Highest paid actor in Hollywood shocks fans

Adam Sandler last topped the annual Forbes list in 2002

Kevin E G Perry
Thursday 07 March 2024 04:15 GMT
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Adam Sandler has shocked fans by topping the Forbes list of highest-paid actors for the first time since 2002.

The magazine calculated that Sandler made $73m (£57m) in 2023, primarily thanks to his lucrative deal with streaming giant Netflix. Last year he starred in comedy sequel Murder Mystery 2 and family film You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah for the streamer, as well as voicing the lead character in animation Leo. He also produced crime caper The Out-Laws and is currently appearing in sci-fi drama Spaceman.

On X/Twitter, one fan wrote: “The fact that Adam Sandler has more earning than Tom Cruise is just beyond speechless to me.”

Second on the list of highest-earning actors was Margot Robbie, who Forbes estimated made $59m (£46m) last year. This was primarily for her leading role in hit blockbuster Barbie, as well as appearing in Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City and producing Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn.

Third on the list was Tom Cruise, who brought in $45m (£35m) for his work on action sequel Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One as well as streaming sales for the previous year’s Top Gun: Maverick.

Fourth place was a tie between Ryan Gosling, who made $43m (£34m) for his appearance opposite Robbie in Barbie, and Matt Damon, who made the same amount last year after appearing in both Air and Oppenheimer.

Adam Sandler, Margot Robbie, Tom Cruise and Ryan Gosling
Adam Sandler, Margot Robbie, Tom Cruise and Ryan Gosling (Getty)

In sixth place on the 2023 list was Jennifer Aniston, who made $42m (£33m) after starring alongside Sandler in Murder Mystery 2 and headlining Apple TV+’s The Morning Show, as well as still receiving healthy residuals from Friends.

Seventh place saw both Leonardo DiCaprio and Jason Statham on $41m (£32m). DiCaprio starred in Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-nominated Killers of the Flower Moon, while Statham had the busier year with appearances in Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre, Fast X, Meg 2: The Trench and Expend4bles.

Ninth on the list was Ben Affleck, who brought in an estimated $38m (£30m) with his starring role in Air, produced by his own company Artists Equity, as well as a high-profile advertising deal with Dunkin Donuts.

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In tenth place was Denzel Washington, who made $24m (£19m) primarily thanks to the success of action-thriller sequel The Equalizer 3.

In 2022, the Forbes list of highest-paid actors was topped by Tyler Perry. For the three consecutive years prior Dwayne Johnson was the highest paid actor in Hollywood.

When Sandler last topped the list over two decades ago, he made $47m (£37m) starring in films including Punch-Drunk Love and Mr Deeds.

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