Most overpaid Hollywood actors

Here’s Forbeslist. Basically they create a ratio of actor’s salary compared to total film profit. They only consider films in which the actor has the lead role, and only over the past five years. It is not like it is super scientific or even all that meaningful, but it is fun to see.

The least profitable:

  1. Will Farrell
  2. Ewan McGreagor
  3. Billy Bob Thornton
  4. Eddie Murphy
  5. Ice Cube
  6. Tom Cruise
  7. Drew Barrymore
  8. Leo DiCaprio
  9. Samuel L. Jackson
  10. Jim Carrey

While the following are the most profitable according to the formula:

  1. Shia LaBeouf
  2. James McAvoy
  3. Michael Cera
  4. Daniel Radcliffe
  5. Robert Downey Jr.
  6. Javier Bardem
  7. Ryan Reynolds
  8. Christian Bale
  9. Aaron Eckhart
  10. Dennis Quaid

I’ll comment in a minute, but given the forced choice between casting a film with only one group or the other, would anyone choose group one?

I don’t think this is all that unusual. There is a term called the “Peter Principle” and it says basically, people get promoted over and over during the span of lengthy careers and eventually they wind up making large sums for jobs there no longer qualified to do.

I think this is an example of that. It’s just more obvious with actors because of the enourmous amount of money involved.

In otherwords an accountant who makes $85,000 when he’s now only doing $50,000 of work is less obvious. But I’ve seen it happen a lot in workplace. As I said, it just is more obvious with people making millions

Well looking over the lists some of the the actors on the ‘bad’ list have given great performances in high grossing movies that they we’re not technically the lead in. Notably, Ewan McGregor and Samuel L. Jackson both would be high draws, but they have not been the ‘lead’ in many things over the time period specified.

Where as someone like Shia LeBauf or Daniel Radcliffe wound up in the lead role in movies that were sucessful for reasons other than their performance or appearance in the movie, but acting-wise wouldn’t be fit to carry other Ewan or Sam’s cappuchino to the set. People went to see Transformers becauses of giant robots from our childhood and Megan Fox’s ass, not for the Oscar winning performance of the lead actor. Harry Potter would still have made a fortune if they had cast a block of wood to play the lead.

Wait, only one woman on either list? Hmmmm.

Yeah. When I saw LaBeouf at the top of the second list I thought, “it was just dumb luck that he was in Transformers”. Yet I wouldn’t shake a stick at his acting chops. I remember coming out of Transformers II angry, but also thinking LaBeouf did a great job considering the fact that he spent the entire time interacting with a blank blue screen or a blank Megan Fox.

I’m not surprised about Will Farrell though. He’s funny for about three seconds and then it just gets annoying. I can’t imagine sitting through a film with him mugging for 90 minutes. Stranger than fiction is the only movie I’ve finished with him as a lead, a film that would been vastly improved with a better actor.