Which Hollywood Actors Are The Best Investment For A Studio?

Which actors make the most money for movie studios? It’s an interesting question and Forbes now has the answer. They’ve compiled a list where they took the top 36 earners in Hollywood with the following criteria:

“To qualify, each actor had to have starred in at least three movies in the past five years that opened in more than 500 theaters. Movies that opened after June 1 of this year are not counted. We did not include animated films because the actors aren’t really the draw and they tend to take pay cuts for voice work.”

They took their list of actors and added in some calculations which you can read about on their website. They then came up with the final list. Here’s how it looks.

1. Shia LaBeouf (Transformers films, Indiana Jones 4) – $81
2. Anne Hathaway (Alice in Wonderland, Bride Wars) – $64
3. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter films) – $61
4. Robert Downey Jr. (Sherlock Holmes, Iron Man)  – $33
5. Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Robin Hood) – $27
6. Jennifer Aniston (The Bounty Hunter, He’s Not That Into You) – $21
7. Meryl Streep (Mamma Mia, It’s Complicated) – $21
8. Johnny Depp (Alice in Wonderland, Public Enemies) – $18
9. Nicolas Cage (Knowing) – $17
10. Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City) – $17

So what this means is that, for example, for every $1 the studio spends on LaBeouf for a film, they make back $81 in profit. That’s a pretty good investment if you ask me. The top 3 earners are all fairly young which makes sense since younger actors usually don’t get paid as much as older and more experienced actors. That doesn’t mean they don’t deliver in the box office though.

Anyways it’s an interesting look and may prove useful for studios and filmmakers.

What do you think of the list?