Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has been named as the highest-paid actor of the last year, according to the latest annual ranking from Forbes.
The list includes celebrities’ overall earnings and doesn’t solely rely on payments they have received for acting, with brand endorsements often making up a large part of their income.
In the last year, The Rock has starred in The Fast and the Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw, as well as Skyscraper, and has produced films such as Shazam! and Fighting with my Family. He’s also endorsed brands like Under Armour.
Last year’s highest paid actor George Clooney has dropped out of the top 10 entirely – primarily because the majority of his $239 million earnings in 2018 came from the sale of his tequila company, Casamigos Tequila, in a deal worth $1 billion.
Elsewhere in this year’s top 10, Chris Hemsworth has climbed from number four ($64.5 million) to number two, with earnings of $76.4 million.
His MCU co-star Robert Downey Jr. followed him with total earnings of $66 million – the majority of which ($55 million) came from his role as Iron Man in Avengers: Endgame, which grossed $2.796 billion at the box office.
In fact, the gross for the Marvel film was so big it also secured spots on this year’s Forbes top earner list for Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Paul Rudd, and Bradley Cooper – although the latter’s sixth place spot was due in large part to his directing, co-producing, and appearance in the Oscar-winning A Star Is Born.
Earning $57 million in the last year, this is the first time Cooper has re-entered the top 10 since 2015, although only around 10 per cent of this was for voicing Rocket Raccoon in Avengers. A massive 70 per cent came from A Star Is Born.
Will Smith dropped to tenth place this year, earning $35 million largely in part for his role as the genie in Aladdin. In contrast, Bollywood star Akshay Kumar is one of the most significant climbers, moving up to number four with earnings of $65 million.
So what does The Rock put his success down to? Speaking to Forbes last year, the actor said the key to his success was making the audience happy.
It has to be audience first. What does the audience want, and what is the best scenario that we can create that will send them home happy?
Well, if his top spot is anything to go by, Johnson certainly seems to be making people happy – and looks set to do so later this year with his highest quote yet ($23.5 million) for the forthcoming Jumanji: The Next Level.
Jumanji: The Next Level will be in cinemas on December 13, 2019.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).