Drew Barrymore Tops Forbes List Of Most Overpaid Actors

By David Wharton 2011-11-03 16:35:22discussion comments
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It's not a good day to be Drew Barrymore. The actress who won our hearts playing Gertie in E.T. way back when has received the sort of recognition nobody hopes for, right up there with picking up a Razzie for a particularly noxious performance. In fact this one's even worse, because it draws attention to the fact that she might be letting Hollywood down in the one spot it cares about the most: the wallet. Yes, Ms. Barrymore is right at the tippy-top of Forbes' new list of Hollywood's Most Overpaid Actors.

So how exactly did Forbes come up with the list? You can click the above link to get a detailed account, but here's the short version:

To compile our list we used information gathered for the Celebrity 100 to look at the last three non animation movies each actor starred in over that last three years. We added each actor's upfront and backend pay on all three movies to come up with a total compensation number. We then added up the operating income of the three movies to come up with a total operating income number and then divided total operating income by total compensation. Each return on investment number represents how much the studio is paid for every dollar invested in the star.


By that accounting, Ms. Barrymore tops the list of most overpaid by returning a cringe-inducing 40 cents for every dollar she's paid. Ouch. That's particularly bad because many of the actors on the list earned their spot partially because they get paid a ton of money, thus making it that much harder for the studios to earn back their money. Not so with Barrymore; she provides the double-whammy of being comparatively cheap (a reported $15 million according to IMDb Pro) but still starring in flops.

Who else is on the list? Eddie Murphy is in second place, with his films earning back $2.70 for every buck he's paid. (Now go back and look at Barrymore's numbers for a full sense of just how securely she's lodged in the number one slot.) The list has (relatively) good news for Will Ferrell, who has been number one on the list for the past two years. This time he's slipped down to number three, earning back $3.50 for every dollar.

You can head over to Forbes to check out the rest of the list. There are some surprising inclusions and some...not so surprising (*coughcougNicCagecough*).
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