Blockbuster or Bank-buster? Image

Blockbuster or Bank-buster?

By Chris Gore | December 22, 2017

The right choice of well-known actors can make or break a Hollywood hit, but which actors actually bring in the big bucks for the film companies and which are overpaid? 

New research from uncovers which of Hollywood’s highest earning actors and actresses are worth the money, and which are paid more than they deserve. The research factored in the stars’ estimated earnings per film versus the amount of money their top grossing films have made in order to determine which actors make the studios back the most money for every dollar spent on them. 

The research raises the question of whether some actors are overpaid for the worth they bring to a film and highlights others who add much more value to a film than they take in payment. Interestingly, as the actors in the research all ranked in the top ten in this years list of highest paid Hollywood actors and actresses, it’s clear to see that those who earned the most and appeared in the most films are not necessarily the best value. From our ranking, the year’s highest earning actor, Dwayne Johnson, ranked poorly coming in 16th, while the highest earning actress, Emma Stone, fared slightly well in 5th position. 

So, which actors are worth the money and which don’t make the cut?

The Good, The Bad and The Average

  • Samuel L. Jackson – Topping our chart, Samuel L. Jackson makes the studios back a healthy $83.97 for every $1 spent on him. The versatile actor has starred in over 70 films. Jackson is worth $200,000,000 and, as an audience favourite, it’s clear to see why.

  • Tom Hanks – From Toy Story’s Woody to the iconic Forest Gump, Tom Hanks is undoubtedly a Hollywood great. The leading man took 10th position, making studios back $22.70 for every $1 spent on him.

  • Charlize Theron – A female action hero and star in 36 films, Charlize Theron is a force to be reckoned with. However, sitting in last place in our ranking, Theron is the least cost-effective actor and barely breaks even, making studios back $1.19 for every $1 spent on her

Battle of The Superheroes

The ranking features a number of actors known for starring in heroic roles, begging the question of which actors the studios should be looking to hire to fill the superhuman shoes. 

High-Ranking Heroines 

  1. Cate Blanchett – Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett comes in at second place overall and is the highest ranking of any superhuman actor. Starring as the villain in Thor: Ragnorak, Blanchett makes the film studios back $66.20 for every $1 spent on her.

  1. Jennifer Lawrence – An audience favourite, Jennifer Lawrence took a superhero role in The X Men though ranks in a very middling 8th position for her value. The actress makes the studios back $28.77 for every $1 spent on her and is the highest-grossing action heroin of all time.

  1. Charlize Theron – A female action hero and star in 36 films, Charlize Theron is a force to be reckoned with. However, sitting in last place in our ranking, Theron is beaten by her heroine counterparts coming in as the least cost-effective actor and barely breaking even, making studios back $1.19 for every $1 spent on her.

Heroes Hitting The Highs

  1. Robert Downey Jr. – Robert Downey Jr. comes in as the second best option of hero overall behind Cate Blanchett, topping the male list. In third position overall, Downey Jr. has a strong return of $47.10 to the film studios for every $1 spent on him. 

  1. Chris Hemsworth – The hammer-wielding star of recent release Thor: Ragnarok, Chris Hemsworth comes in 7th in the overall ranking but ranks as the third best superhero choice. Hemsworth makes studios back $32.25 for every $1 spent on him.

  1.  Vin Diesel – The action star is known for his heroic roles, but if you’re looking for a good return on your investment in an actor Vin Diesel may not be the best choice. Coming in 15th position overall, the star makes back the studios $11.54 for every $1 spent on him.

  1. Dwayne Johnson – This year’s highest paid actor overall and all round action hero, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is the worst value choice of superhero making studios back just $8.48 for every $1 spent on him.

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