It’s no secret that some of the actors in Hollywood aren’t very talented. And yet they are continually cast in movies and go on to make millions of dollars every year because executives know how certain people can guarantee a solid turnout among moviegoers. But since the characteristics of what makes someone a bad actor are so subjective, Forbes has gone ahead and informed us that the most overpaid actors in Hollywood are Drew Barrymore and Eddie Murphy.
Forbes reached this conclusion after deriving an elaborate equation that involved calculating the salaries of the top 40 stars they listed on their Celebrity 100 list, and then comparing them to film budgets and box office numbers from movies made in the past five years. For instance, Drew Barrymore earned the top spot in the ranking as the most overpaid actor, and Forbes figured this out by acknowledging that two of her movies, Everybody’s Fine and Lucky You, only earned $24 million in the box office combined (and yes, you’re right, she did appear in He’s Just Not That Into You, but the $180 million that movie raked in couldn’t be factored into the equation because Barrymore wasn’t “the sole marquee name”). All this means that according to Forbes, Barrymore returns 40 cents for every $1 she is paid. And in terms of Eddie Murphy, Imagine That and Meet Dave earned $72 million combined, but cost a combined $115 million to film. This means Murphy returns $2.70 for every $1 he is paid. Forbes knew we’d find this a little confusing (because compared to Drew Barrymore earning 40 cents for studios for every $1 she is paid, it seems like Murphy is earning more money for studios than he is making for himself), and so the magazine revealed that the 10th most overpaid actor in Hollywood is Nicole Kidman, who returns $6.70 for every $1 she is paid (meaning her salary is not incredibly disproportionate to how much money her movies make). And when Kidman’s ranking is considered, we learn that the more a movie makes, the less overpaid the actor is.
Other actors on the list are Will Ferrell (who brings in $3.50 for every $1 he makes), Reese Witherspoon (who brings in $3.55 for every $1 she makes), and Denzel Washington (who brings in $4.25 for every $1 he makes). And as interesting as it is to learn Drew Barrymore is the actor who’s worth the least amount of money, the extreme mathematics involved in explaining this list means my search for a new party trick has no choice but to continue.