While there has been no shortage of media hit-pieces lamenting the supposed slow decline of Hollywood, the biggest names in the business certainly wouldn’t agree. Together the top 10 highest-paid film stars made more in 2018 than any other year on record, bagging a combined total of close to $1 billion.
It seems like it has never been a better time to be a Hollywood legend, with most of the biggest earners being familiar faces that have doubtless graced rankings such as these in previous years.
There are a few surprising entries to this year’s list, with a Bollywood star breaking through for the first time, as well as one entrant who didn’t even appear in any movies at all in 2018. Read on to find out who were the highest paid actors in 2018.
5. Ashkay Kumar
One of Bollywood’s leading lights, this popular heartthrob made a career switch from blockbuster action movies to more serious drama films last year, with his thought-provoking film Toilet sweeping awards ceremonies across Asia. His newfound status as a serious actor, combined with a number of lucrative sponsorships, allowed Kumar to bag a whopping $40.5 million in pre-tax earnings last year.
4. Chris Hemsworth
To the surprise of no-one and disappointment of just about everyone, this year’s highest earners features not a single female actor, as plenty of publications have pointed out (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/02/the-worlds-highest-paid-actors). Coming in fourth in this particularly dude-heavy list is Australian sensation Chris Hemsworth, whose stellar performances as Thor in several Marvel films helped bring in over $60 million in 2018.
3. Robert Downey Jr.
Was Robert Downey Jr. even around in 2018? All of his film roles were pretty minor, but he was handsomely rewarded for his time, making $81 million overall. His 15-minute appearance in Spider-Man: Homecoming was apparently worth a $15 million up-front payment – equivalent to around $16,000 a second. That kind of money may be out of reach for us mere mortals, but at least we can still pretend to be our favorite wealthy superheroes – thanks to online gaming. At https://casino.paddypower.com/game/jackpot-giant-cptn, you can play official branded slot games featuring the likes of The Dark Knight and Superman II. Meanwhile putting a stake on the Jackpot Giant (and its progressive jackpot worth over £1 million) is probably as close as we can ever hope to feeling like high roller, Tony Stark.
2. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
The Rock had a good year. Thanks to blockbusting roles in films such as the Jumanji remake and The Fate of the Furious, Johnson currently holds the record for the most earnings from acting ever made in a single year. His hefty $124 million pay packet may well place Johnson in the billionaire rankings, currently inhabited by very few actors and entertainers. He clearly has a very busy year ahead in 2019, so we’ll see if he manages to beat his own record.
1. George Clooney
George Clooney’s 2018 pre-tax earnings made plenty of headlines not only because of the unbelievable vastness of it, but because he managed to earn it without appearing in a single movie throughout the year
(https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/08/george-clooney-highest-paid-actor-2018). The vast majority of his $239 million earnings actually came from the sale of his own tequila company, Casamigo, to a UK conglomerate for over $1 billion. He also made a pretty penny from minor endorsements.
Whether this list inspires you or enrages you, we can all agree that Hollywood is clearly doing just fine and that its leading lights won’t be searching for part-time jobs anytime soon.