Forbes has just released their list of the highest-paid actors in the world, and taking the top spot is Transformers franchise star Mark Wahlberg, with $68 million in pre-taxed earnings between June 2016-2017. Surprised? Thought it might be a Marvel actor instead like RDJ? Here’s why you shouldn’t be surprised at all.
Daddy’s Home and Patriots Day star Wahlberg is the likable (certainly, your mileage may vary) “everyday guy” action-star dude of the moment—super-easy to just (“plop!”) cast in your film and feel, with some reasonable certainty, that you will make a certain amount of “bank” in both first run and home viewing options.
These movies may not all be Citizen Kane, but they are mostly targeted towards the mass-market; and, in the case with the Transformers flicks, also do very well overseas.
Wahlberg edged out last year’s highest-paid actor, Baywatch star Dwayne Johnson—who is now in the #2 spot. Johnson’s Fate Of The Furious co-star Vin Diesel takes the third spot, Jackie Chan is at #5, and Tom Cruise is at #7.
Adam Sandler took #4. I’m very sorry.
Most of the main Marvel actors filled out the top 20, with Robert Downey Jr. at #6, Chris Hemsworth at #11, Samuel L. Jackson at #13, Chris Evans at #18, and Chris Pratt at #19, and Mark Ruffalo at #20. Ryan Reynolds, with the Deadpool franchise being at Fox, is not *technically* a “Marvel Studios” guy but did get the #15 spot.
Of note are #’s 8-10 on the list—Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, and Akshay Kumar. In addition to India being such a HUGE market (four billion tickets sold annually), these actors also do a lot of endorsements.
As for the comparable Forbes list of actresses…the top 14 highest-paid actors all make more than the #1 highest-paid actress, Emma Stone (who netted $26 million, mostly for a back-end La La Land deal; her co-star in that film, Ryan Gosling, received $29 million and clocked in at #14 on the Forbes list).
Onto next year!