In Hollywood, men almost always earn more money than women, especially on the big screen. The only time that benefits the actresses is when you crunch the numbers to figure out which stars offer the best return on investment for the studios.
Our 2013 list is dominated by young women. These actresses, for the most part, are up and comers who can’t yet demand the $10 million paychecks a few of their older counterparts (and many of their male colleagues) collect upfront to perform in a film. That makes these women great investments.
Emma Stone tops our list — for every $1 the studios paid Stone for her last three movies, we calculate that they earned back $80.70.
Much of that is thanks to The Amazing Spider-Man. The 2012 movie was one of the highest-grossing of the year, earning $752 million at the global box office. Sony was able to hire Stone on the cheap to play Gwen Stacy the first time around, but the studio is paying her a lot more for the sequel.
To compile our list we looked at the last three movies each actor starred in over the three years to June 1, 2013. We did not count voice work because actors always take less pay to do cartoons and those films tend to make lots of money. Plus the actors aren’t really the main draw. So for Stone, we’re not counting her work in The Croods, which was a big hit for DreamWorks Animation.
Taking a star’s pay on a film, and the movie’s estimated budget, box-office receipts and DVD sales, we calculated a return on investment number, and then averaged the numbers for their last three films to get an overall return.