LOS ANGELES • Superhero Black Widow is a woman at the top of her game and so is the actress who plays her - Scarlett Johansson, the world's highest paid actress for the second year in a row, according to Forbes' annual ranking published last Friday.
Johansson, 34, earned US$15.5 million (S$21.4 million) more than she did last year, primarily due to the immense global success of Avengers: Endgame, the final chapter of the saga, for which she earned US$35 million.
She will take up the Black Widow mantle again next year for an eponymous spin-off film.
But even though Johansson and her cohorts on the list earned more than US$20 million each, pay inequality is alive and well in Hollywood.
Johansson earned a total of US$56 million over the past year, but that amount put her at eighth place for the combined list of highest-paid actors and actresses. In comparison, Robert Downey Jr, her co-star, earned about US$55 million for his turn as Iron Man in Endgame.
According to the Forbes ranking of highest-paid actors in the world, published last Wednesday, Downey Jr comes in at third place with US$66 million in total, behind fellow Avenger Chris Hemsworth (US$76.4 million) and Dwayne Johnson (US$89.4 million).
For the women, second place goes to Sofia Vergara, an industry veteran but a newcomer to the list. The Modern Family (2009 to present) sitcom star earned US$44.1 million.
She is followed by Reese Witherspoon (US$35 million) and Nicole Kidman (US$34 million), co-stars on the series Big Little Lies (2017 to present) .
Jennifer Aniston, who came in third last year mainly due to advertising campaigns for major brands, has been relegated to fifth place with a mere US$28 million for the year. The former Friends (1994 to 2004) actress is in a new series for Apple's on-demand Web television service.
Others new to the list include Elisabeth Moss, boosted by the series The Handmaid's Tale (2017 to present), and Australian actress Margot Robbie, who was in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (2019).
Angelina Jolie, who was No. 2 on the list last year, did not make the cut this year, along with Julia Roberts, Jennifer Lawrence and Cate Blanchett.
Kaley Cuoco (US$25 million), Charlize Theron (US$23 million) and Ellen Pompeo (US$22 million) made up the rest of the top 10.