m (£32m)7. Akshay Kumar - $40.5m (£31m)8. Adam Sandler - $39.5m (£30.6m)9. Chris Evans - $34m (£26m)10. Salman Khan - $33.5m (£26m)

Forbes’ list of the world’s best-paid actresses 2018:

1. Scarlett Johansson - $40.5m (£31.5m)2. Angelina Jolie - $28m (£21.5m)3. Jennifer Aniston - $19.5m (£14.5m)4. Jennifer Lawrence - $18m (£14m)5. Reese Witherspoon - $16.5m (£12.8m)6. Mila Kunis - $16m (£12m)7. Julia Roberts - $13m (£10m)8. Cate Blanchett - $12.5m (£9.7m)9. Melissa McCarthy - $12m (£9.3m)10. Gal Gadot - $10m (£7.7m)

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