From Forbes list of money-hoarding actors, they've worked it out like so for the past 12 months of income... (in millions of course)
01 Robert Downey Jr $75
◅ 02 Channing Tatum $60
03 Hugh Jackman $55
04 Mark Wahlberg $52
05 Dwayne Johnson 'The Rock' $46
06 Leonardo DiCaprio $39
07 Adam Sandler $37
08 Tom Cruise $35
09 Denzel Washington $33
10 Liam Neeson $32
I like their write-up of DiCaprio...
DiCaprio's films might not be very cheery (the actor often dies in the end) but they are super profitable. The 2013 adaptation of The Great Gatsby, from director Baz Luhrmann, seemed like a tough sell. But with DiCaprio at the helm, the film easily topped $250 million at the box office making it Luhrmann's most successful movie ever. DiCaprio's biggest hit is still the 1997 film Titanic which is the second-highest grossing film of all time. And yes, he dies in the end.
Two things immediately pop out at me about the list. First, that Channing Tatum has had a very good couple of years and it turns out it pays to make your pet project on the cheap and share in the profits (Hi, Magic Mike). Too many dream projects become costly albatrosses for filmmakers and stars. Second, only a few of these men are using their powers for good. Most of them rarely challenge themselves or support quality filmmakers and seem to live solely to service the box office dollar. This second and more debatable point makes me reconsider my annoyance with Leonardo DiCaprio. While it's true that I think his talent has been calcifying by too many similar choices in roles and performance, he very clearly is interested in doing quality work and hanging with A list auteurs. He's thinking about legacy rather thank his bank account so good for him. There's reason to hope and I happily admit that in the trailer he seems to be attacking that Wolf of Wall Street role with more vigor than usual. Perhaps I grossly underestimated in my first Best Actor predictions a couple of months ago?
The things some of these men could accomplish if they had a little of Clooney, Damon & Pitt's taste for quality and experimentation and for something bigger than just their own paycheck. Hugh Jackman, a terrific star and personal favorite of mine for example, doesn't step outside of the mutant mutton chops nearly as often as his talent and range suggests he should.
And, I mean, Denzel Washington alone could make Viola Davis's career into what it's supposed to be simply by pressuring Hollywood into making Fences right now. With great power comes great responsibility, Denzel! Didn't you watch Spider-Man? As we get further and further away from the massive success of The Help, the less and less likely it is to happen without Hollywood saying "Oh, can we get Halle Berry instead?" And that'd be a crying shame because money isn't everything. Especially in the realm of drama where quality and skill of execution can help with profitability since automatic money isn't made as it is in genre films which have built in audiences regardless of quality.