Robert Downey Jr., once abhorred by fans and filmmakers, has now transformed himself into a hitmaker, earning an estimated $75 million annually and topping Forbes’ list of highest-paid Hollywood actors.
The actor, known for his role as Tony Stark in the "Iron Man" series, beat the likes of Channing Tatum and Hugh Jackman, who come in second and third, respectively, on the annual list. Tatum’s earnings amounted to about $60 million between June 2012 and June 2013, while Jackman made $55 million in the same period, Forbes reported.
Downey’s much-applauded performances in blockbusters such as "The Avengers" and "Iron Man 3," both of which crossed the $1 billion mark in box-office collections between last June and this June, helped the 48-year-old actor top the Forbes list.
According to the Forbes report, the first "Iron Man" film, released in 2008, earned $585 million at the global box office. The subsequent installments in the series brought in $2.4 billion combined, thanks to Downey infusing the right amount of humor, vulnerability and arrogance to the character in a bid to attract the modern-day audience.
“Downey was able to secure a nice chunk of the film's profits for himself. He earned more than anyone else on the movie, including director Joss Whedon. And he’ll get a huge upfront payday once the sequel starts filming in February,” Dorothy Pomerantz of Forbes wrote of Downey, who is said to have earned as much as $35 million from "Iron Man 3" alone.
Forbes’ annual list of highest-paid Hollywood actors, which does not take into account taxes and fees, was compiled by talking to agents, producers, managers and other industry sources to estimate actors' earnings.