On the same weekend that Eddie Murphy opens his comeback flick “Tower Heist” comes the news that he joins rom-com queen Drew Barrymore atop a list of Hollywood’s most overpaid actors in the business. href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorothypomerantz/2011/11/03/hollywoods-most-overpaid-stars/" target="_blank">Forbes makes the case that these two movie stars aren’t worth the bank they are making.
The site used an involved equation to figure out which celebrities would make the list. Celebrities qualified for it based on a set of criteria. One: They had to earn a large salary. Two: They had to have at least three films released in at least 500 theaters in the past five years. (Animated flicks and films released after May 1, 2011, didn’t count.)
But wait, it didn’t stop there. Using their Celebrity 100 list, Forbes calculated each star’s earnings and then looked at film budgets and returns to figure out the income for the movies.
All caught up on that? OK, so here’s how it shook out. Barrymore lands at #1 on the list. Her recent box-office failures “Everybody’s Fine”
and “Lucky You” only racked up $24 million combined. While her ensemble film “He’s Just Not That Into You” netted $180 million globally, the publication didn’t count it toward her profit margins since she wasn’t the sole marquee name in the flick. Barrymore returns 40 cents for every $1 she makes.
Despite the success of “Shrek,” which falls in the animated category, Murphy landed right behind Barrymore thanks to films that billed him as the headlining name. “Imagine That” and “Meet Dave” earned $72 million combined and cost a combined $115 million to make. So what does that mean? It means that Murphy returned $2.70 for every $1 he was paid. Forbes put that equation in perspective, noting that Nicole Kidman (#10 on the list) returns $6.70 for every $1 she earns.
Coming in at #3 is Will Ferrell, who had topped the list for the past two years. Reese Witherspoon is #4 on the list and Denzel Washington finds himself at #5.
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