It’s time for the annual Forbes’ list of celebrity earnings, and the section reserved for this year’s overpaid actors may hold some surprising names.
Heading the top ten is Eddie Murphy, who went from raunchy “Beverly Hills Cop” to kid-friendly fare in a heartbeat; the only problem is, the raunchy stuff brought in more dough at the box office. It’s estimated that Murphy only brings in about $2.30 for every dollar he’s paid per film, a sad turn of events for the comedian who once drew in sold-out crowds to his stand-up performances.
Following Murphy on the list is Katherine Heigl, who doesn’t fare much better with box office returns with an estimated $3.40 for every dollar she’s paid. Her foray into romantic comedy seemed a good fit at one time, but things have stalled a bit since 2007’s “Knocked Up”, the Judd Apatow vehicle which got her into some hot water when she described it as “sexist”.
“It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys,” she said in an interview. “It exaggerated the characters, and I had a hard time with it, on some days. I’m playing such a bitch; why is she being such a killjoy? Why is this how you’re portraying women? Ninety-eight percent of the time it was an amazing experience, but it was hard for me to love the movie.”
The comments were blasted online and all over entertainment news sites, with her co-stars taking offense to her description. Since then, it seems her image has taken a bit of a hit. Even “One For The Money”, based on the hugely successful book series by Janet Evanovich, wasn’t enough to rake in the money; it fell short of its $40 million budget at the box office.
Among some of the other names on the list–which might not come as such a shock–are stars one would think still have some earning power under their belt, like Ben Stiller, Reese Witherspoon, and Denzel Washington. However, it takes more than a big name to bring in movie-goers these days, and if the film is one they feel has been done to death, the returns will show it.
Here are the top ten:
1. Eddie Murphy – Returns $2.30 for every $1 paid.
2. Katherine Heigl – Returns $3.40 for every $1 paid.
3. Reese Witherspoon – Returns $3.90 for every $1 paid.
4. Sandra Bullock – Returns $5 for every $1 paid.
5. Jack Black – Returns $5.20 for every $1 paid.
6. Nicolas Cage – Returns $6 for every $1 paid
7. Adam Sandler – Returns $6.30 for every $1 paid.
8. Denzel Washington – Returns $6.30 for every $1 paid.
9. Ben Stiller – Returns $6.50 for every $1 paid.
10. Sarah Jessica Parker – Returns $7 for every $1 paid.