Is Katherine Heigl the Most Overpaid Actress in Hollywood?
Every year, Forbes Magazine delves into the financial workings of Hollywood to release their end-of-year lists, including lists of who made the most money, who slipped the most in ranking, and who is the most overpaid in the industry. This year, you may be surprised to find out that audience favorite Katherine Heigl is considered the most overpaid actress in Hollywood.
How does Forbes determine the most overpaid? They use the amount that the studio earns on average for that person’s movies the previous year, versus the amount that actor or actress is paid for that film. So, if an actor is paid $10 million for a film and the film earns $50 million at the box office, the studio has earned $40 million, or $4 for every $1 they have paid that actor. If the actor is paid $10 million and the film earns $100 million at the box office, the studio has earned $90 million, or $9 for every $1 they paid the actor.
Last year, Forbes was able to figure that Heigl only earned the studio $3.40 for every $1 she was paid. This may sound like the studio is making a nice profit from her work, but this mere $3.40 typically needs to be shared with the production company that actually produced the film and the distributors, the people that get the film into theaters and to DVD. The studio has a very thin profit left over once everyone is paid, and their profit margin for this small amount is very minor compared to the profit margin of other businesses, who typically consider 10%-15% profit to be standard.
Heigl’s film career has been diminishing in past years, so it’s no wonder she is not earning box office dollars as she once did. After appearing in the hits Knocked Up and 27 Dresses in 2007 and 2008 respectively, she then went on to appear in such box office bombs as Killers with Ashton Kutcher in 2010, and One for the Money in 2012. Both films were derided by critics and fared very poorly at the box office.
Heigl was not the number one celebrity on the list of overpaid performers for last year; that spot was given to Eddie Murphy, who has also seen his career in a decline over the past few years. After a string of hits in the 1980s and 1990s including the Beverly Hills Cop franchise, flops like Daddy Day Care, Norbit and Meet Dave put black marks on his record that were difficult to overlook. Murphy today has found some success as the voice of Donkey in the Shrek franchise and garnered critical acclaim for his work in Dream Girls, but like Heigl, he just can’t seem to recapture the success he once had.