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This year’s ten top-earning actors collected a combined $545.5 million, more than a quarter of that paid out by Netflix. The streaming giant, in fact, cut $140.5 million worth of checks to six of the top ten. Dwayne Johnson tops the list for the second year in a row with $87.5 million, collecting $23.5 million for his role as an art-thief-chasing Interpol agent in the upcoming Netflix original film Red Notice. Netflix paid out an additional $85 million to Ryan Reynolds, Mark Wahlberg, Ben Affleck and Vin Diesel.
The economics of star power are the same for Netflix as they have been for the traditional movie studios: If you draw a crowd, you get top dollar. For Netflix, though, the secret isn’t in the blockbuster box office results but in how many monthly subscriptions it will sign up and retain as a result. That’s a figure that is calculated using Netflix’s treasure trove of proprietary data, including the number of times a film is streamed and the number of repeat viewings, as well as a dash of an actor’s social media following.
The influence of streaming companies is accelerating. Netflix, which spent more than any individual studio on Hollywood’s leading men, is expected to invest more than $17 billion on content this year. Apple TV+ is reportedly planning to drop more than $30 million to snag Reynolds (No. 2, $71.5 million) for A Christmas Carol, and Amazon is paying Bollywood’s Akshay Kumar (No. 6., $48.5 million) $10 million for his role in an upcoming television series.
“It’s no longer wholly art or wholly science,” says Mike Bloxham, an analyst of entertainment at research firm Magid, referring to the strategies that studios and streamers use to determine paychecks. “It’s very much alchemy, and it’s becoming more alchemical as we move forward and more data becomes available.”
Methodology: Earnings estimates are based on data from Nielsen, ComScore, Box Office Mojo and IMDB, as well as interviews with industry insiders. All figures are pretax and reflect earnings between June 1, 2019, and June 1, 2020; fees for agents, managers and lawyers (generally 10%, 15% and 5%, respectively) are not deducted. The list of highest-paid actresses will be out next month.
Read the full profile on Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/maddieberg/2020/08/11/the-highest-paid-actors-of-2020-dwayne-johnson-ryan-reynolds/#1bdb77e4112b
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