Eddie Murphy has been one of Hollywood's most bankable actors for years, but according to Forbes his recent box office failures have landed him in the No. 2 spot in their Most Overpaid Actors list.
Murphy struck box office gold with Dr. Doolittle and The Nutty Professor, both brought in $250 million worldwide. But two of his most recent films, Imagine That and Meet Dave bombed terribly. Leaving the actor in desperate need of a hit.
Drew Barrymore is also searching for a hit flick. According to Forbes the actress only brings 40 cents for every dollar she is paid, placing her at the top of the list.
Will Ferrell (No. 3), Reece Witherspoon (No. 4) and Denzel Washington round out the top five.
Here is the criteria that Forbes uses to compile the list.
To create our list we looked at the 40 highest-earning actors in Hollywood. To qualify, each had to have starred in at least three movies in the past five years that opened in more than 500 theaters. Movies that opened after May 1 of this year were not counted.
We also didn’t look at animated films because the stars aren’t really the draw. So Murphy doesn’t get credit for the Shrek movies where he voiced Donkey. Those films have brought in a total $3 billion at the global box office.
We used data gathered for our annual Celebrity 100 list to calculate each star’s estimated earnings on each film (including up-front pay and any earnings from the movie’s box-office receipts and first year sales of DVDs). We then looked at each movie’s estimated budget (not including marketing costs, which are susceptible to accounting chicanery) and box-office and DVD earnings to figure out an operating income for each film.
We added up 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.