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The 2018 World’s highest-paid actress: Scarlett Johansson

NEW YORK: Move over Emma Stone, the world has a new highest-paid actress.

Scarlett Johansson leads this year’s ranking with $40.5 million in pretax earnings between June 1, 2017, and June 1, 2018, making her acting’s top-earning female lead.

Playing Black Widow in Marvel’s Avengers movies has become a lucrative role for Johansson, who quadruples her 2017 earnings to bump Stone from No. 1.

She’ll return onscreen for the fourth installment of the superhero conglomerate series in 2019.

“The percent of budget cost has certainly skewed heavy, particularly on the Avengers movies, to cast now, whereas maybe in the early ones it was more visual effects or below the line,” said Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios President and producer last year. “But that’s okay because [the actors] are the best effects.”

In Second place is Angelina Jolie ($28 million) who returns to the ranking thanks largely to her upfront pay for Maleficent 2.

Angelina Jolie

Jennifer Aniston stands third ($19.5 million) still earns big bucks 14 years after the conclusion of Friends, making most of her money by endorsing the likes of Emirates airlines, Smartwater and Aveeno. Expect her paycheck to skyrocket next year when production begins on her forthcoming Apple series.

Jennifer Anniston

Jennifer Lawrence comes Fourth with ($18 million). The Hunger Games actress’ two most recent movies, Mother! and Red Sparrow, underperformed at the box office. But she still commands big bucks for her turns in the X-Men series and a high-paying Dior contract.

Jennifer Lawrence

Reese Witherspoon is on  No. 5 with ($16.5 million), form her Apple series from which she is expected to receive an estimated $1.25 million per episode.

Reese Witherspoon

No.6 is Mila Kunis with ($16 million)

Mila Kunis

No.7 is Julia Roberts with ($13 million)

Julia Roberts


No.8 is Cate Blanchett with ($12.5 million)

Cate Blanchett

No. 9 is Melissa McCarthy with ($12 million)

Melissa McCarthy

And last but certainly not the least

No. 10 is  wonder woman Gal Gadot with ($10 million)

Gal Gadot

Together, the world’s 10 highest-paid actresses tallied a combined $186 million between June 1, 2017, and June 1, 2018, before fees and taxes. All figures are pretax; fees for agents, managers, and lawyers are not deducted. Overall, the cumulative total is up 16% from $172.5 million in 2017.

The list examined actresses the world over, including Australian Cate Blanchett (No. 8; $12.5 million) and Israeli Gal Gadot (No. 10; $10 million). Gadot, whose turn as Wonder Woman catapulted her to fame, is the only newcomer on the ranking.

“There was such an obsession in the industry that teenage boys were the primary target box office,” said Jenkins, who helmed the smash hit and will be directing and writing its sequel for an estimated $7 million. “The industry has had a hard time shifting to acknowledging that they need to hit a more diverse audience.”

Currently, female characters fill only 28.7% of all speaking roles in the film, according to a 2016 study. That lack of roles means that there are fewer opportunities for female stars to earn big bucks.

This year, only two women broached the $20 million mark, down from three in 2017 and four in 2016. Notably absent: Amy Adams, Emma Watson, Charlize Theron and last year’s top-ranked Emma Stone, who all failed to earn above the $10 million cut off for this year’s list and dropped off the ranking.



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