It’s no secret that movie stars don’t exactly have to scrimp to get by – but some leading men can demand salaries to make your eyes water. Many of these actors are cashing colossal million-dollar paychecks year after year, and some are even earning twice as much as their co-stars. From Hollywood to Bollywood, then, these are the performers making the biggest bucks from the big screen and elsewhere, ranked by the cash they commanded from June 2014 to June 2015.
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20. Matt Damon
Matt Damon’s salary has fluctuated over the years since his first big break with Good Will Hunting back in 2007. From June 2014 to June 2015, though, Damon was back on top and equally earning top dollar. It’s said that the actor was paid a stratospheric $25 million to be in The Martian, upping his total worth to a reported $90 million. Cha-ching!
19. Will Smith
It’s fair to say that Will Smith’s latest movies haven’t been attracting the crowds he probably wished. His 2013 film After Earth was a box office disaster, while 2015’s Focus also had somewhat of a disappointing opening weekend in the U.S. Don’t feel too bad for the Fresh Prince, though: he still managed to make $26 million from June 2014 to June 2015, not to mention the approximately $240 million in the bank to fall back on.
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18. Shah Rukh Khan
An estimated fortune of $600 million makes Shah Rukh Khan the richest man in Bollywood, with even more cash than Hollywood stalwarts Clint Eastwood and Tom Cruise. And as well as racking up the movie credits, Khan takes on some lucrative promotional work – it’s likely a mixture of both that meant he earned an impressive $26 million in the year to June 2015.
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17. Matthew McConaughey
After swapping romcoms for grittier productions like Dallas Buyers Club, Matthew McConaughey bagged himself an Oscar. He’s also nabbed a cool $26.5 million from June 2014 to June 2015 – $135,000 of which was for simply making a speech at the University of Houston. The True Detective star also received a $3.5 million paycheck for his role in Gus Van Sant’s indie drama The Sea of Trees.
16. Daniel Craig
Daniel Craig’s $27 million earnings from June 2014 to June 2015 made him the highest-paid British actor of those 12 months. Not only that, but the rumored $39 million that Craig pocketed from latest James Bond movie Spectre ensures he’s made more money being 007 than anyone else. Nice work if you can get it.
15. Chris Hemsworth
Chris Hemsworth earned $27 million in the 12 months to June 2015 with roles in Blackhat, Vacation, In the Heart of the Sea and, of course, the third-highest grossing film of 2015 so far, Avengers: Age of Ultron. Marvel Studios paid Hemsworth $5.4 million for his role as Thor in the comic-book sequel – meaning that, even if several of his co-stars took home more for the movie, he’s not exactly on skid row yet.
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14. Channing Tatum
These days, Hollywood pays Channing Tatum millions of dollars to take his clothes off – but, once upon a time, he did that for a lot less. Famously, before finding the spotlight, the Magic Mike star worked as a stripper to make ends meet. But it’s not something that Tatum has to resort to any time soon; he’s earned $109 million in the last three years, and $29 million of that from June 2014 to June 2015 alone.
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13. Leonardo DiCaprio
In the 18 years since Titanic made movie history, Leonardo DiCaprio has become one of Hollywood’s highest-paid leading men, taking home a comfortable $29 million in the year to June 2015. Back in 1997 DiCaprio pocketed $2.5 million for his role as the doomed ship’s stowaway Jack Dawson. These days, however, he can charge as much as $20 million for a leading role and has around $245 million in the bank.
12. Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp is another big name attached to an even bigger price tag – and his hefty $20 million regular fee wasn’t well received by the producers of his 2015 movie Black Mass. But whether he received the full paycheck for that film or not, the veteran actor still came out of June 2015 with $30 million earned during the previous 12 months, bringing his total net worth over the years to $400 million.
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11. Dwayne Johnson
In 2014 Forbes named Dwayne Johnson as one of the best-value actors in Hollywood, estimating that for every buck the star was paid, the Fast & Furious franchise made over $30 back. The former world-champion wrestler has now proved himself outside the ring and can command up to $15 million a movie, while his annual earnings to June 2015 totaled $31.5 million.
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10. Mark Wahlberg
A number of successful acting and producing endeavors helped Mark Wahlberg pocket $32 million in the 12 months to June 2015. Among them were Ted 2, which saw the actor reunited with his titular furry friend, while the movie version of Entourage and comedy series Ballers found Wahlberg wearing his producer’s cap. What’s more, over the years Wahlberg’s projects both on- and off-camera have earned him an estimated net worth of $225 million. Not bad going, really.
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9. Akshay Kumar
The next three high earners might not be household Hollywood names, but they’re raking it in over in Bollywood. First up is former martial arts expert Akshay Kumar, who can command big rupees for action roles. From June 2014 to June 2015 he starred in no fewer than five new releases, including hits Holiday and Entertainment; these, reality TV appearances and a number of endorsement deals all earned him a cool $32.5 million.
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8. Salman Khan
Bollywood bad boy Salman Khan is worth $200 million – that’s more than Matthew McConaughey and Daniel Craig combined. And in the year to June 2015 he took home $33.5 million, likely down in part to movies Lai Bhaari and Kick and a stint on Bigg Boss, India’s answer to Big Brother. Khan also has his own fashion range and reaps in the rupees from a number of high-end endorsement deals.
7. Amitabh Bachchan
Amitabh Bachchan is something of a Bollywood icon, with a career spanning almost five decades and over 180 films, all helping him towards an estimated net worth of $400 million. The 73-year-old’s $33.5 million earnings from June 2014 to June 2015 can be attributed in part to his leading parts in movies Piku and Shamitabh, not to mention his lucrative role as host of India’s version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.
6. Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible salary reflects the franchise’s box-office success, so when the fifth movie in the series grossed over $600 million globally, it made an already flush Cruise even richer. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and 2014’s Edge of Tomorrow earned Cruise $40 million in the year to June 2015, taking his total fortune to around $480 million.
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5. Adam Sandler
Adam Sandler didn’t show up that much in movie theaters from June 2014 to June 2015, but that didn’t stop him from earning $41 million from an exclusive four-movie deal with Netflix in October 2014. The actor, who is reportedly worth $300 million, has also been busy working behind the scenes, most notably as a producer on 2015 sequel Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2.
4. Bradley Cooper
Bradley Cooper netted $41.5 million in the 12 months to June 2015, due in part to him flexing his muscles on both sides of the camera. As well as taking on the lead role in Burnt, he starred in and produced both the Limitless TV series and the 2014 box office hit American Sniper. Savvy financial moves, for definite.
3. Vin Diesel
From June 2014 to June 2015 Vin Diesel had his most lucrative year ever, after banking a whopping $47 million in producing and acting fees for Furious 7. The supercharged action star proved he was worth every dime, too, when the seventh movie in the Fast & Furious franchise earned over $1.5 billion globally and became the fifth-highest grossing film in history.
2. Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan’s $50 million earnings in the 12 months to June 2015 were down in part to a $10 million paycheck from Dragon Blade, a movie that took in over $120 million in China alone. Should the acting roles ever dry up, though, Chan also has a huge business empire to fall back upon, after putting his superstar name to everything from Segways to sushi restaurants – all of which earn him a pretty penny indeed.
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1. Robert Downey Jr.
It’s been one heck of a flush year for Robert Downey Jr., who easily made more money than any other actor in the world from June 2014 to June 2015 with a mind-blowing salary of $80 million. Marvel Studios paid out a massive $40 million to have Downey Jr. rejoin the cast of Avengers: Age of Ultron; he earned the same again for the upcoming Captain America: Civil War.