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Jennifer Lawrence Tops Forbes List of Highest-Paid Film Actresses of 2015

Forbes has released its list of best-paid actresses, and it will come as no surprise at all that 25-year-old J.Law is crushing it at the very top. Lawrence raked in $52 million pre-tax during Forbes’ 12-month time frame — nearly $20 million more than in 2014. She stole the top spot from Sandra Bullock (who went from $51 million to $8 million). Not so close on J.Law’s heels are Scarlett Johansson and Melissa McCarthy, who bagged $35.5 million and $23 million, respectively, for the second and third spots. Forbes notes this is its first “global” index — though only one non-American, Chinese star Bingbing Fan, made the cut. The numbers reportedly come from box-office data and reflect the earnings before management fees and taxes; they also include endorsement deals.

Of the top ten highest earning actresses, here’s what Forbes had to say:

Forbes 1 Jennifer Lawrence1. Jennifer Lawrence
$52 million
Jennifer Lawrence earns more than any other actress thanks to her signature role as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games trilogy. Those films proved Lawrence’s box office brawn as a female action hero and helped her negotiate a very favorable share of the more recent films’ profits. Outside Panem, Lawrence is reuniting with her Silver Linings Playbook costar, Bradley Cooper, for the comedic drama, Joy. Lawrence supplements her silver screen income with a lucrative Dior contract.

Scarlett Johansson2. Scarlett Johansson
$35.5 million
Scarlett Johansson’s reputation – and reimbursement – is on the rise. Through commercial Marvel fare such as Avengers: Age of Ultron and her first solo action hero role in Lucy, which grossed $459 million, Johansson has proven she is a box office draw. As a leading woman, she commands over $10 million a movie, while reports place her fee for forthcoming thriller Ghost in the Shell at $17.5 million. Johansson boosts her movie money with Dolce & Gabbana and Sodastream endorsements.

Forbes 3 Melissa McCarthy3. Melissa McCarthy
$23 million
The Bridesmaids star has proven her ability to carry movies solo – 2015’s Spy and 2014’s Tammy grossed a combined $335 million worldwide and propelled her to her largest ever annual paycheck. Now McCarthy is turning to fashion, launching an all-sizes clothing line. “I started to think if I could do anything to build women up rather than the constant tear down I’m going to do it,” McCarthy told FORBES.

Forbes 4 Bingbing Fan4. Bingbing Fan
$21 million
The only non-American on the international ranking is Bingbing Fan, who joins the highest-paid thanks to roles in movies such as The White-Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom and endorsements with Chopard and L’Oreal. She is likely best-known to U.S. cinema-goers for her role in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Forbes 5 Jennifer Aniston5. Jennifer Aniston
$16.5 million
Jennifer Aniston is one of several list mainstays who makes fewer movies but still earns from endorsements. Her two films in our scoring period – indie flick Cake and comedy Horrible Bosses 2 – grossed just $108.6 million combined. Eleven years after Friends ended, Aniston makes bank shilling for Aveeno, SmartWater and Living Proof.

Forbes 6 Julia Roberts6. Julia Roberts
$16 million
Julia Roberts returns to the ranking thanks largely to beauty and fashion deals with Lancôme, Givenchy and Calzedonia. No longer a guaranteed hit maker, Roberts now picks and chooses the films she wants to make such as The Secret in Their Eyes, a remake of the 2009 Oscar-winning Argentinean film, which also stars Nicole Kidman.

Forbes 7 Angelina Jolie7. Angelina Jolie
$15 million
Another regular on the ranking, Angelina Jolie has been spending more time behind the camera, writing, directing and starring in forthcoming drama By The Sea with husband Brad Pitt. A vocal advocate for human rights, Jolie is special envoy for the U.N. on refugee issue.

Forbes 8 Reese Witherspoon8. Reese Witherspoon
$15 million
Reese Witherspoon has had a phenomenal run of late, cop comedy flop Hot Pursuit notwithstanding. Frustrated by a shortage of rich roles for women, Witherspoon formed a production company with producer Bruna Papadena to buy the rights to novels with strong female leads. First up was 2013’s Gone Girl ($368 million worldwide gross), which the duo co-produced, and the two-time Oscar nominated Wild ($52 million worldwide gross), which Witherspoon produced and starred in. A slew of new production and acting credits help her rejoin the list since dropping off in 2011.

Forbes 9 Anne Hathaway9. Anne Hathaway
$12 million
The voice of Jewel in the big budget animation Rio 2, Anne Hathaway is set to star in Alice Through the Looking Glass, Tim Burton’s 2016 Alice in Wonderland sequel.

"Snow White And The Huntsman" - Los Angeles Screening9. Kristen Stewart
$12 million
Post-Twilight, Kristen Stewart has been working hard to prove herself as a credible actress beyond Bella. The Chanel model’s recent flicks include The Clouds of Sils Maria and Julianne Moore-fronted Still Alice; after American Ultra, she’s set to star in Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk alongside Vin Diesel.

Forbes 11 Cameron Diaz11. Cameron Diaz
$11 million
Sex Tape may have flopped, but Cameron Diaz still earns her regular spot on the highest-paid actresses ranking thanks to fixed compensation for roles such as The Other Woman and Annie, plus a long-standing Tag Heuer deal.


About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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7 comments

  1. J.Law!!!! That girl though, everlastingly a Hollywood IT-girl! She started out like Julia Roberts, the classic American Sweetheart. And her star doesn’t seem to be falling.

  2. So, Jennifer Aniston made more money that Angelina Jolie? I guess Jolie can keep Brad, we’re just fine with the money.

    • shakespeareanwalter

      Oh shuttup! By just a few millions, that’s the margin. Nothing Mama Jolie can’t topple in the following year. 😛

      • Uh huh! Next year the world shall experience another gigli and it shall be glorious for us Anistonians

        • Hahahahahahahaa!!! You total bastard! Gigli is the kind of mess that happens only once. Besides the Jolie-Pitts are too golden. We Jolieans are sitting pretty, don’t you worry.

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