Amanda Pendolino
December 04, 2012

Forbes Overpaid Actors List 2012: Eddie Murphy and Katherine Heigl Are the “Winners”

Forbes has unveiled its list of the Most Overpaid Actors in 2012, and Eddie Murphy has snagged the top slot.

To compute the “winners,” Forbes uses data on actors’ earnings, box office grosses and budget estimates. Taken into consideration are the last three films each actor starred in over the last three years that opened in more than 2,000 theaters. Actors at the top of the list are considered bad investments, pulling in a small amount of revenue based on their salaries. Some actors, like Denzel, have starred in recent hits — but their salaries are high.

Eddie was hurt by box-office bombs Imagine That, A Thousand Words and Meet Dave. Even Tower Heist, which pulled in $153 million on an estimated budget of $75 million, was only a modest success. And when Eddie pulled out of hosting the Oscars, it further hurt his reputation. Forbes estimates that for every $1 Eddie was paid for his last three films, the films returned an average of just $2.30.

The second Most Overpaid Actor is a newcomer on the list: Katherine Heigl. For every dollar she was paid on her last three movies, they earned an average of $3.40. Coming in third: Reese Witherspoon.

Drew Barrymore, who topped last year’s list when her films earned only 40 cents for each dollar she was paid, dropped off the list — but that’s because she hasn’t starred in three big releases over the last three years. (Forbes says ensemble films like He’s Just Not That Into You don’t count.) Considering Drew got married in June and popped out a kid in September, I think we should give her a break!

Here’s the full list of Overpaid Actors in 2012:

1. Eddie Murphy
2. Katherine Heigl
3. Reese Witherspoon
4. Sandra Bullock
5. Jack Black
6. Nicolas Cage
7. Adam Sandler
8. Denzel Washington
9. Ben Stiller
10. Sarah Jessica Parker