Dwayne “The Rock” retained his position as the world’s highest-paid actor, earning a reported $87.5 million (£67m) from June 2019 to June 2020.
Forbes has created its annual list of Hollywood’s biggest money-makers and reported that Netflix was the principal pay-master, having contributed more than a quarter of the total earnings for the top 10 leading men, whose combined pay was $545.5m (£418m).
Dwayne Johnson topped the list for the second year in a row with $87.5 million, collecting $23.5 million for his role as an art thief chasing Interpol agent in the upcoming Netflix film Red Notice.
The influence of Netflix has never been more apparent than in this COVID-affected year. Netflix relies on monthly subscriptions rather than box office ticket sales and the top 10 is testament to the rapidly growing influence of streaming networks. Forbes is expected to invest more than $17 billion (£13bn) on content this year, while Apple TV+ is reportedly planning to spend $30m to capture Ryan Reynolds’ signature for A Christmas Carol.
Another indicator of the power of Netflix is Adam Sandler’s position as No.9 on the list of top earners, despite only having one movie released, the critical hit Uncut Gems, for which he earned $5m. But Netflix paid Sandler $31 million— 75 per cent of what he made all year—as part of a $250 million deal he signed in 2014.
A testament to Sandler’s enduring popularity is the fact Netflix subscribers have streamed more than two billion hours of the funny man, which led to a fresh deal signed in January reportedly worth even more than the first.
Forbes’ Top 10 Highest-Paid Actors of 2020
1. Dwayne Johnson – $87.5m
The Rock earned $23.5m for Red Notice and his Under Armour clothing line Project Rock.
2. Ryan Reynolds – $71.5m
Reynolds made more than $20 million on Six Underground and Red Notice and Netflix announced in July he was making another film for them, meaning another monster pay day.
3. Mark Wahlberg – $58m
His action comedy Spenser Confidential is Netflix’s third most watched original film. He also had significant paydays with the documentary series McMillions and Wahl Street.
4. Ben Affleck – $55m
Affleck is back in the game in a big way, having starred in The Way Back and Netflix’s The Last Thing He Wanted.
5. Vin Diesel – $54m
Fast and Furious 9 might have been postponed to 2021, but he still had a big year, for example, with Netflix series Fast & Furious Spy Races.
6. Akshay Kumar – $48.5m
The only Bollywood star on the list, Kumar is working on his first series for Amazon Prime, The End. But Forbes reported that most of his money comes via advertising and endorsement deals.
7. Lim Manuel Miranda – $45.5m
Disney acquired the rights to the original Broadway production of Hamilton for $75 million this year, catapaulting him into the big time. He can expect another big payday next year when the film version of In The Heights is released.
8. Will Smith – $44.5m
Smith stars as Richard Williams, father of tennis greats Serena and Venessa, in the upcoming King Richard.
9. Adam Sandler – $41m
In January, he signed another deal to create four more movies for the platform after his film Murder Mystery became one of the streamer’s most-popular films of all time.
10. Jackie Chan – $40m
The martial arts star is as active as ever at the age of 66, making five movies in the past year. Endorsement deals and licensing deals also lines his ultra padded wallet.
Forbes compiles the list annually based on data from Nielsen, ComScore, Box Office Mojo and IMDB, as well as interviews with industry insiders. Fees for agents, managers and lawyers are not deducted.
Forbes will release the list of highest-paid female actors in September.