We all know that Hollywood heavyweights make some serious money, but if there are some small screen stars out there making a million dollars an episode, just imagine what the highest paid blockbuster actors are earning in a year. We’ve taken a look at the A-list’s incomes, and can we just say, holy smokes, those salaries are insane. The top 25 have all worked hard to earn their spot at the top of the Hollywood heap, but just wait until you see who took no. 1, and by how many tens of million no. 2 trails behind. That’s right, we’ll be hitting the hundred millions, so hold onto your hats.
25. Gal Gadot
Let’s all give a rousing round of applause to first timer on the Forbes highest paid actor ranking, Gal Gadot! The Israeli born actress really broke into the Hollywood big leagues when she suited up as Wonder Woman in 2017, and perhaps unsurprisingly, playing everyone’s favorite female superhero has spelled serious financial success.
In addition to pulling in a hefty payday as an actress, Gal signed an endorsement deal with major makeup company Revlon in 2018. Altogether, the busy star is estimated to have earned a sizeable salary, estimated at $10 million. With Wonder Woman 1984 slated for release sometime in 2019, Gal’s sure to hold onto her spot among Hollywood’s elite.
24. Melissa McCarthy
Funny lady Melissa McCarthy has moved on up from playing the comedic relief sidekick like she did in Gilmore Girls or in the bawdy female focused film Bridesmaids, to starring in her own movies. Proving her popularity with the public, Melissa McCarthy has been pocketing a pretty hefty payday.
With three movies out in 2018, including Life of The Party, The Happytime Murders and an Oscar-nominated performance in the drama film Can You Ever Forgive Me?, McCarthy ended the year on a high note, and approximately $12 million in the bank. It turns out the old saying is true, funny people finish first.
23. Cate Blanchett
Having long ago proven her acting chops, Cate Blanchett seems to be casting directors’ go-to-gal for everything from the kid-friendly The House With a Clock in Its Walls, to the sleek heist film Ocean’s 8, to the Marvel Universe money-maker Thor: Ragnarok.
They say crime doesn’t pay, but playing the big baddie in a Marvel movie pays big – about $12.5 million for 2018. Thor: Ragnarok became the highest grossing movie in the Thor film franchise, and sure, there’s probably a whole slew of reasons that could explain what made it such a success, but who’s to say it wasn’t Cate Blanchett and her evil CGI hair.
22. Julia Roberts
It should almost go without saying that Julia Roberts pulls in some serious cash – she’s been acting longer than some people on this list have even been alive. Roberts long ago proved to be one of the most versatile actresses in Hollywood, and of course, her trademark mega-watt smile is worth its weight in gold.
We’ll accept no review of Pretty Woman other than that it’s a perfect film, as is nearly every Julia Roberts starring movie. Coupled with an endorsement deal with Lancome (because honestly, who wouldn’t buy makeup that’s Julia Roberts approved?) the actress made $13 million in 2018.
21. Charlize Theron
The idea that action movies have to focus on a male lead is frankly outdated, as Charlize Theron proved as the most formidable spy MI6 has ever seen in the action/thriller Atomic Blonde. Pulling double duty as both the film’s star and producer, Theron pulled in a pretty penny too, to the tune of $14 million.
A sequel is in the works, so there’s more spy action to come. Controversial opinion, but let’s think of Atomic Blonde as an audition for Theron to play the first female James Bond. If anyone can play with the big boys and beat them at their own game, it’s her.
20. Mila Kunis
Getting her start on That 70’s Show while she was still a teenager, Mila Kunis is a Hollywood veteran at this point and she’s not even 40 years old yet. Between her television work and major movie roles, Mila Kunis’ versatility is to thank for the $16 million she has in the bank for 2018.
Who else could go from voicing a cartoon character in the long-running Family Guy, to a role in the Academy Award darling Black Swan, and back to comedy in movies like Bad Moms and The Spy Who Dumped Me and make it all look easy – and equally delightful.
19. Reese Witherspoon
She’s the bubbliest blonde in town, and these days, easily the busiest too. Bringing the Liane Moriarty best-seller to television, Reese Witherspoon brought in the big bucks as one of the stars and producers on the critical and commercial success Big Little Lies. But that’s far from all Witherspoon has been up to.
The actress also starred in A Wrinkle In Time, is the face of Elizabeth Arden, and is coming back to TV in a much buzzed about HBO show co-starring Jennifer Aniston. Oh, and did we mention she wrote a book? This brings us to a total of $16.5 million for 2018, and in the words of her Legally Blonde character Elle Woods, “What, like it’s hard?”
18. Ryan Reynolds
The cost of superhero movies is famously outrageous ($220 million for The Avengers, for example) and so when you compare Deadpool’s modest $58 million budget, the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time was more than your basic box-office success — it brought in $783 million! And it’s all thanks to the man behind the mask, Ryan Reynolds.
Deadpool 2 released in 2018, did a bit better, and brought in $785 million. Most of his $21.5 million comes from his movie roles, but Reynolds is looking to become a gin mogul too, acquiring a stake in Aviation Gin. Not bad Reynolds, not bad at all.
17. Jennifer Lawrence
We know it’s been said before, but don’t you just think that if you got the chance to meet Jennifer Lawrence in person, you’d just be best friends? Sure, she’s a superstar celebrity, but she still manages to be so chill, and that’s why we want to be her, and be friends with her.
She tripped going up the stage to accept her Academy Award, and who among us can’t recall an embarrassing fall? Although, we only wish we could relate to her $24 million salary. JLaw’s easy charm and insane ability to totally get into character make her America’s sweetheart and Hollywood’s ace.
16. Jennifer Aniston
We shudder to think of a world in which Friends is no longer in syndication. What other show could possibly be the perfect thing to have on while you spring clean, nurse a heartbreak, stay home on a snow day — honestly, is there ever a time when Friends doesn’t fit the mood?
Thanks to the eternal cash cow that is Friends coupled with Aniston’s endorsement deals with Aveeno, SmartWater, and Emirates airline, this Friend will always be financially secure at approximately $25.5 million per annum. Additionally, Aniston is expected to earn $1.25 million per episode on her new Apple TV show. Seems like it’s always Jennifer Aniston’s day, week, month and year.
15. Emma Stone
Card carrying member of the Hollywood Cool Girl Club, Emma Stone counts Jennifer Lawrence as one of her best friends, and seriously, can we come to their next hangout? Since Stone counted out a cool $26 million in the bank at the close of 2017, we wonder which one of them picks up at tab when they go out.
Being an in-demand actress clearly has its perks, like a professional partnership with Hollywood heartthrob Ryan Gosling, her co-star in the wildly successful La La Land. La La Land landed it’s stars the best paydays of their careers, and gave Emma Stone her first Oscar. Stone is sure to keep the cash coming, and the critical acclaim too.
14. Angelina Jolie
She’s probably too busy with her humanitarian work as a U.N. special envoy to even care about her cash flow, but when it comes down to it, Angelina Jolie knows her worth when it comes to major movie roles.
Her turn as the misunderstood Disney villainness Maleficent in the eponymous 2014 film earned her $20 million plus a share of the profits, but her second go around is set to net the star an even bigger pay day of $28 million. With Maleficent 2 slated for release sometime in 2020, Angelina Jolie won’t be moving down the list of Hollywood’s highest paid actresses anytime soon.