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Hollywood's top earners in film: James Cameron leads the list, 'Twilight' stars duke it out

February 2, 2011 |  3:30 pm

James Cameron income A new and cinematically pure list of power players is out from Vanity Fair, covering only "creative figures" and the cash they derive purely from film work.

Part of the Hollywood Issue, this chart seems an undeniable indicator of clout due to its metric: cold hard cash, given up front or accumulated on the back end in 2010.

The top spot on the list goes, not surprisingly, to James Cameron, for rewards he reaped from "Avatar," last year's "Titanic"-sinker about blue people that generated plenty of green. The mag estimates he earned a cool $257 million for writing, directing and producing the flick, plus back-end box office receipts, merchandising and DVD revenue.

On his heels is actor Johnny Depp, with $100 million for "The Tourist," "Alice in Wonderland" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." 

Other interesting revelations from the list include the top earner from "The Twilight Saga" love triangle, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner

How much were the Twilight stars paid? The answer may surprise you -- it seems the muscular stomped both of his costars, raking in $33.5 million, compared with Stewart's $28.5 million and Pattinson's $27.5 million, thanks to his payday for the upcoming John Singleton thriller "Abduction." Lautner ranks at No. 9 -- ahead of "Iron Man" Robert Downey Jr

We also couldn't help but notice where Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie fall on this list, particularly in relation to each other. Aniston wins by a few notches, but only by about $1 million. The "Just Go With It" star nabbed $24.5 million for that Adam Sandler film and upcoming projects "Wanderlust" and "Horrible Bosses." 

Jolie scored $23.5 million for "The Tourist," voice work in the sequel to the animated "Kung Fu Panda," and her directorial debut, an untitled Bosnisan love story.

What do you think of Hollywood's biggest paydays? Tell us in the comments section below.

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-- Matt Donnelly
Twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Top photo: James Cameron smiles all the way to the bank.

Bottom photo: Taylor Lautner, left, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson look ahead to ... retirement. Credits: Kevin Winter / Christopher Polk/Getty Images

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