1. Adam Sandler
Returns1 $3.40 for every $1 paid
Adam sandler is one of the few movie stars who can still demand a paycheque north of $15 million per film. But is he worth it? Not according to our calculations, based on how much an actor’s last three movies earned at the box office per dollar of pay. Jack and Jill, in which he played twins, grossed $150 million but cost so much to make that it lost Sony money, and That’s My Boy was a major bomb. A consolation: 2012’s animated Hotel Transylvania was the biggest hit of his career.
2. Katherine Heigl $3.50 for every $1 paid
27 Dresses in 2008 made her the new queen of romantic comedies … until flops like Killers and One for the Money.3. Reese Witherspoon $3.90 for every $1 paid
She’s in the middle of reinventing her career to produce her own movies. Expect her to give herself a big pay cut.
4. Nicolas Cage $6 for every $1 paid
We didn’t include animated movies; if we did, his Dreamworks hit, The Croods, would make him look better.
5. Kevin James $6.10 for every $1 paid
He was one of the film industry’s most bankable actors until he flopped in 2012 with Here Comes the Boom.6. Denzel Washington $8.30 for every $1 paid
As one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, he can demand a huge paycheque, but he doesn’t always win at the box office.7. Steve Carell $10 for every $1 paid
He had a major misfire with The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. It grossed just $22 million worldwide.Images: By Dorothy Pomerantz
Sandler: Schulz / DPA / Landov; Heigl: Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images; Witherspoon: John Sciulli / Getty Images; Cage: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images; James: Evan Agostini / Invision / AP; Washington: Monica Schipper / Getty Images; Carell: Todd Williamson / Invision / AP
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(This story appears in the 07 February, 2014 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)