Mark Wahlberg and Emma Stone top Hollywood earners

Superhero box office means highest-paid actors continue to outearn female colleagues

Mark Wahlberg
(Image credit: 2010 AFP)

Mark Wahlberg has topped Forbes magazine's annual ranking of the world's best-paid movie stars.

The 46-year-old actor was a producer as well the star of two major movies in 2016, in real-life disaster flick Deepwater Horizon and Boston Marathon bombing thriller Patriots Day.

His combined endeavours raked in $68m (£53m), pushing last year's highest-earner, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, into second place.

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Action stars Vin Diesel and Tom Cruise and comedian Adam Sandler also made the cut, as did genre-straddling Jackie Chan,

Three Bollywood stars round out the top ten. Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar collectively earned more than $100m between June 2016 and June 2017.

The rankings once again highlight Hollywood's gender pay gap. The top ten actors "banked a cumulative $488.5 million [£381.8m]", says Forbes, more than three times the total salaries of the ten top-earning actresses,

Much of the disparity between male and female A-listers derives from the popularity of superhero franchises and action movies, which are both uber-profitable and usually male-led.

Furthermore, not a single woman made the overall top ten - the highest-paid female actor, La La Land's Emma Stone, came 15th.

The end of the lucrative Hunger Games franchise has dethroned last year's top earner Jennifer Lawrence, but she didn't fall far - her $24m (£18.7m) paycheque puts her third.

Melissa McCarthy comes next, continuing her streak as one of Hollywood's best-paid comedians, while the success of foul-mouthed comedy Bad Moms propelled Mila Kunis into the fifth spot, four places up on last year.

Movie paycheques aren't the only way to climb the list. The figures represent each star's total pre-tax income from all their business ventures, which explains Aniston's high ranking despite only taking on one major role in 2016, in panned comedy Office Christmas Party.

The former Friends star "makes most of her money by endorsing the likes of Emirates airlines, Smartwater and Aveeno", says Forbes, and raked in even more this year from the sale of a hair-care company she part-owns.

Top ten actors:

1. Mark Wahlberg, $68m2. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, $65m3. Vin Diesel, $54.5m4. Adam Sandler, $50.5m5. Jackie Chan, $49m6. Robert Downey, Jr., $48m7. Tom Cruise, $43m8. Shah Rukh Khan, $38m9. Salman Khan, $37m10. Akshay Kumar, $35.5m

Top ten actresses:

1. Emma Stone, $26m2. Jennifer Aniston, $25.5m3. Jennifer Lawrence, $24m4. Melissa McCarthy, $18m5. Mila Kunis, $15.5m6. Emma Watson, $14m6. Charlize Theron, $14m8. Cate Blanchett, $12m8. Julia Roberts, $12m10. Amy Adams, $11.5m