Captain America star (and former human torch…too soon?) Chris Evans has proven to seemingly be the most cost-effective investment Marvel ever made. For two years running now, he has been Tinseltown’s biggest box office-to-paycheck earner. For every US$1 Evans got paid this year, his mighty shield yielded on average US$135.8. Not surprising at all since Captain America: Civil War alone cleared a cool US$1 billion at the box office. Evan’s headline appearance on a list by Forbes of “Hollywood’s Best Actors For The Buck” shows that with even a substantial payout to your actors, the rewards of pushing spandex can be huge.
Evans is far from the only star hailing from the house that Stan Lee built on the list. He shares this top chart with three other Marvel movie actors. In second place for example, the always lovable Chris Pratt showed his newfound bank-ability in spades, nabbing US$125.4 in studio sales for every dollar he earned. A long way from Parks and Rec, the Guardians of The Galaxy star will likely be lording (sorry) his now solidified market appeal during any future contract negotiations. Especially after the almost guaranteed hit the upcoming sequel will be.
Though the number three entry indeed also shows off more Marvel dominance, it also shows the massive appeal of several female actors working today. Evans’ Captain America co-star Scarlett Johansson, who has utterly owned the role of Black Widow for a generation of geek girls earned US$88.60 for each buck she got paid. That’s not all black latex Avengers bucks though, as other projects such as sci-fi actioner Lucy sold tickets like hotcakes. Forbes estimates a colossal US$2.4 billion taken in cash from Johansson’s latest films, which totals almost 100 times her paychecks. Expect next year’s Ghost In The Shell to add a heap-load more to that figure.
Coming it at number four, though many of us have painful memories of sci-fi flop Jupiter Ascending, Mila Kunis is holding her own as a bang for buck studio option. She earned US$49.50 for the US$1 she got paid. Though don’t take that as a sign of anyone planning on an Oz The Great And Powerful 2 any time soon.
Rounding up the top five we have Groot himself, Vin Diesel. Last year’s (slightly clunky though charming) love letter to his former D&D character, The Last Witch Hunter, may not have filled that many cinema seats but his other more popular franchises pulled him through. The Fast and Furious movies made sure that for every US$1 Diesel got paid, he earned the studios back US$32.
You can find out more details, including how Forbes compiled the list, using a comparison of production budget to actor’s earnings, on their site. However, if you just want to know who brings in the moolah on the cheap cheap, here’s the full list of the best bargains in U.S cinema today.
- Chris Evans: US$135.80 per US$1 paid
- Chris Pratt: US$125.4 per US$1 paid
- Scarlett Johansson: US$88.60 per US$1 paid
- Mila Kunis: US$49.50 per US$1 paid
- Jennifer Aniston: US$27.80 per US$1 paid
- Ben Affleck: US$20.10 per US$1 paid
- Robert Downey Jr.: US$18.40 per US$1 paid
- Matt Damon: US$17.70 per US$1 paid
- Jennifer Lawrence: US$17.70 per US$1 paid