Vanity Fair’s Annual “Hollywood’s Top 40″ Money Earners

Published by Seth Quillen in: Film -- Date: 3 Feb 2011 Comments: 0

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Vanity Fair put out their annual “Hollywood’s Top 40″ money earners list today and as everyone would suspect, little old James Cameron sits atop the list like the “King of the World”.

Earning $257 million dollars in 2010 bumped Cameron up from the #4 spot in 2009 to the #1 earner of this year. Cameron earned about $248 million in back-end deals for writing, producing, and directing Avatar, which grossed more than $2 billion worldwide, $5 million for Avatar toy licensing and another $4 million from older film revenue royalties.

Jumping into 4th place is, a Filmpopper.com favorite, Christopher Nolan who didn’t make the list last year. Nolan brought in about $71 million, mostly from his Inception royalties. And Twilight fans will be happy to see that Taylor Lautner made it in at #9 with $33.5 million in earnings. Lautner’s classmates Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson came 13th and 15th respectively.

Here’s the Top 10

1. James Cameron
WRITER, DIRECTOR, PRODUCER (Creative Artists Agency)
ESTIMATED 2010 EARNINGS: $257 MILLION (2009 rank: 4)
$248 million: Avatar (back-end for writing, producing, and directing, based on 2010 worldwide box-office gross of $1.95 billion, and share of DVD and pay-television revenue; excludes $50 million earned in 2009)
$5 million: Avatar (share of toy licensing, other revenue)
$4 million: Older film revenue (e.g., back-end and royalties from earlier projects, other payments)

2. Johnny Depp
ACTOR (United Talent Agency)
ESTIMATED 2010 EARNINGS: $100 MILLION (2009 rank: 21)
$40 million: Alice in Wonderland (back-end for starring in Tim Burton film, based on worldwide gross of $1.02 billion)
$35 million: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (up-front money for starring in next installment of Jerry Bruckheimer’s waterlogged but ludicrously profitable franchise)
$20 million: The Tourist (fee for co-starring in one of the year’s bigger flops alongside Angelina Jolie)
$5 million: Older film revenue

Christopher Nolan

3. Steven Spielberg
DIRECTOR, PRODUCER (CAA)
ESTIMATED 2010 EARNINGS: $80 MILLION (2009 rank: 2)
$50 million: Universal-theme-park royalties and consulting fees
$20 million: War Horse (fee for directing and producing upcoming World War I drama)
$10 million: Older film revenue

4. Christopher Nolan
WRITER, DIRECTOR, PRODUCER (CAA)
ESTIMATED 2010 EARNINGS: $71.5 MILLION (2009 rank: —)
$69 million: Inception (back-end for writing, producing, and directing, based on worldwide gross of $823 million, and share of DVD and pay-TV revenue)
$2.5 million: Older film revenue

5. Leonardo DiCaprio
ACTOR (Special Artists Agency)
ESTIMATED 2010 EARNINGS: $62 MILLION (2009 rank: —)
$59 million: Inception (back-end for starring in somewhat convoluted Christopher Nolan film)
$3 million: Back-end for starring in somewhat convoluted Martin Scorsese film Shutter Island, older film revenue

6. Tim Burton
DIRECTOR (William Morris Endeavor)
ESTIMATED 2010 EARNINGS: $53 MILLION (2009 rank: —)
$50 million: Alice in Wonderland (back-end for directing, based on worldwide gross of $1.02 billion, and share of DVD and pay-TV revenue)
$3 million: Older film revenue

7. Adam Sandler
ACTOR, PRODUCER, WRITER (WME)
ESTIMATED 2010 EARNINGS: $50 MILLION (2009 rank: 12)
$25 million: Just Go with It (fee for producing and starring in upcoming comedy opposite Jennifer Aniston)
$20 million: Jack and Jill (fee for producing and starring in upcoming comedy with Katie Holmes and Al Pacino)
$3 million: Grown Ups (back-end for starring and writing, based on worldwide gross of $271 million, plus share of DVD and pay-TV revenue)
$2 million: Older film revenue

8. Todd Phillips
WRITER, DIRECTOR, PRODUCER (CAA)
ESTIMATED 2010 EARNINGS: $34 MILLION (2009 rank: 5)
$15 million: The Hangover Part II (fee for writing, producing, and directing)
$13 million: The Hangover (back-end for producing and directing; excludes $39 million earned in 2009)
$3 million: Due Date (back-end for producing and directing, based on worldwide gross of $200 million, as of December 31, 2010)
$2 million: Older film revenue
$1 million: Project X (fee for producing upcoming low-budget comedy)

9. Taylor Lautner
ACTOR (WME)
ESTIMATED 2010 EARNINGS: $33.5 million (2009 rank: —)
$12.5 million: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 1 (fee for co-starring in upcoming penultimate Twilight film)
$12.5 million: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 2 (fee for co-starring in upcoming final Twilight film)
$7.5 million: Abduction (fee for starring in upcoming John Singleton thriller)
$1 million: Older film revenue, mostly from Twilight franchise

10. Robert Downey Jr.
ACTOR (CAA)
ESTIMATED 2010 EARNINGS: $31.5 MILLION (2009 rank: 28)
$15 million: Fee for starring in upcoming untitled Sherlock Holmes sequel
$12 million: Iron Man 2 (back-end, based on worldwide gross of $627 million, and share of DVD and pay-TV revenue)
$3.5 million: Sherlock Holmes (back-end, based on worldwide gross of $523 million, and share of DVD and pay-TV revenue)
$1 million: Older film revenue

See the full “Hollywood’s Top 40″ list at Vanity Fair

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