'Forbes' Names Adam Sandler As Highest-Paid Actor of 2023

Margot Robbie, Denzel Washington, Tom Cruise and more also join last year’s top 10.

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Adam Sandler was officially named the highest-paid actor of 2023 by Forbes.

The publication revealed that the 10 highest-paid actors of the previous year earned a combined total of $449 million USD. A majority of their earnings come from movie projects rather than TV, partly due to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes that halted television work for months.

57-year-old Sandler took home $73 million USD ($97 million USD gross) thanks to his lucrative Netflix deal and 44 stand-up comedy shows. He’s starred in eight films for the streamer and produced even more via his Happy Madison production company since first signing the $250 million USD deal in 2014. The actor starred in three Netflix films in 2023 including Murder Mystery 2 with Jennifer Aniston, while a number of his previous comedies were made available on the streaming service. Subscribers spent over 500 million hours watching Adam Sandler films in the first six months of 2023.

Following Sandler is Margot Robbie at No. 2 with a take-home of $59 million USD ($78 million USD gross) — an unsurprising feat following the blockbuster success of Barbie, which grossed $1.45 billion USD at the global box office and an additional millions in licensing and partnership deals. The Australian actress is estimated to have earned over $60 million USD as both the film’s producer and lead actress, while her and her husband’s LuckyChap Entertainment co-produced the popular black comedy thriller Saltburn and just signed an exclusive first-look deal with Warner Bros.

Tom Cruise enters the list at No. 3 with a net earning of $45 million USD ($53 million USD gross), largely in part due to Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, additional streaming and on-demand profits from Top Gun: Maverick two years ago and a development deal with Warner Bros. Ryan Gosling and Matt Damon both follow with $43 million USD ($50 million USD gross) each; Gosling’s take-home is thanks to the success of Barbie and his hit song “I’m Just Ken,” while Damon’s Air was sold to Amazon for $130 million USD and his supporting role in Oppenheimer gave him $4 million USD and a small portion of the film’s profits.

Jennifer Aniston’s $42 million USD total ($56 million USD gross) is, as always, partly credited to her FRIENDS residuals, but also to her acting and executive producing work on The Morning Show (which pays her up to $2 million USD per episode), her co-lead role on Murder Mystery 2 with Sandler, brand deals with Uber Eats, Pvolve Fitness, Vital Proteins and her haircare brand LolaVie. Next are Leonardo DiCaprio who earned $41 million USD ($48 million USD gross) from Killers of the Flower Moon and his theatrical profit participation buy-out when the Martin Scorsese film arrived on Apple TV+ and Jason Statham, whose $41 million USD ($48 million USD gross) comes from the premieres of Fast X, Meg 2: The Trench and Expend4bles.

Ben Affleck and Denzel Washington land at Nos. 9 and 10 with $38 million USD ($45 million USD gross) and $24 million USD ($28 million USD gross), respectively. Affleck earned his total from his Dunkin’ commercials, his role as CEO of Artists Equity and his directorial and acting work in Air, while Washington’s The Equalizer 3 grossed over $190 million USD.

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