Monday, June 15, 2009

Will act for food -- or millions

Can you guess who was the top-paid actor in 2008? Wrong. Can you guess who was No. 2? Wrong again.

Unless you took a peak at Forbes Magazine, it's none of the usual suspects. The winner is Harrison Ford, who raked in $65 million. Adam Sandler, at $55 million, was No. 2. In the case of Sandler, no one said it was based on talent or quality movies.

Here's a look at the top 10:

1. Harrison Ford, $65 million: Lured out of semi-retirement for "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" by splitting the film's earnings with Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas.

2. Adam Sandler, $55 million: Yeah, I don't get it either. But that's what he got for, among others, "Bedtime Stories" and "Don't Mess With Zohan."

3. Will Smith, $45 million: "Hancock" got middling reviews and "Seven Pounds" was a dee-zaster. Cried all the way to the bank.

4. Eddie Murphy, $40 million: "Meet Dave" was a flop. Murphy made a lot of his money off family comedies.

5. Nicolas Cage, $40 million: Cage is one of the busiest actors with six films over the next two years. It's reported he needs the work because he owes the IRS millions.

6. Tom Hanks, $35 milliion: Can still command more than $20 million per picture as he got for "Angels and Demons." Also got a nice little paycheck as producer for 2008 summer musical hit "Momma Mia."

7. Tom Cruise, $30 million: When Cruise keeps his mouth shut or doesn't jump up and down on Oprah's couch like a fool, he's marketable like he was in his golden years. "Valkyrie" was solid, but his performance as an obnoxious Hollywood executive in "Tropic Thunder" was a gem.

8. Jim Carrey, $28 million: Made a smart choice to take a third of the profits from his film "Yes Man."

9. Brad Pitt, $28 million: "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" raked in $333 million. Bet Pitt wished he could have worked the same deal as Carrey.

10. Johnny Depp, $27 million: He stars in "Public Enemies" at the end of the month. The biggest reason he didn't take in more as there was no "Pirates of the Carribean" movie in 2008 as there was in 2007 when Depp made $72 million. Yep, pretty tough year for Depp.

Honorable mention: George Clooney, $25 million; Russell Crowe, Robert Downey, Jr., Denzel Washington, $20 million.

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