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Top 10 Paid Actors 2016: How Actors Make Their Money

Updated on January 11, 2017
Dwayne Johnson - a top paid actor for 2016
Dwayne Johnson - a top paid actor for 2016

Hollywood Scene! Who Are the Top Paid Actors for 2016?

Acting has become serious business these days when it comes to the paycheques that the high-rolling actors/actresses are receiving. For a typical 4-6 month movie filming contract - including promotions, travelling, etc. a top actor/actress can receive a paycheque that goes anywhere from $5 - 20 million, not bad for a a half-a-years shoot at the movie set.

That being said, actors have become even more-so lucky today with the money that they can potentially earn, with the most sort after actors occasionally hitting deals against their respective movie studios to have a percentage of the profits that the movie makes - usually the gross profits (known as points). This is a risky way to make money in Hollywood as it can sometimes backlash with movies flopping, but when the movie hits big this can be a sure way to make some insane cash, and actors could score ten, maybe even fifty million dollars worth of income from the deal.

And, this list highlights the top 10 earning actors/actresses for 2016. These are all Hollywood movie stars who have hit is big when it comes to their earnings for the year in the movies, and as you will find out not all of their money is earned from the movie business. Some actors produce, maybe even direct movies on the side, but when it comes down to some of these movie stars they know a thing or two about working in different parts of the entertainment business, whether it be singing or comedic stand-up work the key to making the big bucks is hard work and dedication to your craft (and, other crafts if possible).

Kevin Hart - Actor and Stand-Up Comedian
Kevin Hart - Actor and Stand-Up Comedian

1. Kevin Hart - $87.5 Million

Kevin Hart, actor starring in Ride Along 2 and Central Intelligence

Kevin Hart has become an actor many are familiar with thanks to his success in the comedy movie genre. He has had a lot of success in the movie business more recently due to the box office income that his movies have been receiving, with one of his more recent releases, Central Intelligence grossing more than $200 million worldwide.

Kevin also got his first voice-role debut as a bunny in The Secret Life of Pets, showing that he is popping up now in more than just the comedy genre of movies.

Not to mention, Kevin Hart is also an adored stand-up comedian, with sell-out tours in arenas and stadiums, so there is no surprise that Hart is the top earning actor for 2016 given his extensive success on two fronts, the comedy business in movies and the comedic entertainment business for stand-up comedy.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson - actor
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson - actor

2. Dwayne Johnson - $64.5 Million

Dwayne Johnson started out as a WWE star, a career that won him fame and fortune on the TV show, but since his first starring role in The Scorpion King back in 2000 he has been winning audiences over with his starring roles in movies.

Never the one to turn down different movie offers, Dwayne has starred in action, family, and even comedy movies that have enabled him to become one of the top earning actors in Hollywood year in, year out.

Still earning top dollar in Hollywood, Dwayne Johnson has most recently starred in San Andreas and is busy on the set of Fast 8, a movie sure to bring in a few more million dollar figures to his net worth pile.

Jackie Chan - actor
Jackie Chan - actor

3. Jackie Chan - $61 Million

Jackie Chan is a well known actor all of the world, thanks mostly where Britain is concerned to his successful trilogy instalments of Rush Hour, the last of which was if you can believe it released back in 2007.

So, how has Jackie Chan been making all of his money in recent years? The actor has been working hard in the Chinese film business, most recently starring as the voice of the monkey in King: Hero is Back and Dragon Blade alongside John Cusack.

Jackie Chan is not completely however out of the loop where Hollywood is concerned as the actor has recently starred as the voice of Monkey in Kung Fu Panda 3.

Matt Damon - actor
Matt Damon - actor

4. Matt Damon - $55 Million

Matt Damon has quickly risen as one of Hollywood's favourite actors and most sort after actors for high-profile roles, making him an interesting but well expected addition to this list for the highest paid actors in 2016.

Matt Damon has been keeping busy and the most notable appearances for the actor would be in the sequel for the Bourne series, Jason Bourne, which sees Matt reprise his character as Jason Bourne in the fifth instalment for the series directed by Paul Greengrass. A role estimated to have earned Matt Damon a cool $25 million for being a lead actor and producer for the film.

Tom Cruise - actor
Tom Cruise - actor

5. Tom Cruise - $53 Million

Tom Cruise is an actor well accustomed to the big buck earnings at Hollywood, making a splash back in 1996 with the Mission Impossible movie, a movie that has gone on to become a well-oiled franchise. M: I (Mission Impossible), a franchise so successful for the actor that it has made him the vast majority of his net worth, as the lead actor and producer.

His earnings for 2016 include the back-end earnings for Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, and also his salary for Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, a movie released back in October, 2016.

Johnny Depp - actor
Johnny Depp - actor

6. Johnny Depp - $48 Million

Another actor well used to the big bucks is Johnny Depp, an actor best known for his part as Jack Sparrow in the hit Disney movie franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean.

The main sum of his earnings for 2016 comes from his roles in the sequel to Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, titled Alice Through the Looking Glass (not directed by Tim Burton), and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Two movie series that are beginning to look a bit tired it makes you wonder whether the actor will still be favoured on the top earnings chart next year... but who knows.

Jennifer Lawrence - actress
Jennifer Lawrence - actress

7. Jennifer Lawrence - $46 Million

Jennifer Lawrence is Hollywood's sweetheart making the big bucks from her roles in a superhero franchise, X-Men (most recently, X-Men: Apocalypse), a fantasy franchise, Hunger Games (most recently, Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2), and serious movies (most recently, Passengers, a movie starring alongside Chris Pratt, earning the actress a reported $20 million).

Ben Affleck - actor
Ben Affleck - actor

8. Ben Affleck - $43 Million

Ben Affleck is one of Hollywoods foremost popular actors, having been in the acting game since Good Will Hunting (1997), a movie he starred-in alongside Matt Damon and Robin Williams.

Ever since Good Will Hunting (1997) Ben Affleck has been a thriving actor in Hollywood making some lucrative deals which have enabled him to get back-end deals, one of which being for his part as Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Sofia Vergara - actress, model and business owner
Sofia Vergara - actress, model and business owner

9. Sofia Vergara - $43 Million

Sofia Vergara has won over TV audiences with her character as Gloria in the hit US sitcom Modern Family. A show which has earned her $350,000 per episode, grand totalling at $7.7 million for season eight. Still, that does not account for the rest of her $43 million earnings for the calendar year of 2016.

The rest of her earnings for the year come from her endorsement work with the likes of Head & Shoulders and others. Plus, she also owns her own talent management company.

Jennifer Lopez - actress, singer, TV presenter
Jennifer Lopez - actress, singer, TV presenter

10. Jennifer Lopez - $39.5 Million

Jennifer Lopez is an insanely successful entertainer, as she is an actress (movie and TV work), singer and TV presenter (American Idol).

Jennifer Lopez has kept herself busy throughout 2016, starring in the NBC crime drama Shades of Blue and also did the voice of the tiger Shira in Ice Age: Collision Course. Not to mention her singing career whereby she has her Vegas song and dance show. And, to top it off with her fragrance line and endorsement deals.


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    • Angel Guzman profile image

      Angel Guzman 

      13 months ago from Joliet, Illinois

      Ten great performers. The film/television industry is fun but hard to break into.


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