Jennifer Lawrence tops list of best-paid actresses

Lawrence (above) is the world’s highest-paid actress for the second year running.
Lawrence (above) is the world’s highest-paid actress for the second year running.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Oscar-winning Jennifer Lawrence was named the world's highest-paid actress for the second year running on Tuesday (Aug 23), with estimated pre-tax earnings of US$46 million (S$62 million).

The 26-year-old American raked in the lion's share from a profit share in the final Hunger Games movie, which grossed US$650 million, Forbes magazine said.

An upfront fee for the forthcoming space thriller Passengers also helped the 26-year-old push her pay day above second-ranked Melissa McCarthy, who pocketed US$33 million.

The world's 10 highest-paid actresses made a combined US$205 million in the 12 months from June 1, 2015 before fees and taxes, said Forbes.

But the actors' list due to be published on Thursday is expected to show once again men banking far more than their female counterparts.

The issue of pay disparity grabbed headlines in 2014 after a leak of stolen e-mails from Sony Pictures Entertainment showed that Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in the hit movie American Hustle.

Patricia Arquette also railed against the industry's gender-based wage gap during her acceptance speech after winning a statuette at last year's Academy Awards.

Lawrence, who took the best actress Oscar for 2012 comedy-drama Silver Linings Playbook, is down from US$52 million in last year's list, although she is still considered Hollywood's hottest property by some distance.

McCarthy, 45, earned US $10 million more than the 2015 estimate thanks to a reported eight-figure payday for Ghostbusters.

Perennial A-list darling Scarlett Johansson came in third with US$25 million, while Jennifer Aniston, who makes most of her cash through endorsements, bagged US$21 million.

Fan Bingbing of China, a relative unknown in Hollywood, rounded out the top five, making the list for the second consecutive year with US$17 million.

India's Deepika Padukone - who made US$10 million - was the only other actress from outside Hollywood to feature in the rankings.

The 30-year-old, who came 10th, earns far less than her Tinseltown counterparts for her Bollywood roles, but compensates with more than a dozen lucrative endorsements, Forbes said.

Four women, up from three in 2015, banked more than US$20 million compared with 18 of the world's leading men, Forbes said.