Which Hollywood Players Earned The Most in 2010?

Vanity Fair have released their annual compilation listing of the top 40 earners in Hollywood. Who topped the list this year? I’ll give you a hint — the top earner is estimated to have grossed more than the second, third and fourth earners COMBINED. Who could it be? Hit the jump to find out…

1. James Cameron – $257 million
$248 million: Avatar (back-end for writing, producing, and directing, based on 2010 worldwide box-office gross of $1.95 billion, and share of DVD and pay-television revenue; excludes $50 million earned in 2009)
$5 million: Avatar (share of toy licensing, other revenue)
$4 million: Older film revenue (e.g., back-end and royalties from earlier projects, other payments)

2. Johnny Depp – $100 million
$40 million: Alice in Wonderland (back-end for starring in Tim Burton film, based on worldwide gross of $1.02 billion)
$35 million: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (up-front money for starring in next installment of Jerry Bruckheimer’s waterlogged but ludicrously profitable franchise)
$20 million: The Tourist (fee for co-starring in one of the year’s bigger flops alongside Angelina Jolie)
$5 million: Older film revenue

3. Steven Spielberg – $80 million
$50 million: Universal-theme-park royalties and consulting fees
$20 million: War Horse (fee for directing and producing upcoming World War I drama)
$10 million: Older film revenue

4. Christopher Nolan – $71.5 million
$69 million: Inception (back-end for writing, producing, and directing, based on worldwide gross of $823 million, and share of DVD and pay-TV revenue)
$2.5 million: Older film revenue

5. Leonardo DiCaprio – $62 million
$59 million: Inception (back-end for starring in somewhat convoluted Christopher Nolan film)
$3 million: Back-end for starring in somewhat convoluted Martin Scorsese film Shutter Island, older film revenue

6. Tim Burton – $53 million
$50 million: Alice in Wonderland (back-end for directing, based on worldwide gross of $1.02 billion, and share of DVD and pay-TV revenue)
$3 million: Older film revenue

7. Adam Sandler – $50 million
$25 million: Just Go with It (fee for producing and starring in upcoming comedy opposite Jennifer Aniston)
$20 million: Jack and Jill (fee for producing and starring in upcoming comedy with Katie Holmes and Al Pacino)
$3 million: Grown Ups (back-end for starring and writing, based on worldwide gross of $271 million, plus share of DVD and pay-TV revenue)
$2 million: Older film revenue

8. Todd Phillips – $34 million
$15 million: The Hangover Part II (fee for writing, producing, and directing)
$13 million: The Hangover (back-end for producing and directing; excludes $39 million earned in 2009)
$3 million: Due Date (back-end for producing and directing, based on worldwide gross of $200 million, as of December 31, 2010)
$2 million: Older film revenue
$1 million: Project X (fee for producing upcoming low-budget comedy)

9. Taylor Lautner – $33.5 million
$12.5 million: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 1 (fee for co-starring in upcoming penultimate Twilight film)
$12.5 million: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 2 (fee for co-starring in upcoming final Twilight film)
$7.5 million: Abduction (fee for starring in upcoming John Singleton thriller)
$1 million: Older film revenue, mostly from Twilight franchise

10. Robert Downey Jr. – $31.5 million
$15 million: Fee for starring in upcoming untitled Sherlock Holmes sequel
$12 million: Iron Man 2 (back-end, based on worldwide gross of $627 million, and share of DVD and pay-TV revenue)
$3.5 million: Sherlock Holmes (back-end, based on worldwide gross of $523 million, and share of DVD and pay-TV revenue)
$1 million: Older film revenue

Head over to Vanity Fair to read the full listing of the top 40 Hollywood earners.

I do find it interesting that Taylor Lautner ($33.5 million) is a bigger earner than both Twilight star Kristen Stewart (#13 with $28.5 million) and Robert Pattinson (#15, $27.5 million). Also, Jason Blum and Oren Peli (the team behind Paranormal Activity) are projected to have earned more than Jon Favreau (who this year produced and directed Iron Man 2 and Cowboys & Aliens)

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