Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson tops Forbes Highest Paid actors list for 2016 after earning $64.5m in one year

Forbes earnings list reveals stark truths about gender pay gap and ageism in Hollywood 

Heather Saul
Friday 26 August 2016 15:17 BST
Forbes' rich list reveals world's highest-paid actors

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is now officially the highest-paid actor in the world, according to Forbes.

Johnson earned an estimated $64.5m (£49m) in 2016 thanks to a bumper year of blockbusters – almost $20m (£15m) more than Jennifer Lawrence, the highest earning female actress, did in the same year.

Further disparity between men and women was highlighted in the size of the highest-paid actresses list compared to the highest-paid actors.

Earnings were cut off at $10m (£7.5m), which meant that while the highest paid actress list stopped at ten, the highest-paid actor list continued to 20, with the list cut off at $15m (£11m).

Commenting on the earnings gap between Lawrence and Johnson, Natalie Robehmed, Staff Writer for Forbes, told The Independent: “The world’s highest-paid actor, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, earned $64m – $18m (£48.5m – £13.5m) more than the top-earning actress, Jennifer Lawrence.

“Though both figures are not to be sniffed at, it’s a notable difference. More interesting is the discrepancy in the number of elite earners: 18 actors banked $20m (£15m) or more, compared with just four women.”

In its own analysis, Forbes says more big budget roles for men exist that pay the fees and cuts of profits needed to become a highly-paid actor. It said this data highlighted ageism inherent in Hollywood, where 95 per cent of the highest-paid actors are over 40, compared with half of the actresses. Lawrence topped the list aged 26, and all of the highest-paid actresses are under 50.

Four Bollywood stars also made the top-earning list, with Shah Rukh Khan emerging as the highest earning.

Robert Downey Jr, the highest-paid actor in the world for three years in a row, dropped down to joint-eighth place on the list after pulling in $33m (£25m), an almost 60 per cent drop in his 2015 earnings of $80m (£60.5m).

Forbes calculates earnings based on interviews with agents, managers, lawyers and from data collected from sites such as Nielsen, Box Office Mojo and IMDB.

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