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Big money makers

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Have you ever thought how fast can one earn a sum to buy a mansion? For some it’s a matter of hours.

Some high profiled celebrities even earn money when they are sleeping. Literally.

Here’s the top 10 list by our beloved money-counter Forbes.

Cate Blanchett

The actress is better known for her acting skills than her box office draw. She has been nominated for five Oscars. But she stumbled in the list with her 2003 movie The Missing, which earned only $38 million in worldwide box office but cost approximately $65 million to produce. For every dollar Blanchett was paid, the film lost $2.94. She did better with Babel, in which she played Brad Pitt’s injured wife. The film grossed $135 million worldwide, $13.20 for every dollar Blanchett earned.

For every dollar she was paid, Cate Blanchett’s movies averaged $4.97 of gross income.

Nicole Kidman

Kidman has an Oscar and earns $15 million paydays, but she’s proved to offer a poor return on investment. Despite bringing in $370 million in worldwide box office, The Golden Compass only grossed $3.36 for every dollar Kidman was paid. The Invasion lost $2.68 for every dollar that went to Kidman. She has a chance for a high-profile comeback with this fall’s epic Australia, which could earn the Aussie her third best actress nomination.

For every dollar she was paid, Nicole Kidman’s movies averaged $1 of gross income.

Jennifer Garner

Garner has stayed fairly under the radar since her 2005 big-budget disaster Elektra, which cost $40 million to make and earned only $56 million worldwide. Unfortunately for Garner her follow-up films didn’t do much better. Both Catch and Release and The Kingdom underperformed at the box office.

For every dollar she was paid, Jennifer Garner’s movies averaged $3.60 of gross income.

Tom Cruise

His recent cameo as a foul-mouthed studio exec in Tropic Thunder is earning raves and might usher in the era of Tom Cruise comedies. In the meantime, Cruise has to deal with the fallout from his recent dramatic blunder, Lions for Lambs. The film’s box office ($63 million worldwide) was bad enough that even without taking any upfront pay Cruise still earned the movie only $1.88 for every dollar he was paid.

For every dollar he was paid, Tom Cruise’s movies averaged $4 of gross income.

Cameron Diaz

The highest paid actress in Hollywood, Diaz pulled in $50 million last year. But her high salary makes it hard for the romantic comedies she stars in to earn a good return. The Holiday brought in $205 million worldwide but Diaz’s high payday meant the film only grossed $3.70 for every dollar Diaz was paid.

For every dollar she was paid, Cameron Diaz’s movies averaged $4 of gross income.

Jennifer Lopez

The singer/actress/designer has struggled at the box office for the past few years, choosing small projects like 2006′s El Cantante, a low-budget musical biopic starring her husband Marc Anthony, which barely registered at the box office. Her last big film was 2005′s Monster-in-Law, which grossed $155 million worldwide returning $6.85 for every dollar J Lo was paid.

For every dollar she was paid, Jennifer Lopez’s movies averaged $4.10 of gross income.

Jim Carrey

Long gone are the days when Carrey could attract crowds with his talking backside. The actor’s latest attempt at a serious film, last year’s The Number 23, flopped at the box office, earning only $77 million worldwide. Carrey has a chance to turn things around with this winter’s Yes Man. Carrey has so much faith in the comedy that he reportedly took no money upfront for his starring performance.

For every dollar he was paid, Jim Carrey’s movies averaged $4.11 of gross income.

Nicolas Cage

2007 was a year of highs and lows for Nicolas Cage. Book of Secrets, the sequel to Cage’s 2004 hit National Treasure, grossed $456 million worldwide. The sci-fi thriller Next, released that spring, brought in only $73 million. The movie lost 50 cents for every dollar Cage was paid.

For every dollar he was paid, Nicolas Cage’s movies averaged $4.16 of gross income.

Drew Barrymore

Barrymore has been unlucky at the box office recently despite the title of her last film: Lucky You. The movie grossed a mere $8 million in worldwide box office, which means it lost 17 cents for every dollar Barrymore was paid. Maybe that’s why she’s taking a bigger role behind the camera. She’s currently directing her first film, Whip It!, about a female roller derby league.

For every dollar she was paid, Drew Barrymore’s movies averaged $4.38 of gross income.

Will Ferrell

The former Saturday Night Live star did well with high-grossing comedies like Blades of Glory. The sports tale grossed $4.95 for every dollar Ferrell was paid. But he stumbled with his more serious turn in 2006′s Stranger Than Fiction, which grossed $53 million in worldwide box office, only $1.63 for every dollar Ferrell was paid.

For every dollar he was paid, Will Ferrell’s movies averaged $4.67 of gross income.

Now, that’s with Hollywood. Let’s talk some serious talk right here.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates makes so much money from sales of computer operating systems that he wouldn’t have to think twice about upgrading his PC.

Even Windows Vista Ultimate, which has a list price of $319.95, would require the equivalent of about 2.4 seconds’ worth of earnings for the world’s richest man, who is estimated to be worth about $59 billion.

Someone who makes a living helping people cope with computer operating systems would need a lot more time to earn enough to buy the priciest version of Windows Vista. It would take a typical computer-support specialist about 14.7 hours to earn enough.

Here you go!

Have a wonderful day, people!

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October 2nd, 2008


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