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Johnny Depp Dethrones Adam Sandler as the Most Overpaid Actor in Hollywood

Jason Merritt, Getty Images
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Last year, Forbes dubbed Adam Sandler the most overpaid actor in Hollywood with the help of some basic math skills — the publication looks at how much a studio makes for every dollar they paid their leading man. Johnny Depp came in second place in 2014, and although Sandler has had an impressively terrible year, Depp succeeded in overthrowing the former funny man and stealing his overpaid crown.

Per Forbes, Depp’s most recent films returned an average of just $1.20 for every dollar the actor was paid to star in them. To give you a little perspective, Sandler topped the list last year and the studios behind his films made an average of $3.20 for every dollar he earned. That’s a pretty big difference when you consider the millions of dollars Depp makes on each film, outranking his — arguably better — co-stars.

Forbes did a little fancy math to get their results, which are based on the last three live-action films each actor starred in before June 2015, along with the worldwide box office gross and reported budgets for those films. For Depp, that includes the abysmal, farcical Mortedcai and the horribly underwhelming Transcendence, the latter of which marked the highly-anticipated directing debut of Christopher Nolan’s longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister.

It would seem that Forbes is onto something I’ve been preaching for a while: Depp is bad. Very bad. So bad that it makes you pause to consider if he was every actually any good or if he’s been playing a long con with silly hats and sillier accents.

This year’s list boasts Denzel Washington in second place with a return of $6.50 per every dollar he earned, followed by Will Ferrell with $6.80, Liam Neeson with $7.20 and former King of Summer Will Smith with $8.60 on the dollar.

To give you even more perspective, Forbes points to Chris Evans, who earns studios an average of $181.80 for each dollar he makes — so yeah, Depp’s far (far, so far) from the box office draw he once was.

Next year, Depp has Alice Through the Looking Glass and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, both of which will be huge hits, especially in the overseas market. That should knock Depp off the overpaid list, but it probably won’t be long before he winds up battling Adam Sandler for overpaid supremacy once more.

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