Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hollywood's Best Actors For The Buck (Forbes)

In order to create our list we looked at the top 36 earners in Hollywood. To qualify, each actor had to have starred in at least three movies in the past five years that opened in more than 500 theaters. ... We then used data gathered for our annual Celebrity 100 list to calculate each star's estimated earnings on each film... We then looked at each movie's estimated budget (not including marketing costs, which are susceptible to accounting chicanery) and box-office, DVD and television earnings to figure out an operating income for each film. ... We added up each star's compensation on his or her last three films and the operating income on those films and divided total operating income by the star's total compensation to come up with each return on investment number. The final number represents an average of how much a studio earns for every dollar paid to the actor.
The reasons a movie is a blockbuster or a bomb can be so nebulous sometimes that it's always fun to see lists based on real numbers, and this one is no exception. However, the numbers can lie - or at least be misleading. For example, Shia LaBeouf is #1 on the list, generating $81 profit for every $1 he's paid. But considering the films (Transformers, Indy 4), I'd be willing to bet that just about any guy you put in those roles would end up being #1 on the list. I mean no disrespect to Shia - I like him quite a lot and think he's genuinely talented - I'm just using him and those films to make a point. On the other hand, Robert Downey, Jr., #4 on the list, was integral to the success of Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes (at least in my opinion) - it was the idea of him in those roles that motivated me to see those films.

What do you think?

Read the full article here.

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