Payday is a beautiful word in Hollywood, where top actors and actresses sure can earn as much money as some countries national debts.
But in the high-end market of performers, there is an apparent gender gap: Jennifer Lawrence is the world’s highest-paid actress for the second year in a row, and her earnings of $46 million wouldn’t make the cut for the 2016’s top 5 best-paid actors.
Her payroll has been part of a debate regarding Hollywood gender gap before. The 2014 Sony email hack already revealed that she and Amy Adams, co-stars in “American Hustle,” were paid less than their male counterparts.
Either way, Lawrence is still the Girl on Fire, financially speaking. Her impressive payroll is mostly because of the 4th and final installments of “Hunger Games” ($653.4 million in the box office) and an upfront fee for the forthcoming sci-fi film “Passenger.”
She is receiving 11.5% less than the $52 million she earned in 2015. Back then, she felt behind the wallet of the Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr., top paid actor of the year with $80 million due to his involvement in Marvel Cinematic Universe.
And Forbes’ 2016 World’s highest paid celebrities is full of men. Dwayne Johnson is at the top with $64.5 million. To round up the summary, there’s Jackie Chan ($61 million); Matt Damon ($$55 million); Tom Cruise ($53 million) and Johnny Depp ($48 million).
It’s not a unique situation by any means. Forbes has pointed out how other A-list actresses, such as Meryl Streep and Gwyneth Paltrow, have received less pay than the men in their movies.
The Forbes list of highest-paid actresses
Lawrence is 13$ million up the second on the list, comedy actress Melissa McCarthy, who ensured $33 million for her bank accounts. The 45-year-old star of Mike&Molly got her biggest paycheck to date. She received an estimated eight-figure fee for “Ghostbusters,” even out-earning the number three on the list, Scarlett Johansson.
Rounding the top five are Johanson ($25 million); Jennifer Aniston ($21 million); Chinese actress Fan Bingbing (who made $17 million in the Chinese film industry). Charlize Theron is number 6 ($16.5 million); followed by Amy Adams ($13.5 million); Julia Roberts ($12 million); Julia Roberts ($12 million); Mila Kunis ($11 million); and Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone ($10 million).
Evidently, other stars like Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie, Cameron Diaz and Kate Blanchett barely missed the $10 million cut to enter this year’s ranking.
The payroll gender-gap
While these A-listers earn more than most could dream of, the money they make in movies is a fraction of what the male actors can assure. To make thins worse, there are fewer roles in top box movies for women, where actress could negotiate eight-figure upfront fees and a portion of the profits.
Indeed, a recent study reported that female characters fill only 28.7% of all speaking roles in films. While eye-candy women in sexy outfits are 27.5% of the time, three times more than men.
On 2015, only 4 actresses made more than $20 million compared to 18 of the world’s leading men. In such an industry, most of the women on Forbes’ list supplement their on-screen payrolls with endorsements and publicity.