Adam Sandler Tops Forbes’ Most Overpaid Actors List

Adam Sandler Most Overpaid Actor
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Forbes’ annual list of the top 10 most overpaid actors in Hollywood saw comedian Adam Sandler claim the top spot for the second year in a row.

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.

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  1. kevin says:

    I think there is hate behind this article and a hidden agenda

  2. humphry says:

    Sandler has all the artistic talent of pocket lint.

  3. cam says:

    I think the formula is flawed. Sandler being a comedian, plays the key roles in lower budget(no special effects etc) films and thus represents a larger than average portion of a movies budget. So even if his salary to gross ratio is low…his movies budget to profit ratio could be much better

  4. Buddy says:

    I don’t know. If my investments got me $3.20 for every $1.00 put in, I’d be ecstatic. I’m lucky to get 5%.

    • Aeeman Ayobi says:

      Haha :’) But you have to think about it like for every dollar they’re paying just one actor, the whole movie gets 3 bucks, so that’s before they’ve factored in other costs.

  5. b33z3lbub says:

    This is a great list of ten people who aren’t overpaid. Come on, Adam Sandler? His movies have staying power. We own a lot of his DVD’s and Blu Ray’s. We watch them again and again………REALLY? I can’t think of a SINGLE good Adam Sandler movie. They all suck even the first time you watch them!

  6. fadf says:

    Adam Sandler rules and deserves every cent he gets. Pure comedic gold. There must be people who love him as much as I do out there, or else he wouldn’t be earning even this much :P

  7. Julie says:

    Seriously? They are not “overpaid”. If someone is willing to pay you an amount, that’s what you are worth. It’s simple

    • Dave says:

      It’s determined how much revenue is being brought in by how much the actor himself is being paid. And as I understand it, Sandlers two previous movies didn’t meet expectations so in that retrospect the studio is losing money, and Sandler is a risky investment.

  8. 9 out of 10 are men! Either women are more enjoyable to audiences (unlikely), or this list pretty much confirms the unequal pay in Hollywood.

  9. samantha says:

    Regardless of you thinking these Stars are not worthy of their pay. Have you taken into account the pirot copies and illigal copies that everyone watches. They are all hero’s so suck it in!!

  10. Tom Cruise Is So Money!💰💵💵💷💴💰

  11. dave says:

    calling him an actor is a bit of a stretch. He is barely even a comic anymore, he’s just not as funny as he was in the 90’s.

  12. rocky-o says:

    Adam Sandler is a given…he’s always been horrible and remains that way…but where’s the dynamic duo of box office poison Tom Cruise and Jennifer Aniston…Cruise’s last film (edge of tomorrow) did so bad, the studio changed the title when it came out on dvd just in the hopes that people wouldn’t remember…and they didn’t even put Cruise’s name on the cover…and Aniston…please…how this lady isn’t working at McDonalds by now is beyond me…

    • G91 says:

      The last film that Aniston was the lead in was We’re The Millers, which made $270mil on a $37mil budget. Horrible Bosses – $209mil, Just Go With It – $214mil, Bounty Hunter – $136mil, Marley & Me – $242mil.
      These were all in the last five years. Jeez, she should start handing out her resume to McDonalds, right?
      Don’t just spew out personal opinion like it’s gospel.

    • rocky o is an idiot says:

      edge made 370 million ,oblivion made 286 million, jack reacher made 218 million do your homework stupid.

  13. jbaustian says:

    It appears that Adam Sandler is the producer or executive producer for nearly all his films. So he is the one who decides how much he will be paid as an actor. He must think he is worth the money he is paying himself.

  14. PETER says:

    The first three, especially the way over-rated Depp, I believe. The rest, I don’t know. If Chan Tatum, Hanks, Bullock, even Ryan R. weren’t making somebody money, they wouldn’t hire them!

  15. Dave says:

    “Edge of Tomorrow” production budget is 178 million and Jack Reacher’s budget is “60 million” so if you want to also include ‘world wide’ grosses, Cruise is still a marketable actor!

  16. rock1 says:

    so your saying fury in a a flop because it only made 181 million off a 68-75 million budget,.

    While Jack Reacher made 218 million off a 60 million budget.

    bottom line, brad pitts a flop while cruise is not!

  17. Melvin Stephens says:

    “edge made 370 million ,oblivion made 286 million, jack reacher made 218 million do your homework stupid.”

    The films made that amount, but…the bottom line is…what was production cost? This establishes final profit…

  18. Jerry says:

    Adam Sandler films look cheap… he plays the exact same character in each, and they absolutely stink. Period.

  19. dandrews1138 says:

    This is a great list of ten people who aren’t overpaid. Come on, Adam Sandler? His movies have staying power. We own a lot of his DVD’s and Blu Ray’s. We watch them again and again.

    Every film is a risk, and some hit and some don’t with seemingly no good reason (at least no good reason that current abilities in Big Data can pick up on). These people all get paid well because of their track record and popularity, not any individual film’s performance (or any three or four films’ performances).

    Each of these people have big potential to bring in theater auds, DVD sales, appearances on lots of talk shows, product placement, related retail sales, etc. To determine how much they’re worth because of a few misfires is a bit silly.

    Johnny Depp stands out as an obvious actor to pick on, and he’s obviously had more than his share of misfires. I’d even go so far as to say we may be suffering a bit from Depp fatigue (The Lone Ranger particularly comes to mind…), but he gets paid well for a reason. People love his performances, whether recent hits like Pirates, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice In Wonderland or his early performances like What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and Edward Scissorhands. Maybe he should be cast at the Penguin opposite Afflek’s Batman… I’d go see it.

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