To compile the list, Forbes’ analysts examine the last three movies the actor was in and compare those combined grosses with his or her combined paycheck, generating an investment return figure for each star.
By that model, Sandler returned about $3.20 for each dollar he was paid, a result of his recent comedic outings that have failed to perform at the box office, such as his rom-com with Drew Barrymore, “Blended.”
Close behind Sandler is Johnny Depp, who returns $4.10 per dollar paid. Though Depp has ridden hit blockbusters such as the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise and “Alice in Wonderland” to box office (and bank account) success, audiences hesitated to shell out for gambles such as “Transcendence,” earning him the No. 2 spot.
Rounding out the top three is Ben Stiller, returning $4.80 per dollar paid. Stiller has proven his profitability over the years, but missteps such as “Tower Heist” and “The Watch” were tough to overcome in this formula.
The full top 10:
1. Adam Sandler: returns $3.20 for every $1 paid.
2. Johnny Depp: returns $4.10 for every $1 paid.
3. Ben Stiller: returns $4.80 for every $1 paid.
4. Ryan Reynolds: returns $4.90 for every $1 paid.
5. Tom Hanks: returns $5.20 for every $1 paid.
6. Will Ferrell: returns $6.60 for every $1 paid.
7. Channing Tatum: returns $6.70 for every $1 paid.
8. Denzel Washington: returns $6.90 for every $1 paid.
9. Sandra Bullock: returns $9 for every $1 paid.
10. Ben Affleck: returns $9.37 for every $1 paid.