As any working woman will tell you, the topic of gender bias in the work place is still relevant, regardless of which field of work you happen to be a part of. And it seems even in Tinsel Town this proves to be the case, with word around town Hollywood is still very much a man’s world. But it is difficult to bemoan the injustice some actresses suffer when collecting their paycheck, seeing that in most cities it would solve the economic crisis facing an entire school district.
Angelina Jolie is a versatile actress, winning over audiences with roles in both action and dramatic films, and recently she expanded her talents to include directing, as well. She is credited as writer and director on the upcoming film In the Land of Blood and Honey. With two big-budget action movies in 2010, Salt and The Tourist, the latter co-starred Johnny Depp, and despite a less than spectacular opening weekend box-office of $16 million, the film went on to earn a respectable $280 million worldwide. Jolie has proven herself to be a solid box office draw and her salary reflects that fact: an estimated $30 million.
Sarah Jessica Parker also comes in at $30 million, with most of her earnings coming from the Sex and the City reruns and two films, thanks to her dual credit as both star and producer. Parker can also be proud of her successful line of perfumes: Lovely, Covet and NYC, which earned $18 million in 2010. Recently, the actress began designing clothes for Halston.
Coming in as the third highest paid, it is a tie between actresses Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, each earning an estimated $28 million.
While Aniston’s last few films have not done well by box office standards, or received critical praise, not all have lost money: while 2009’s Management earned less than $1 million at the U.S. box office, and The Bounty Hunter opened to a mere $20 million, it went on to earn $136 million worldwide. And Just Go With It, co-starring Adam Sandler, became Aniston’s fourth highest earning film domesticly.
On the other hand, Reese Witherspoon has not experienced recent box office gold. The romantic comedy How Do You Know earned a pitiful $50 million on a budget of $120 million, but that does not mean her asking price has gone down any; she’ll still receive a hefty payday for her upcoming romantic comedy This Means War, which opens in theaters early 2012.
And finally there is America’s sweetheart, Julia Roberts. Her recent film, Larry Crowne, experienced a weak opening weekend, earning only $13 million, but that will not impact the actress’ paycheck or her portion of a film’s back end, should she request it. Roberts earnings: $20 million between May 2010 and May 2011.
*These figures do not reflect management, agent or attorney fees.