Usually topping a Forbes list is worthy of bragging rights, but this one may be the exception.
Eddie Murphy has topped the publication’s list of overpaid actors, with Forbes estimating for every dollar Murphy was paid for his last three films (including last year’s disappointing Tower Heist), studios took in an estimated $2.30 at the box office.
Forbes created the list by culling actor earnings from its Celebrity 100 list and taking estimated box-office grosses and budgets from Box Office Mojo. It used the the actors’ past three wide releases from the past three years. Katherine Heigl, who after starring in hits such as Knocked Up and 27 Dresses was able to command a higher paycheck, followed Murphy by taking the No. 2 spot. Heigl's recent films, such as this year's One for the Money, bringing in a $37 million haul against a $40 million budget, failed to deliver at the box office. For every dollar she was paid, Heigl's films earned an average of $3.40 at the box office, Forbes estimated.
The third- and fourth-ranked stars on the list might seem surprising -- with the dubious honors going to Reese Witherspoon and Sandra Bullock. Both are well liked by moviegoing audiences, and Bullock's The Blind Side was a huge success in 2009. But several flops for the actresses (among them, 2010’s How Do You Know for Witherspoon and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close for Bullock) lowered the return on investment studios enjoyed.
Forbes estimated Witherspoon’s films took in $3.90 for each dollar she was paid, while Bullock’s took in $5. Funnyman Jack Black rounded out the top five, with his films earning $5.20 for each dollar he was paid.
For the complete list of the top ten, see Forbes.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Eddie Murphy
- Katherine Heigl
- Sandra Bullock