From Johnny Depp to Ben Stiller, the stars who command a couple more zeroes than everyone else in Tinseltown.
Before 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean, no one would have pegged Johnny Depp to become the highest-paid actor in Hollywood. The quirky leading man was best known for starring in offbeat movies like Tim Burton's Ed Wood and the film version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
But it turns out mixing Depp's oddball performance tendencies with a big-budget Disney ( DIS - news - people ) concept is a recipe for success. The first Pirates movie earned $654 million at the global box office. The franchise has gone on to earn a total of $2.7 billion, and a fourth film is slated for 2011 (in 3-D, natch). Depp's most recent star turn for the studio, a 3-D update of Alice in Wonderland, has brought in $1 billion at the box office.
His ability to almost guarantee a big box office (even Public Enemies earned $214 million) means studios are willing to pay whatever it takes to get a bit of the Depp magic. Between June 2009 and June 2010, Depp was the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, earning a total $75 million.
This year's top 10 highest-paid actors banked a total of $349 million between June 2009 and June 2010. To figure out earnings, we talked to agents, managers, producers and lawyers to determine what the stars earned as upfront pay on movies they are currently shooting, as well as back-end pay earned after a movie hit theaters. We also looked at any money actors might have earned from doing ads.
Ranking second behind Depp is Ben Stiller with $53 million. The comedian earns big bucks for films like Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian and the upcoming third installment in the Meet the Parents franchise because those films pay out at the box office. But Stiller has also started doing smaller, more personal films. This year's Greenberg, about a lonely man rapidly approaching middle age, earned only $6 million.
In third place: Tom Hanks. Between June 2009 and June 2010 the actor earned $45 million. Much of that came from movies like Angels & Demons and the upcoming Larry Crowne, which co-stars Julia Roberts. But Hanks also earns from films and TV shows he produces. He was behind HBO's recent mini-series The Pacific and produced 2009's Where The Wild Things Are.
Adam Sandler ranks fourth with $40 million. His most recent film, Grown Ups, started slow but is now Sandler's third-highest-grossing film of all time at the box office with $230 million in ticket sales worldwide. The fact that his humor can bring in fans over time, in the U.S. and abroad, means studios are willing to pay him a hefty salary.
Leonardo DiCaprio ranks fifth with $28 million. The star went through a period with underperforming films like Body of Lies and Blood Diamond, making it increasingly difficult for DiCaprio to justify his large payday.
But he's recently turned that around with Shutter Island and Inception. The latter (which hit theaters after our June deadline) is now DiCaprio's second highest grossing film, behind Titanic, with $700 million so far. DiCaprio will end up making at least $50 million from the film, which should rank him much higher on next year's list. [source: www.forbes.com]
check it out>> In Pictures: Hollywood's Highest-Paid Actors