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

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.


Vanity Fair Hollywood issue arrives in time for Oscar [video]

Stephenie Meyer flexes Forbes power, saves the U.S. from terrorists?

Top-earning reality stars: Kardashians, the Situation are making millions

-- Matt Donnelly

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

Comments () | Archives (2)

What Angelina made with ONE movie, aniston has to film 3 to make the same amount!

Angelina received 19 million for The Tourist, (which has now made 200+ million worldwide), 20+ for SALT, while the most aniston can make is 10 million per movie. Voice work doesn't pay a lot and her Bosnia movie is low budget.

If Angelina had no life and no family like aniston then she might also make movies non stop.

The numbers in this VF issue are so far off the mark and inflated for Jennifer Aniston that it’s ridiculous. How on earth could Aniston have 4 successive headlining box office bombs in 2009 and 2010 and get an increase in salary from $8 million for Marley & Me in 2008 to $10 million in 2010 for co-starring in an Adam Sandler movie? And $8 million for a Judd Apatow produced movie that has a total budget of just over $35 million? Or $6 million for Horrible Bosses when her screen time will barely be 15 minutes? Not bloodly likely.
The fact that you’re comparing Aniston’s supposed salary numbers to Angelina Jolie’s is equally ridiculous. Jolie filmed one movie before the camera last year and made a supposed salary of $19 million - which Aniston had to make 2 movies to achieve. Not only that but Jolie turned down at least 4 movies last year that would have each been another $20 million payday. Had she taken one of those movies instead of chosing to direct a screenplay she’d written, then her salary would have been well over $40 million - plus backend points. On top of that, the salary listed for her voice work in Kung Fu Panda 2 is wrong. Jolie made $5 million each for voice work on Beowulf and the original Kung Fu Panda - but Vanity Fair is saying her salary went down after bringing in more $1.6 BILLION in revenues for the 5 movies she’s made since 2008 - but Jennifer Aniston’s salary went up while bringing in barely $225 million for her last 4 films? Again, how is this possible? Someone is obviously trying to convince the world that Jennifer Aniston is a successful movie actress churning out hit movie after hit movie when that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Her most successful movie in the last 2 years was Bounty Hunter, which cost $50 million to make (per director Andy Tennant) and made a paltry $136 million at the worldwide box office. That means that her other 3 movies made a combined $89 million worldwide - and they cost a combined $57 million to make. Maybe my math skills are a little rusty, but…this DOES NOT seem like a good return on investment or a reason to give anyone a $2-4 million pay increase. But, what do I know, I live in the real world where doing crappy work gets you fired not a salary increase.
Also, Jolie’s directorial debut is partially self-financed, so why would she pay herself an up-front fee of $2.5 million for writing and directing something she already owns? The people at Vanity Fair need to do better research. Jolie gave an interview to a Budapest newspaper and clearly stated that GK Films put up HALF of the $15 million dollar production budget and that she and Brad Pitt put up the other half out of their own pockets. Therefore, why would she pay herself her own money? that makes zero sense.


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