These Are the Highest Earning Actors in Hollywood in 2011

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It’s no secret that while most of the world’s economy is in the toilet the Hollywood elite are living large on their yachts, sipping Cristal in the box seats. Sucks for us; cool for them. George Clooney has his Lake Cuomo villa, Brad and Angelina have their entourage, and Jack Nicholson practically lives courtside at Lakers games. Johnny Depp owns an island like he’s Richard Branson or something, and Matt Damon’s bank account could definitely kick my bank account’s ass. Still, not one of these dudes made the ranks of the top five highest paid Hollywood actors – they’re doing just fine though. Some of the guys that made Forbes highest paid actors list (as of July 2012) might surprise you, some definitely won’t (hello, Tom Cruise). Still – do you think they’re worth it?

5 Ben Stiller

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Ben Stiller – $33 million: OK this one isn’t insulting, but it’s a little bit surprising. You would expect George Clooney or Brad Pitt to trump Stiller, but it’s just not so. Besides acting, Stiller, writes, directs, and produces, so he has his hands in a lot of pots – pots that churn out a ton of dough, evidently. Plus, when you think about the fact that he’s doing gigantic, big-budget blockbusters like Night at the Museum (for better or worse) and staying away from some of the more political, independent films that Clooney and Pitt go slumming in from time to time, it kind of makes sense that Stiller is at number five.

4 Dwayne Johnson

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Dwayne Johnson – $36 million per year: OK this is the most depressing name on this short list. Like Sandler, this guy sells overseas – people flock to his flicks. No one would ever accuse The Rock of being the second coming of Jack Nicholson, but the guy is probably buying and selling solid gold yachts so it’s doubtful he cares. People love The Rock – that’s life.

3 Adam Sandler

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Adam Sandler – $37 million per year: Seriously? Sandler was great once upon a time when he was going SNL, Happy Gilmore, Punch Drunk Love, and Billy Madison but now? Jack and Jill looked awful. But movies are a funny thing – people love really stupid comedies, especially overseas. So even if it looks like his stock is falling, he’s still huge in Romania and Poughkeepsie. Go figure.

2 Leonardo DiCaprio

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Leonardo DiCaprio – $37 million per year: Also not a huge shock. Leo has enough money to bait every leggy blonde model in the universe plus Blake Lively. He’s a fantastic actor, women swoon, and he’s Martin Scorsese’s new muse so there’s no shortage of work for this guy. He’ll probably stick around until he’s hobbling around and grey, like Spencer Tracy. At least, let’s hope so.

1 Tom Cruise

Image credit: Wikipedia

Tom Cruise – $75 million per year: Cruise always goes big (couch jumping, proposing at the freaking Eiffel Tower, that big smile) so it’s no real shocker that he tops the list of highest paid male thespians, right? In Hollywood they have what’s called a “Director’s List” for every movie anyone wants to produce, and at the top is ALWAYS “Tom Cruise.” He usually gets scratched off pretty quickly though because… most people can’t afford him.

Dina Gachman writes about Hollywood and celebrities for Forbes, and covers film for Red Bull USA. She has written for Splitsider, Thought Catalog, and Hello Giggles. Her comic books about Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor are being published by Bluewater Comics.

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