Forbes has continued its long-running tradition of naming and shaming actors who command huge pay checks, but don’t pull in the crowds to really justify it. They came up with these figures by deducting estimated production costs from the gross returns of the actors’ three most recently films.
The list for 2015 contains some names that might surprise you as much as it did the producers who believed in the leading men’s money-making potential.
1. Johnny Depp ($1.20 for every $1 paid) – Just like a real-life Jack Sparrow, Johnny Depp has been keeping the profits from his latest films all to himself while the producers’ loot barely broke them even. Depp tops the list after only bringing in 20 cents of profit for every dollar that was spent to produce his films. Most notably, Mortdecai, only managed to scrape together $47 million on a $60 million budget – a massive loss for Disney (Photo: Instagram, @johnnydepp.official)
2. Denzel Washington ($6.50 for every $1 paid) – Films like The Equalizer grossed an impressive $192 million, but the massive production costs and Denzel’s equally chunky pay check all but equalized the profit margins of his films for the scoring period up to June 2015. (Photo: Instagram, @swagger_coach)
3. Will Ferrell ($6.80 for every $1 paid) – Ferrell made studio execs stand up in hope when Get Hard grossed $111 million on a $40 million budget, but The Campaign and Anchorman 2 left them limp as those impotent comedies shrunk his overall turnover. (Photo: Instagram, @thedailyshow)
4. Liam Neeson ($7.20 for every $1 paid) – Taken 3 made a massive box office splash by raking in more than $326 million on a $48 million
budget, but Neeson damaged his average return rate with Run All Night – grossing only $71.6 million on a $50 million budget. (Photo: Instagram, @neeson_liam)
5. Will Smith ($8.60 for every $1 paid) – Smith’s massive pay checks mean that even box offices successes like Focus, that managed to gross $159 million worldwide on a $50 million budget, yield small returns for producers while Smith banks big time. (Photo: Instagram, @willsmithpage)