American comedy star Adam Sandler has topped Forbes’ 2013 list of the most over-paid actors after his last three films returned an estimated average of just $3.40 for every dollar he received.
Sandler, 47, has recently appeared in comedies Jack and Jill and That’s My Boy, but is best known for his roles in 50 First Dates, The Wedding Singer and Big Daddy.
Jack and Jill earned $150 million in ticket sales but cost $80 million to make, while That’s My Boy did worse after taking just $57 million with an estimated production budget of $70 million.
Whether Sandler will earn such a lucrative salary after his new ‘accolade’ remains to be seen, but his latest film Grown Ups 2 performed well at the box office just after Forbes’ 1 June research cut-off.
To calculate the over-paid rankings, Forbes examined the last three films each Hollywood actor had starred in over the past three years up to 1 June, taking pay, film budgets and expenses into account to work out their average 'return on investment number'.
Many actors were eliminated directly if they had not starred in three movies in the last three years.
How much Sandler earned in total was not revealed, but the magazine stated he was one of few film actors who could still ask for an up-front $15 million fee.
In recent years, studios have paid their cast members smaller up-front fees and tied the rest of their salary to the film’s box office returns.
Following Sandler in second place was Katherine Heigl, star of poorly grossing films One for the Money and Killers, who returned an average of $3.50 per dollar earned.
Heigl was tipped for success after rom-com 27 Dresses in 2008, but her films have bombed at the box office recently.
Third on the list was Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon, who brought in an average $3.90 per dollar paid. Nicholas Cage was fourth with $6 and comedian Kevin James was fifth with $6.10.
Last year’s number one rip-off was Eddie Murphy, who returned an average of $2.30 at the box office for each dollar he received.
But Drew Barrymore's meagre 40 cent return per dollar paid, from 2011's list, has yet to be beaten.