Johnny Depp Is 2015’s Most Overpaid Actor


Not that this should surprise anyone, but Forbes has discovered that Johnny Depp was the most overpaid actor in Hollywood this year. Not only is he sitting not so pretty at number one, but no one else on the list even comes close to the Mortdecai star, which certainly doesn’t reflect very well on him.

Before we get to the list itself, here’s how Forbes came up with it:

To compile our rundown of Hollywood’s Most Overpaid Actors, we use earnings estimates from our Celebrity 100 list. We look at the last three films each actor starred in before June 2015 (the end of our Celebrity 100 scoring period). We don’t include animated films, movies where the actor appears in a very small role, or movies that were released on fewer than 2,000 screens.

We then deduct the estimated production budget from the global box office for each film (using numbers from Box Office Mojo and other sources) to come up with a limited definition of each movie’s operating income. We add together the estimated total compensation for each star on the three movies and the operating income from each movie and then divide to come up with the final return on investment number.

Got all that? To simplify, the list below shows how much each of the actor’s films made for every dollar they were paid. So in Depp’s case, his movies made about $1.20 for every $1 he was paid. To put that into perspective, AV Club pointed out that Chris Evans generates $181.80 for every $1 he’s paid. Then again, he’s also part of one of the biggest franchises in the world right now, so that may be skewed just a bit.

Nevertheless, check out Forbes’ full list below:

1. Johnny Depp: $1.20 per $1
2. Denzel Washington: $6.50 per $1
3. Will Ferrell: $6.80 per $1
4. Liam Neeson: $7.80 per $1
5. Will Smith: $8.60 per $1
6. Christian Bale: $9.20 per $1
7. Channing Tatum: $10.80 per $1
8. Brad Pitt: $12.00 per $1
9. Ben Affleck: $12.30 per $1
10. Tom Cruise: $13.60 per $1

Some of these names certainly seem out of place, but it’s important to remember that while a lot of these actors have indeed had sizable hits in recent years, including in 2015, the movies may not have made enough money to justify their star’s exuberant salary.

It’s also important to note that according to this list, just because you’re an A-list talent, it doesn’t mean that you’re a guaranteed box office draw. Look no further than Johnny Depp for proof of that. These days, the movies themselves seem to be the bigger draw, as franchises and sequels continue to dominate theatres.

Regardless, it’s always interesting to see Forbes’ list of Hollywood’s most overpaid actors and 2015’s version should definitely provide some food for thought as we head into the holidays.