- Thanks to a massive payday from Netflix, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was the highest-paid Hollywood actor in 2020.
- Johnson was paid more than $23 million from Netflix alone for his role in the upcoming film Red Notice.
- Johnson earned $87.5 million this year, with Ryan Reynolds following closely behind with $71.5 million in earnings.
Dwayne Johnson — otherwise known as The Rock — was the highest paid actor in 2020, according to a new report from Forbes. This marks the second time in as many years that Johnson managed to earn more money than his Hollywood cohorts.
What’s interesting is that Netflix has helped bolster Johnson’s annual haul. With Johnson earning approximately $87.5 million this year, $23.5 million of that total comes courtesy of his performance in the upcoming Netflix flick Red Notice. Set to arrive later this year, Red Notice is an action comedy that centers on the world of international crime. The film features a number of other notable A-listers, including Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds.
Following closely behind Johnson on the Forbes top-10 list is Ryan Reynolds. Though Reynolds initially made a name for himself with the 2002 gross-out comedy National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, he has since become a bonafide Hollywood leading man and action star. Over the last decade, Reynolds starred in the Green Lantern, and of course, a pair of incredibly successful Deadpool movies. For the year, Reynolds earned an impressive $71.5 million for his acting efforts.
All told, Forbes notes that streaming companies across the board are really changing the earnings capabilities for big name actors:
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.”
Apple has also shown a penchant for paying big bucks for A-list talent. Just this week, word surfaced that legendary director Martin Scorsese inked a first-look film and TV deal with Apple. What’s more, both Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon earned a cool $2 million per episode for their roles in Apple’s award-winning The Morning Show.
Getting back to the most successful actors of the year, Forbes’ top-10 list is rounded out by the following stars:
3. Mark Whalberg – $58 million
4. Ben Affleck – $55 million
5. Vin Diesel – $54 million
6. Akshay Kumar – $48.5 million
7. Lin-Manuel Miranda takes up the number 7 spot thanks to the $45.5 million he earned from Disney acquiring the movie rights to Hamilton
8. Will Smith – $44.5 million
9. Adam Sandler – $41 million
10. Jackie Chan, believe it or not, rounds out the list having generated an impressive $40 million from movies this year