Who Are The Top Paid Actresses In Hollywood?

Who are the top paid actresses in Hollywood? It’s a good question and thanks to Forbes, we now have an updated list. The magazine talked to lawyers, agents, producers and other industry insiders in order to come up with their estimates. While the usual suspects like Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie show up, there are also a couple surprises. Take a look below to see just how much these ten silver screen icons earned from May 2010 to May 2011.

1. Angelina Jolie – $30 Million

2. Sarah Jessica Parker – $30 Million

3. Jennifer Aniston – $28 Million

4. Reese Witherspoon – $28 Million

5. Julia Roberts – $20 Million

6. Kristen Stewart – $20 Million

7. Katherine Heigl – $19 Million

8. Cameron Diaz – $18 Million

9. Sandra Bullock – $15 Million

10. Meryl Streep – $10 Million

Now for some analysis. Angelina Jolie is an obvious candidate for number 1. She’s arguably the biggest actress in the world right now. She had a big year in 2010 with Salt and The Tourist as both films did significant business at the box office. This year Jolie had Kung Fu Panda 2 which is currently sitting on top of a nice $530 million box office take and she also has her directorial effort, In The Land Of Blood and Honey, which is set to hit theatres on December 23, 2011.

SJP is a bit of a surprise. I knew she earned a lot but I didn’t think it was anywhere near $30 million. The vast majority comes from Sex and the City re-runs but she also had the second Sex and the City movie last year which brought in a cool $305 million. Sarah Jessica Parker doesn’t show up in too many films these days but with a yearly paycheque of $30 million I guess she doesn’t have to. Those re-runs must pay well, and I’m sure the endorsements don’t hurt either.

Third place going to Jennifer Aniston isn’t much of a shock as Jen is still quite busy on the Hollywood scene. Her comedy Horrible Bosses is coming out this week and earlier this year she starred in Just Go With It. 2010 was also a good year for the Friends star. While The Switch may have dissapointed with its $50 million box office take, The Bounty Hunter didn’t do too bad, taking in $136 million.

When I saw who was in fourth place, I’ll admit that I was a bit surprised. Truthfully, I didn’t expect to see Witherspoon on this list at all. Her 2010 flop How Do You Know likely didn’t help her career and 2011’s Water For Elephants failed to really make an impact. With only four films under her belt between 2006-2009, I’m not sure where Reese gets her money from.

From 2006-2009 she did Four Christmases, Penelope, Rendition and Monsters vs. Aliens. Admittedly, Four Christmases and Monsters vs. Aliens did respectable box office business but the other two films failed to really bring in much cash. I’ve never really cared much for her work and despite giving a couple strong performances here and there (namely Walk The Line), I don’t think she deserves her quote.

Julia Roberts and Kristen Stewart are both deserving of their fifth and sixth spots. Roberts has been one of the highest paid actresses for a long time now and always manages to give off a good performance, despite how bad the film may be. As for Stewart, the Twilight series has ensured the young actress that even if she were to retire from all forms of work tomorrow, she would still live a better life, actually make that a far better life, than 99% of the world’s population.

I do have a problem with Katherine Heigl in seventh. Ever since Knocked Up she’s been Hollywood’s “IT” girl and ever since Knocked Up she’s given consistently bad performances. 27 Dresses, The Ugly Truth, Killers, Life As We Know It, these films don’t even warrant a watch. The fact that she’s still bringing in close to $20 million is a bit absurd.

As for spots eight, nine and ten, I’d say they sound about right. Diaz is still going strong, 17 years after her debut in The Mask and Sandra Bullock, despite not doing much acting lately, is still one of the most requested names in Hollywood. Streep on the other hand, is keeping busy and her upcoming Iron Lady has Oscar written all over it.

So there you have it, the top ten highest paid actresses in Hollywood, your thoughts?

About the author


Matt Joseph

Matt Joseph is the co-founder, owner and Editor in Chief of We Got This Covered. He currently attends the University of Western Ontario and is studying at the Richard Ivey School of Business. He works on We Got This Covered in his spare time and enjoys writing for the site.