Top 10 Overpaid Actors
Top 10 Overpaid Actors

Top 10 Overpaid Actors

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
Script written by Garrett Alden

Hiring these guys isn't exactly a bargain. From Will Smith, to Adam Sandler, to Brad Pitt, these actors probably make a bit too much money, especially based on the box office returns of some of their films. WatchMojo ranks the top overpaid actors.

Check out the voting page for this list and add your picks:
Special thanks to our users Andrew A. Dennison, Strider Xanthos, Victor Gustavson, Xjx Highlights, Christine Black, and JakeNotafakename for suggesting this idea!

Script written by Garrett Alden

Top 10 Overpaid Actors

These actors don’t give much bang for their buck. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our list for the Top 10 Overpaid Actors.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the actors whose salaries are often higher than they should be, given their box office results, and/or the poor quality of their performances, at least in some cases.

#10: Ben Affleck

Despite a rocky beginning, Ben Affleck’s career really took off when he began directing and pursuing more dramatic roles. However, even still the dimple-chinned actor has gone on to appear in several critically polarizing movies, along with a notable bomb, Live by Night. Granted, Affleck’s performances have always been strong, often being universally hailed as standout parts of divisive films. Even so, at points during the 2010's, films he was in made only $12.30 for every one dollar he was paid, making for a bad investment. Here’s hoping either he or casting agents can make better choices in the future.

#9: Will Smith

Once the “Fresh Prince” of the box office, holding several records for starring in films grossing in the hundreds of millions, Will Smith’s fortunes got “flipped turned upside down” during the 2010's. Though the actor is still a box office draw and his performances remain full of charisma, Smith was featured in a number of critical failures, as well as some unexpected flops and misfires. This resulted in him earning one dollar for every five made by theaters for his films in 2016, which definitely qualifies as overpaid, no matter how much love there is for the guy.

#8: Vin Diesel

The bald-by-choice king of the mumble growl, Vin Diesel is a fine action star, but not much of an investment. Although he stars in a number of successful franchises like The Fast and the Furious, he’s usually not the main draw for those films. Meanwhile, whatever Marvel keeps giving him to say “I am Groot” has to be too much. The actor made 54 million dollars between 2016 and 2017, and while the majority of that was probably due to the xXx and Fast and the Furious films released during that period, how many takes of “I am Groot” do you really need?

#7: Ben Stiller

At one time, Ben Stiller was one of the biggest names in comedy films, but his is a name that no longer carries much weight. While the actor has appeared in a fair number of successful movies, he’s also featured in his share of critical and commercial flops, such as the long-awaited yet disappointing sequel, Zoolander 2. Stiller’s high price tag resulted in his films making only $4.80 for each dollar he was paid in 2014. Granted, he’s not quite as overpaid as Derek Zoolander, whose Blue Steel look is indistinguishable from his Magnum, but it's still not a great return.

#6: Bradley Cooper

Since his ascension to greater prominence in the film community, Bradley Cooper has appeared in everything from critical darlings to blockbuster comedies. However, the actor starred in a string of box office flops and even a bomb or two between 2014 and 2015; causing those films to earn only a little over 12 dollars for every 1 paid to him. Although this isn’t as bad as some of his peers, Cooper is still a comparatively newer star, causing us to feel like he’s correlatively more overpaid – whether he's on screen or not.

#5: Brad Pitt

He is easily one of the biggest, and handsomest, actors in Hollywood, and even has tried his hand at producing. Even so, Brad Pitt appeared in a number of misfires throughout the 2010's. A batch of romantic dramas flopped, crashed, and bombed, leaving Pitt with a return figure of around $11.50 for every dollar he was paid. Worse still, unlike many of the other entries on this list, Pitt's last, certified hit is buried a bit deeper in his back catalog. While most have had at least one hit during the late twenty teens, Pitt's dates back to 2014's Fury.

#4: Channing Tatum

A lot of people judge Channing Tatum by his looks, and while yes, he can pull off the big, tough, musclebound guy roles to a tee, he is a versatile actor with a surprising amount of range, with an aptitude for comedy and drama alike. While the actor’s appearances in big budget blockbusters and comedies have earned him perfectly fair pay, it is his appearances in smaller films that led to his placement on our list, as 2017 saw returns of just $7.60 for every dollar he earned.

#3: Mark Wahlberg

2017’s most highly paid actor, Mark Wahlberg also turned out to be its most overpaid. The star has featured in a ton of movies, of mixed quality. In fact, in the years since 2012, Wahlberg starred in two to four films per year. Although many have been successful, more often they were badly received by audiences and critics, with box office figures to match. However, while Wahlberg holds the ironic distinction of being both the highest paid and most over paid actor for a given year, he's not the first actor to pull it off.

#2: Adam Sandler

One of the most polarizing actors and comedians of his era, whether you love Adam Sandler or you’d rather pay to not watch his films, his wages are definitely excessive. Sandler has appeared in many critically lambasted films, as well as some financially disastrous ones, but his pay has been large regardless. Sandler's bad bank reputation was cemented in 2014 when he made Forbes' list of most overpaid actors for the second year in a row, generating just $3.20 for every dollar he pocketed it. It's little wonder he moved to Netflix.

#1: Johnny Depp

There was a time when Johnny Depp was one of the most versatile and respected actors in Hollywood. However, a string of roles as wacky weirdos left him typecast as ... well, a wacky weirdo. A handful of personal scandals might have caused the actor's fortunes to fall, but none of this affected his ability to pull in a solid payday, despite appearing in some egregious box office bombs. In 2015 and 2016, Depp managed to top Forbes’ annual list of overpaid actors back to back, with his 2015 numbers showing returns of just $1.20 for every dollar paid for services rendered.