Eddie Murphy is laughing all the way to the bank, but Hollywood isn’t getting enough bang for its buck, according to Forbes, which ranked the comedian as the most overpaid actor of 2012.
Murphy’s net worth is estimated at $80 million as of June 2012, according to therichest.org.
Forbes based its most overpaid actors list on how much a movie makes at the box office compared to the thespian’s salary. The business publication found for every dollar Murphy was paid over his last three films, the movies made $2.30 at the box office.
“'Imagine That,’ ‘A Thousand Words’ and ‘Meet Dave’ were colossal flops. Last year’s ‘Tower Heist,’ which was supposed to be something of a return to form for the comedian, failed to wow at the box office, earning $153 million on an estimated budget of $75 million,” Forbes reported. “His string of flops lands Murphy at the top of our Most Overpaid Actors list for 2012.”
The second most overpaid actor in Hollywood, according to Forbes, is Katherine Heigl, who brought $3.40 to the box office in her last three films for every dollar she was paid.
Heigl, who appears on the Forbes list for the first time in her career, landed on the rankings because her quote increased substantially after being in hits like “Knocked-Up,” “27 Dresses” and “The Ugly Truth.”
But as Heigl commanded a higher salary, her more recent films didn’t live up to her lofty earnings, Forbes reported.
The actress’ latest film, “One For The Money,” hasn’t broken even, earning only $37 million at the box office with a budget of $40 million. Forbes noted that a film starts making a profit once its box office earnings double its budget, due to marketing costs.
Reese Witherspoon was third on the Most Overpaid Actors List for 2012, due in part to the 2010 box office bomb “How Do You Know,” which had an all-star cast of Jack Nicholson, Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson.
The film had a $120 million budget but only took in $49 million at the box office.
The modest success “This Means War,” which raked in $157 million on a $65 million budget, didn’t give Witherspoon enough of a push to be knocked off the Most Overpaid Actors list.
Oscar winner Sandra Bullock was third on the Forbes list, with her three latest films earning $5 for ever dollar she was paid.
Not far behind in fifth was Jack Black, whose films earned $5.20 for every dollar the “Kung Fu Panda” star was paid.
Rounding out the Most Overpaid Actors list was Nicholas Cage ($6 for every dollar paid,) Adam Sandler ($6.30,) Denzel Washington (also $6.30,) Ben Stiller ($6.50) and Sarah Jessica Parker ($7.)