Scarlett Johansson leaps to top of Forbes' highest-paid actresses

Scarlett Johansson at the 89th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, US, on Feb 26, 2017.
Scarlett Johansson at the 89th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California, US, on Feb 26, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - Scarlett Johansson's role as Marvel superhero Black Widow catapulted her to the top of Forbes' annual list of the world's highest-paid actresses on Thursday (Aug 16), landing her ahead of Angelina Jolie.

Johansson, 33, took in US$40.5 million (S$55.7 million) in pre-tax earnings from June 1, 2017, to June 1, 2018, quadrupling her income from the previous year, according to Forbes' calculations.

She played Black Widow in this year's hit movie Avengers: Infinity War and will return to the role in the 2019 installment from Walt Disney Co's Marvel Studios.

Jolie, 43, earned US$28 million, largely thanks to a payment for the film Maleficent 2, scheduled for 2020.

Jennifer Aniston, 49, who still earns residual income from the 1990s sitcom Friends, came in third with US$19.5 million. She also received money from endorsements of products including Coca-Cola Co's Smartwater brand and Johnson & Johnson's Aveeno.

Jennifer Lawrence, 28, who starred in the underperforming films Mother! and Red Sparrow, was fourth on the Forbes list with continued earnings from her role in the X-Men series and an endorsement contract with fashion brand Christian Dior. Her US$18 million income was US$6 million less than the prior year.

In fifth place, Reese Witherspoon, 42, took in US$16.5 million.

 

The rest of the top 10 were Mila Kunis, Cate Blanchett, Melissa McCarthy and Gal Gadot.

Last year's highest-paid actress, Oscar-winning La La Land star Emma Stone, fell out of the top 10.

The 2018 Forbes list of highest-paid actors is scheduled to be released next week.

Last year, Mark Wahlberg led the pack with US$68 million thanks to his pay days for movies Daddy's Home 2 and Transformers: The Last Knight.

Forbes said the lack of roles for women means "there are fewer opportunities for stars to earn big bucks." Only two women topped the US$20 million mark, down from three in 2017 and four in 2016.

The magazine compiles its annual celebrity earnings lists from box office and Nielsen data, as well as from interviews with industry insiders.