Top 10 Highest-Paid Actors in the World (2018)

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson pointing at a photo of himself on a smartphone Forbes

Being an actor might seem like the best job in the world: you get pampered by runners, travel the world and hang out with the coolest people in Hollywood.

But although acting might seem like you’re not actually working a day in your life, that’s not entirely true. Actors need to be physically fit and in the right shape for the part, memorise entire scripts and spend long periods of time away from home – often interfering with their personal lives.

Yet these male actors have taken that all in their stride and worked extremely hard to bag themselves a spot on the list of the 10 highest-paid actors in the world in 2018.

10. Chris Evans

Earnings: $34 million (£26.5 million)

Chris Evans attending the European premiere of ‘Captain America: Civil War’ in London, EnglandBAKOUNINE/

Chris Evans, best known for portraying Captain America in the Marvel cinematic universe, has had a whirlwind of a year at the box office. The 2018 blockbuster Avengers: Infinity War landed Evans on the 10th spot on this list. And, although he didn’t earn quite as much as his co-star Robert Downey Jr, he is still one of the best-paid actors in Hollywood history.

9. Salman Khan

Salman KhanDeccan Chronicle

Earnings: $38.5 million (£30 million)

The multi-talented Bollywood actor, producer, TV personality and singer is no one-trick pony. In addition to his salary for the Indian blockbuster Tiger Zinda Hai, Salman Khan also receives a large amount of money from the key brands he endorses, which include Thumbs Up, Revital, Wheel, Relaxo, and Suzuki.

8. Adam Sandler

Adam Sandler at the LA premiere of ‘That’s My Boy’Tinseltown/

Earnings: $39.5 million (£30.8 million)

Adam Sandler has been on our screens since 1991 when he first appeared in The Cosby Show. Since then, he’s gone on to create comedy gold from Big Daddy to 50 First Dates and The Waterboy. But while many think he’s lost his knack, Netflix begs to differ, so much so that they struck a deal with him for four Netflix-produced movies between 2016 and 2018: The Ridiculous 6, The Do-Over, Sandy Wexler and The Week Of. Sandler is rumoured to have been paid $20 million (£15.6 million) for each film.

7. Akshay Kumar

Akshay KumarThe Express Tribune

Earnings: $40.5 million (£31.6 million)

After making his Bollywood debut in 1991 with the film Saugandh, Akshay Kumar became a well-known Hindi actor. He has since appeared in at least four movies per year, performing his own death-defying stunts and making a real mark on the Bollywood scene. The award-winning actor also rakes in money through a number of endorsements with over 20 brands, including Tate and Eveready.

6. Will Smith

Will Smith attending the premiere of ‘Men in Black 3’ in Moscow, RussiaAndrey Bayda/

Earnings: $42 million (£32.7 million)

Almost three decades later since starring in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will Smith’s still got it and continues to grow his fanbase through his fairly new Instagram account. With over 21.3 million followers, the rapper-turned-superstar has reached a whole new audience without finding the need to tap into endorsements. In 2017, he raked in a hefty $20 million-paycheque from his debut in Netflix’s Bright and is currently working on the upcoming live-action remake of Aladdin in the role of the Genie. He also returned to his first love, music, by appearing on Nicky Jam’s official World Cup anthem ‘Live it Up’.

5. Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan attending the LA premiere of ‘The Lego Ninjago Movie’Tinseltown/

Earnings: $45.5 million (£35.5 million)

Hong Kongese mega-star Jackie Chan has been in the spotlight for over 40 years. He made his debut on the big screen in 1972 as a stuntman in Fist of Fury and has since appeared in countless martial arts movies, both in Asia and North America, including Rush Hour in 1998. Most recently, Chan has amassed most of his earnings from his roles in The Foreigner and Bleeding Still, as well as a number of endorsement deals and producer credits.

4. Chris Hemsworth

Chris Hemsworth attending the premiere of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’Tinseltown/

Earnings: $64.5 million (£50.3 million)

Australian-born Chris Hemsworth has more than doubled his earnings from last year, thanks to his leading roles in Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War. Hemsworth is also expecting another hefty paycheque for reprising the role of Thor in the fourth instalment in the Avengers movie series, due for release in 2019.

3. Robert Downey Jr

Robert Downey Jr attending the premiere of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’Tinseltown/

Earnings: $81 million (£63.1 million)

Robert Downey Jr has become one of the most respected men in Hollywood with an amazing list of credits safely tucked under his belt. He’s best known for playing the Iron Man in the eponymous blockbuster superhero movie and its sequels, having managed to cash in over $15 million (£11.7 million) last year alone for his supporting role in Spider-Man: Homecoming! He also earned three times more than any of his co-stars in Avengers: Infinity War, while the upcoming The Voyage of Doctor Doolittle is expected to almost double his 2017-2018 earnings.

2. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson attending the LA premiere of ‘Rampage’Kathy Hutchins/

Earnings: $124 million (£96.7 million)

After his hilarious performance in Jumanji: Welcome to Jungle, it’s unsurprising that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is featured among some of the highest-paid celebrities in film. With over 111 million Instagram followers, the Rock has set himself apart from all the other actors, which has put him in a league of his own. In fact, he cashes in on seven-figure social media marketing fees, in addition to his fees for marketing and promoting the movies he appears in.

1. George Clooney

George Clooney attending the premiere of ‘Gravity’ in Venice, ItalyMatteo Chinellato/

Earnings: $239 million (£186.4 million)

Although George Clooney hasn’t appeared in any movies this year, he’s managed to bag himself the top spot as the richest actor in 2018. And that’s all largely thanks to the sale of his tequila company Casamigos to British liquor giant Diageo for $700 million (£546 million). His production company Smoke House Pictures, meanwhile, produced the heist comedy Ocean’s 8. Clooney isn’t shy of embarking in an ad or two, either, having appeared in a series of Nespresso ad campaigns.

Who are you surprised to see on, or missing from, this list? Join the conversation down below and let us know!


This list was adapted from Forbes’s list of the World’s Highest-Paid Actors, based on pre-tax earnings between 1 June 2017 and 1 June 2018. Currency conversions are based on rates supplied by on 5 September 2018.

This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 2 March 2015.