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Rest easy Brad Pitt fans: The actor who sits atop the Forbes 2010 list is actually funnyman Will Ferrell. But, it's not Ferrell's acting abilities that placed him at #1. It's his disappointing box-office draw.
One movie in particular did some major damage for the 43-year-old star: 2009's Land of the Lost. The big-budget adaptation of the classic television show cost upwards of $100 million but only brought in $69 million at the box office. As Forbes explains it, "For every $1 Ferrell was paid, his films returned an average $3.35."
While Ferrell had a better 2010 with the buddy comedy The Other Guys. The flick, which also stars Mark Wahlberg, brought in $160 million earlier this year, and it cost roughly $100 million to make. Unfortunately for Ferrell, Forbes deadline is June 1!
In addition to calculating each star's estimated earnings on their movies (including DVD and TV sales), the magazine also counted "each star's compensation on his or her last three films and the operating income on those films, and divided total operating income by the star's total compensation to come up with a return-on-investment number. The final number represents an average of how much a studio earns for every dollar paid."
But, Ferrell isn't the only celeb who hasn't been earning his keep. At the no. 2 spot is fellow Saturday Night Live alum Eddie Murphy, whose string of box office flops cost the studio a "$4.45 return for every $1 he gets paid."
Murphy and Ferrell were joined on the top 10 list by other comedy stars, including Seth Rogen (no. 4), Drew Barrymore (no. 6), Vince Vaughn (no.8), Adam Sandler (no. 9) and Jim Carrey (no. 10). "Comedians fare particularly badly on this list because it's very hard to translate humor overseas," Forbes explains.
But, dramatic actors weren't having the laugh last. Oscar winners Denzel Washington (no. 3) and Matt Damon (no. 7) made the list, while Tom Cruise -- who's gone from major movie star to box office question mark (remember Knight and Day?) -- placed him at the no. 5 spot.
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