Thursday, July 24, 2008

Smith tops the list of Hollywood's Highest paid actors

The on screen leading ladies may get all the attention, but it's the men who are bringing home the hollywood bacon. Tinsletown is still banking on male movie stars in a decline of the blockbuster era. Collectively, the top ten movie star earners took home over $487 million dollars this year.

Will Smith leads the pack of Hollywood's best-paid actors, banking an estimated $80 million over the course of the year. Frequently called the hardest-working man in Hollywood, Smith has proved that no matter the genre -- be it sci-fi thriller ("I Am Legend") or sappy drama ("The Pursuit of Happyness") -- he can deliver an audience. The former "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" star also set a theatrical record this year. Thanks to the commercial success of this summer's anti-superhero flick "Hancock," Smith is the first actor in Hollywood history to have eight straight movies eclipse $100 million at the box office.

Coming in second on the list is "Pirates of the Caribbean" star Johnny Depp, an actor who is known to vacillate between commercial work and artier fare. He still managed to pull down $72 million this year.
With $55 million, Eddie Murphy comes in third among Tinseltown's top earners, thanks to a slew of family-friendly hits. The long-reigning master of disguise continues to prove his range on- screen, playing notable roles in everything from animated flicks ("Shrek") to goofball comedies ("Norbit") to musical remakes ("Dreamgirls"). The latter earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Then there's "Austin Powers" star Mike Myers, who is tied for third on this list with earnings of $55 million, due in large part to the success of the hit animated franchise "Shrek." But when it comes to live-action fare, the comedy chameleon's ride has been far less smooth in recent years. Despite a stellar cast and plenty of promotion, Myers' summer comedy "The Love Guru" failed to deliver at the box office. To date, the Paramount flick has generated only $31.8 million domestically.
Leonardo DiCaprio rounds out the top five, raking in $45 million during the year. He's the unique movie star who can get $20 million for work in R-rated adult dramas, which, because of viewer age restrictions, have limited ability to generate big box office numbers. Though his flicks are rarely blockbusters, DiCaprio's work can create a sizable amount of Academy Award season buzz. In fact, three of his last five flicks -- "Gangs of New York," "The Aviator," and "The Departed" -- were nominated for Best Picture. The latter took home the Oscar.

The remaining five top earners are Bruce Willis $41 million, Ben Stiller $40 million, Nicolas Cage $38 million, Will Ferrell $31 million, and Adam Sandler with $30 million.

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