It’s been a rough personal year for Sandra Bullock in the wake of her breakup with husband Jesse James. But according to Forbes magazine, in the midst of her difficult times offscreen, the actress managed to rack up a huge financial payday and rise to the top as the highest-paid actress in Hollywood.
Besting such rivals as Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Cameron Diaz, Bullock earned that distinction thanks to a pair of huge hits: “The Proposal,” which grossed $320 million; and “The Blind Side,” which racked up $310 million and helped her earn an Academy Award.
While Bullock wisely agreed to take a pay cut from her usual fee to star in “Blind Side,” she got it back and then some in back-end pay, earning $56 million on both films between June 2009 and June 2010, according to Forbes. The magazine calculated its figures based on conversations with agents, managers, producers and lawyers.
Next on the list was perennial girl-next-door Witherspoon, who banked $32 million despite not having a big-screen opening since “Four Christmases” bowed during the 2008 holiday season. But she made the #2 spot thanks to her upfront pay for two upcoming movies, “How Do You Know?” and the adaptation of “Water for Elephants,” co-starring “Twilight” hunk Robert Pattinson. She also earned cash for her role as an “ambassador” for Avon.
Diaz tied Witherspoon at #2, also with $32 million, which she earned on the Tom Cruise film “Knight & Day” and her sizable income from the “Shrek” franchise, which has earned $2.8 billion to date.
Aniston was at #4 with $27 million, which she earned from her appearance in the box-office disappointment “Love Happens,” as well as her upcoming roles in “The Switch” and the Adam Sandler-assisted “Just Go With It.” She also still gets residual checks from “Friends” and has her own perfume line and a lucrative deal with Smartwater.
“Sex and the City” star Sarah Jessica Parker was at #5 with $25 million, rolling up cash from the movie franchise and profits from the series’ syndication rights, as well as her strong-selling perfume line and a deal to design clothes for Halston.
The rest of the list: Julia Roberts ($20 million), Angelina Jolie ($20 million), Drew Barrymore ($15 million), Meryl Streep ($13 million) and “Twilight” star Kristen Stewart ($12 million).