Forbes has released their annual list of highest paid actors and actresses for 2017. Marvel execs, begin your flexing poses. Of the top 20 actors, nine — nearly half — work on Marvel films. In the top 10 actresses, a smaller group, only three — including this year’s highest paid actress, Emma Stone (The Amazing Spider-Man), have worked on Marvel films.
For critics of Hollywood, the list produced a lot to sneer at. For starters, this year’s highest-paid actor, Mark Wahlberg, made $68 million, usurping Dwayne Johnson from last year. Emma Stone grossed only $26 million. There is such a disparity there that most (14!) of the highest-paid actors exceed her total.
The MCU may take some shade on this point as well. Eight Marvel heroes gross in the top 20 — Mark Ruffalo (Hulk), Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Chris Evans (Captain America), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) and Vin Diesel (Groot), but Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) failed to make the top actresses list.
Of course, there is a lot that goes into what an actor makes. Sam Jackson and Vin Diesel are both high-powered actors outside of the MCU, but equitable pay is a hot-button issue and it’s not a good look for the most prominent female in the MCU not to make the top-grossing actresses list. On the other hand, the MCU did score by including Cate Blanchett (Hela) in the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok.
For comparison, and because we are fans who love to debate things, the DCEU didn’t fair well on the lists: only Dwayne Johnson, who is connected just lightly to the franchise through a supposed Black Adam movie down the road, and Amy Adams (Lois Lane) are on their respective lists. Gal Gadot’s absence on the list is a black mark for the studio, particularly after a public outcry (which was mostly overblown) about her salary for Wonder Woman. Ben Affleck (Batman) and Henry Cavill (Superman) are missing as well.
Fox represents the X-Men with both Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool) and Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique).
The MCU has consistently turned its actors into huge Hollywood stars. Is it too much to ask to do the same with its actresses? (A Black Widow movie would be a good start.)
What do you make of the totals here? Should Hollywood be under attack for the actor-actress disparity? Let us know in the comments below or hit me up @LRM_Brian on Twitter!
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