the actuarial foundation

A Closer Look at Hollywood Salaries

Take a peek behind the scenes of Hollywood. Imagine you are a studio executive planning a budget for a new movie. You want to hire actors with demonstrated box-office draw to help your movie be successful. How much should you budget for including a popular actor in your movie?

Choose Your Data:

Highest-Paid ActorsMay 2011–May 2012


Actor Name Total Earnings (in millions of dollars)
Tom Cruise 75.0
Leonardo DiCaprio 37.0
Adam Sandler 37.0
Dwayne Johnson 36.0
Kristen Stewart 34.5
Cameron Diaz 34.0
Ben Stiller 33.0
Sacha Baron Cohen 30.0
Johnny Depp 30.0
Will Smith 30.0
Mark Wahlberg 27.0
Taylor Lautner 26.5
Robert Pattinson 26.5
Sandra Bullock 25.0
Angelina Jolie 20.0
Charlize Theron 18.0
Julia Roberts 16.0
Sarah Jessica Parker 15.0
Meryl Streep 12.0
Kristen Wiig 12.0
Jennifer Aniston 11.0
Reset Calculate It!
Highest-Paid Actors, May 2011–May 2012

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Discussion Question:

Do any of the actors’ earnings fall more than two standard deviations away from the median?


SOURCES: Actresses: ABC News, “Kristen Stewart Tops Forbes’ List of Hollywood’s Highest-Paid Actresses,” abcnews.go.com.
Actors: The Guardian, “Tom Cruise Is Highest Paid Actor in the World,” theguardian.com.

The data sets used in these examples were obtained from public domain and third-party sources, and are intended for educational purposes only. All facts and figures may become inaccurate, out-of-date, or subject to revision without notice.

Photos: theater seats, © Karramba Production/Shutterstock; tickets, © Maria Dragomer/Shutterstock.