The battle for equal pay has been a conversation that has been around for a long time and it doesn’t seem like it will be ending anytime soon either. While you may typically hear about this issue and its link to a lot of everyday jobs, Hollywood is no exception. With a lot of female celebrities (including Jennifer Lawrence) speaking out and having big name actors stand beside them and tell those who are negotiating the contracts that these women should be receiving the same amounts that their male counterparts are is a huge step forward, but it’s not enough. Sure, there are those like Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett Johansson who rake in the big bucks but even those figures are nothing compared to the boys of Hollywood.
Anyway, despite its inherent issues, Hollywood movies and even regular T.V. would not be the same without their leading ladies. Given, they may be getting paid less but they shine as bright, if not brighter, than the men and it’s wonderful to see that more and more films out there are becoming centered around the females and what they’re capable of!
This list was solely based on the existing known salaries and how they may have altered since Forbes compiled their list of the highest paid actresses of 2015. Actual figures were used when available but, just so we’re clear, there may be come discrepancies between what is given here versus the actual figures. In addition, only actresses who have something being released in 2016 and/or 2017 were included, hence why Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz aren’t included. Anyway, now that that’s taken care of, read on to see who made the cut!
20. Mila Kunis – $4.5 million
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the entire cast of the long-running animated show Family Guy have received a major raise, which means nothing but great news for Mila Kunis. At about $200,000 an episode and 12 episodes announced this year, that alone makes her a whopping $2.4 million! In addition, she will also be taking on one of the starring roles in the female-led comedy Bad Moms. While no figures have been released, they are apparently having a wonderful time on set and, according to The International Business Times, they’re all loving the experience. All in all, while Mila Kunis may be one of Hollywood’s most expensive actresses and obtains seven digit deals, she is also one of the most profitable and earns the movie about $87 in profit for every $1 they spend on her. Sounds like a great trade off, don’t you think?
19. Meryl Streep – $6 million
Despite Meryl Streep only making $8 million last year after starring in two films, it is hard to believe that she will not be making more in 2016. With the release of her upcoming film Florence Foster Jenkins and having Hugh Grant as her co-star, it is sure to do splendidly at the box office. While it may celebrate a woman who can’t sing if her life depended on it and what happens after she makes a name for herself, the comedic genius mixed with her fame via sources like YouTube almost guarantees big money. Sure, it may be a little early to talk about award season but when it does happen chances are this is one of those films that will be on everybody’s lips.
18. Margot Robbie – $8 million
While no actual monetary values have been released in connection to her upcoming films, she is definitely an up and coming actress and model with a strong business sense. Then again, it’s also just safe to assume that huge blockbuster, A-list movies would bring in a substantial income. Sharing the screen with some of the biggest actors in the world like Will Smith, Jared Leto and Leonardo DiCaprio does nothing but help her case, either. Considering that her estimated net worth is $8 million thus far and her name is increasingly in demand, rest assured that this figure will do nothing but go up in 2016. With the release of four movies between January 2016 and 2017 which include big name titles like Suicide Squad and The Legend of Tarzan her face will be plastered all over the big screen and it will be interesting to see where she’ll be even three years from now.
17. Natalie Portman – $8.5 million
Natalie Portman seems to be making the transition from huge blockbusters like Thor: The Dark World to more small budget, independent films where she appears to be one of the few recognizable names on the entire cast list! While this transition may be a good one for Portman, for only you can judge what’s best for yourself, it consequently means that her pay scale will definitely not be as large as most on this list. Despite starring in most of the seven films that are to be released between 2016 and 2017 the budget for films of this nature does not allow for huge pay checks to be had. It’s funny to think that Weightless is probably the biggest film on her list since she is among other big name actors like Michael Fassbender, Val Kilmer and Ryan Gosling yet it is still considered to be completely indie. In addition, the only film that has been released thus far entitled Jane Got a Gun has gotten nothing but critiques from the media since it remained hidden and, to top it all off, there was nothing but trouble throughout the shoot! Taking all this into consideration, it’s safe to say that the most she’ll receive if she is playing a vital character is $1.5 million and it will be somewhere along the likes of $1 million if this is not the case. Sure, it’s still a nice chunk of money but only time will tell if she will return to the likes of blockbuster movies.
16. Emma Stone – $10 million
Emma Stone is arguably one of Hollywood’s best actresses but she is also one of the cheapest. Having only brought in $6.5 million after working on two movies, which arguably weren’t the biggest, here’s to crossing our fingers that the modern day Hollywood musical La La Land where she plays across from Ryan Gosling will bring in at least $3 million. It is fair to say that it will simply considering that, according to The Hollywood Reporter, its release date has been pushed to December in order to co-respond with award season but it is hard to say for sure since no figures have been released to the general public. In addition, she will be starring in the Netflix series Maniac alongside fellow Oscar nominee Jonah Hill, Battle of the Sexes with widely known comedian Steve Carell and reprising her role as Eep in The Croods 2 which, if it’s anything like the first one, will be a global success. While it may be hard to say how much she’ll be making this year, her stardom is definitely on the rise and, when you think about it, there is truly no such thing as too much Emma Stone.
15. Julia Roberts – $10 million
While Julia Roberts may have once had an unbeatable celebrity status it has definitely slightly depleted over the years. The days of her being able to ask for upwards of $25 million dollars per movie is over. She did this for Mona Lisa Smile, and she is rarely seen in those huge blockbusters anymore. This being said, she is nowhere near gone and can still ask for $5 million to star in a movie since her name holds a level of respect in the industry and will be seen in Mother’s Day and Money Monster because of it. In addition, she holds endorsement contracts with Lancôme, Givenchy and Calzedonia which allows her to keep her luxurious lifestyle going.
14. Amanda Seyfried – $10.5 million
Amanda Seyfried is one of the lowest paid actresses in Hollywood, especially considering her ever-growing celebrity status, and is truly a victim of the wage gap that is taking a toll on females involved in the entertainment industry. Despite releasing four movies last year, her position on Forbes‘ highest paid actresses of 2015 was tied with Meryl Streep, and she only released two movies! Given, she does not have nearly as much experience as Streep but the figure is still absolutely ridiculous. But, that was last year and with the increasing amount of conversations revolving around the inequality who knows how much she’ll receive in 2016. Besides, the simple fact that she will be starring in films with stars like Daniel Radcliffe in Young Americans, Benedict Cumberbatch in Flying Horse, and Charlize Theron in American Express and the television show Twin Peaks with Ashley Judd and others of that caliber means that her career will do nothing but rise in the upcoming years.
13. Tina Fey – $10.5 million
The infamous Tina Fey is already one of the highest paid television actresses per episode to date since she received $6.5 million dollars with The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, according to Forbes that is, it should be of no surprise why she made it on this list. Not only did she co-create, produce and make guest appearances in the aforementioned show, but she has so many other things on the side that it’s hard to believe that she ever has time to be a wife and mother! With this show renewed for a season two on Netflix and her starring role in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (which she also has a producer credit on by the way), money is the least of Fey’s worries.
12. Kristen Stewart – $12 million
2016 will be a huge year for Kristen Stewart as she is set to play in Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Woody Allen’s Café Society as well as Drake Doremus’ Equals which means that her once dismal career has finally been able to take off! Having made $12 million on three movies that weren’t exactly viewed as huge hits in cinemas, it should be interesting to see how much money she will be making for these three. This is a huge step forward for her and considering all of her hard work and persistence it’s a well deserved one, too. When you take into consideration the all-star casts of the films as well as world renowned crew, it’s safe to say that her contracts will definitely be more than $3 million a piece, but how much more is the question that is lingering in all of our minds.
11. Cara Delevingne – $15 million
While Cara Delevingne may have walked away from her modelling career for personal reasons, her dream to become a full-time actress is coming true right in front of her own eyes. With four movies coming out in 2016 including Suicide Squad and Kids in Love, and returning to cinemas in 2017 with Valeriane and the City of a Thousand Planets, it’s easy to tell that she is slowly but surely making a name for herself not only as a model but as an actress. While her salaries may not have been announced to the general public, the simple fact that she has landed starring roles in the films and her career has just begun is promising to this 22 year old, who decided to walk away from a supposed 8.5 thousand pounds a day (according to Seventeen) and do what was best for her.
10. Amy Adams – $15 million
While Amy Adams may not be one of Hollywood’s biggest actresses, she still makes a mark in her own special way. This year, you can expect to see her reprise her role as Lois Lane in Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice as well take on a starring role in The Story of Your Life. In addition, she is set to make appearances in The Justice League: Part One as Lois Lane once again which should be coming out in 2017 if everything stays on schedule. This beautiful red head will partake in your film if you pay her $5 million, or at least that was her rate in 2014, and will do nothing but bring her all. Sure, she is fully aware of the wage gap that Hollywood possesses, but she will not be stepping down from the industry anytime soon because of it.
9. Reese Witherspoon – $15 million
Reese Witherspoon has seen her fair share of box office flops which sadly include the one film that she was in last year, Hot Pursuit, but there is always the possibility that this year will be better than ever! Taking on the role of Rosita in the Illumination Entertainment film Sing, she may just be able to recover from her extremely slow career. Also, her name has been directly linked to the upcoming live-action Tinkerbell movie, and Entertainment Weekly announced that she even leaked photos which may or may not be associated with it! It’s not that she is a bad actress but just that she has made some questionable calls recently which means that she can hypothetically recover from it. In addition, there is always the possibility that she can land some major endorsement deal in 2016 which would immediately raise her monetary status.
8. Sandra Bullock – $20 million
Having the ability to command upwards of $20 million for each film that she stars in is not a big surprise for this A-list Hollywood actress who has been in demand for over a decade now. This being said, while she may not have any movies that have been announced for 2016 or 2017 as of yet, that does not mean that she won’t by the end of the year. By expanding her horizons and involving herself as a producer as well as actress means that a steady income is almost guaranteed as long as the movie doesn’t flop and, let’s face it, that’s a rare moment for Sandra Bullock. Sure, her latest film Our Brand is Crisis may have bombed at the box office, but that’s not to say that her next film will not be anything short of a masterpiece.
7. Bingbing Fan – $20 million
While there may not be any actual figures that are released in connection to this Chinese megastar’s annual salary, it has remained at in between $20 million and $24 million since 2013 and this stability is the reasoning behind her position. With the release of two movies this year, The Moon and the Sun and I Am Not Madame Bovary, her presence in the English scene continues to be a subtle one that can’t help but be filled with impact. Connections of any sort can help continue a career and, in the case of Bingbing Fan, it’s a big one. The chances of starring in a movie when you know not only the director but screenwriter and have worked with both of them twice before basically solidifies your place so we will be seeing a lot more of her for many years to come.
6. Melissa McCarthy – $24 million
Melissa McCarthy can definitely be considered one of Hollywood’s heavyweights but that may not necessarily be such a bad thing. By showing that she possesses true talent and wit, she has proved to everyone that anyone can be a leading lady and they can do it on their own terms. Despite never having starred in a romantic comedy, Melissa has made a name for herself by primarily doing comedies of some sort. In the next two years, she can be seen in The Boss as well as in the female remake of Ghostbusters where she is apparently making $14 million due to its huge budget. She has just started breaking out of her shell and has taken a stab at producing as well with the film The Boss which she also stars in. While the movie may not be going over well with the critics, they do agree that it is of no fault of her own and she remains to be fiercely talented. Through having the ability to command somewhere between $10 million and $15 million dollars a film minimum, her blossoming career will not be faltering anytime soon
5. Anne Hathaway – $24 million
Anne Hathaway is one of those actresses who doesn’t typically make more than one or two movies a year but she still brings in a substantial amount of money all things considered. For example, her only major release last year was The Intern and yet she still managed to rake in $12 million dollars which isn’t too shabby. This being said, you can only assume that she will be making at least that much in her upcoming films and with the release of the sequel to the live-action Alice in Wonderland, Alice Through the Looking Glass which has already flooded the media, it is sure to be a major success. When you pair this with her starring in the film Colossal that will be showing at the Cannes film festival, she is sure to get a lot of media attention this year, especially considering the intrigue and interesting plot that this particular film possesses.
4. Jennifer Aniston – $24.75 million
This once Friends star has gone from the silver screen to the big screen in hit rom-coms like We Are the Millers but the question still remains: how much does she get paid for all of her hard work? Well, going by the figures that were most recently announced by Forbes, she made $16.5 million for her two films that were released last year which equates to about $8,250,000 per film, but it is difficult to say for sure considering that she makes a lot on the back-end. However, if you were to take into consideration what The Daily Mail said, then that figure may be even closer to $5 million despite her A-list status! Taking this into account, it is fair to assume that she will be making about the same for the three coming out this year: Mother’s Day, Yellow Birds and Office Christmas Party. However, you also have to take into consideration that she still successfully endorses Aveeno, SmartWater and Living Proof so she definitely has more than enough to do whatever her heart desires.
3. Angelina Jolie – $40 million
While Angelina Jolie may be going though some personal struggles over the years, especially regarding her weight and overall health, her name is still connected to quality acting no matter the means in which she does it. This being said, she can still totally command $20 million per movie and have that be an acceptable figure. With the release of Kung Fu Panda 3 where she will once again take on the persona of Tigress and the announcement of Maleficent 2, this seasoned actress continues to make an impression no matter where she goes. While she may not have as much screen time as she once did, Angelina Jolie continues to be as fierce as ever and that’s just the way we like it.
2. Scarlett Johansson – $57.5 million
This bombshell has done nothing but make a splash in Hollywood since she entered the scene in 1994, but nothing can really compare to her recent successes. Starting in the early 2000s, her name was everywhere to be found, which not only meant great exposure but fantastic paychecks as well. In the recent years, Scarlett Johansson has admitted that she refuses to do a movie if they do not pay her at least $10 million for it but that has not stopped her from starring in four movies that will be released in theatres throughout the course of this year. In 2017 you can also look forward to seeing her star in the action crime drama The Ghost in the Shell which is based on the original anime. She even got an endorsement from the writer and illustrator of the original manga, Masamune Shirow.
1. Jennifer Lawrence – $61.7 million
This 25 year old actress has done nothing but excel in acting since the she joined the industry a decade ago. In the recent years, her price tag has spiked and the simple fact that she got $15 million dollars for her participation in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay goes to show how the odds will be ever in her favor. Since then, she has made nothing less than $15 million per movie and even threatened to walk from the intergalactic love story that is Passengers if Sony paid her anything less than $20 million which, consequently, caused a huge controversy. In addition, her role as Mystique has come to the forefront in the movie X-Men: Apocalypse which evidently means that her paycheck will be even higher than those she obtained from her previous involvement with the X-Men franchise. When you pair that with her three year, $20 million contract with Dior which expires this year which would technically bring in $6.6 million she is, by far, the highest paid actress of 2016.