By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist December 5, 2012 at 9:41AM
Once seen as a series of soaring precedents afforded to Hollywood's best and brightest, the massive paychecks given to high-profile actors and directors today have since grown smaller with the film industry's cost-cutting measures. However, for an elite group of individuals, their price tag remains as high as it ever was, but now a recent list has revealed a slow reversal has begun for those once deemed financially golden.
In a Top-10 list published by Forbes, Eddie Murphy has come in as the frontrunner for Most Overpaid Actor, having taken in with his recent films only $2.30 for every dollar appointed to him. The business publication sourced the list from its Celebrity 100 rankings, and compared the actors' last three wide releases -- in Murphy's case, “A Thousand Words,” “Tower Heist,” and “Imagine That” -- to the paycheck allotted to them for their work.
The undercut honors continue with a trifecta of romantic-comedy staples -- namely Katherine Heigl ($3.40), Reese Witherspoon ($3.90), and Sandra Bullock ($5.00) -- and offers up an interesting question as a result: Was it just an unfortunate string of flops from each actress -- from “How Do You Know” to “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” -- that prompted their ranking, or are these numbers in fact a realistic marker of their decreased appeal?
The answer likely lies somewhere in a combination of both, but an easier challenge applies nonetheless to Murphy's disappointing uppermost placement, even with his recent delightful pronunciation of “bobby pin” in “Tower Heist.” To see who else joined the actor in financial troubles, check out the full Forbes list here, which also features some names similarly well-placed, and others which may actually surprise a bit in their inclusion.
1. Eddie Murphy, $2.30
2. Katherine Heigl, $3.40
3. Reese Witherspoon, $3.90
4. Sandra Bullock, $5
5. Jack Black, $5.20
6. Nic Cage, $6
7. Adam Sandler, $6.30
8. Denzel Washington, $6.30
9. Ben Stiller, $6.50
10. Sarah Jessica Parker, $7