New study reveals Hollywood’s most (and least) profitable stars, including Ryan Gosling, Adam Sandler and Jennifer Lawrence


Charlize Theron had the worst ROI on our list

– With an average salary per film of $ 11.1 million, produces only $ 5.96 for every dollar paid.
– The other actors who generated the worst returns include Denzel Washington ($ 7.10), Adam Sandler ($ 9.80), Samuel L. Jackson ($ 10.70) and Nicole Kidman ($ 13).

Emma Watson and Robert Pattinson are Hollywood’s ‘most profitable’ British stars

– With an average salary of $ 15,795,223, Watson has an average movie salary earning of $ 84.23 and is in the top 10 of the Hollywood stars with the best Metacritic scores (Sixty-five throughout his career).

– Pattinson is one of the three lowest paid actors in our study (his median salary is $ 1,721,233) however, he studies $ 77.87 for every dollar they pay you. Additionally, films with Robert Pattinson receive a metacritical score of 52 but his average salary is 12 times lower than Adam Sandler, the star with the lowest metacritical score in our study.


To determine the most successful Hollywood stars, SavingSpot first generated a list of popular actors. The team ranked the actors based on the total number of reviews of the films in which they received a leading credit on IMDb. They then chose the 50 actors with the most number of movie reviews added. They didn’t consider actors who didn’t have enough salary data or whose careers were tied to a movie franchise.

The SavingSpot team then calculated the average earnings for each actor using information on each actor’s IMDb profiles. Salary data is often not reported or is reported as a post-fact combination of initial fees and backend agreements. Where possible, the research team favored data on the initial fee an actor earns for a role and excluded backend salary data that is a function of total earnings or earnings from the film. All data was adjusted for inflation using annual Consumer Price Index data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data was only assigned to actors for movies in which they had the lead role, as quantified by IMDb.

SavingSpot also compiled Metacritic scores for each movie each actor has starred in, allowing your tram to create an average score for each actor. The average Metacritic score is based only on films for which salary data is also available. The team then compiled the box office earnings for each The Numbers movie.

The return on investment calculation was based on inflation-adjusted salary data and total gross global box office adjusted for inflation as of April 11, 2020.

Interactive chart: the most overpaid and underpaid actors, according to critics

Interactive chart: the most and least profitable stars at the box office


For full study data, visit StellarPay.


IMDb. (2020). IMDb.
Metacritical. (2020). Metacritical.
The numbers. (2020). Box office of all time around the world.
Kroll,. Lang, B. (2019). 2019 salaries for Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie and more stars revealed.
Kroll,. Lang, B. (2019). The salaries of Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence and other stars revealed.

About SavingSpot
SavingSpot is a personal finance blog, offering tips on living a frugal life, sharing tips on how to advance your career, and featuring inspiring content to help American readers rediscover the U.S. The blog is managed by the team from CashNetUSA.

Founded in 2004, CashNetUSA is a leading state-licensed online lender offering payday loans, installment loans, and line of credit products. CashNetUSA has partnered with over 3 million customers over the 10+ years we’ve been in business

About NeoMam Studios
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