Adam Sandler Quietly Tops Highest-Paid Actors List For 2023
— 12 March 2024

Adam Sandler Quietly Tops Highest-Paid Actors List For 2023

— 12 March 2024
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Despite how you may feel about the overall quality of his creative output, there’s no denying Adam Sandler is incredibly bankable (especially in the Netflix era). Which is precisely why he’s prevailed as #1 in Forbes‘ rankings for highest-paid actors of 2023.

Impressively pulling ahead of all the Barbenheimer and Mission: Impossibleinformed box office hype, the SNL alum has won the battle by being a perennial streaming draw with monstrous viewership numbers. Hence why Netflix is willing to pay a premium for a bit of Vitamin Sandman.

“Since signing his first $250 million four-picture deal with the streamer in 2014, the 57-year-old Sandler has starred in eight movies for Netflix and produced several more through his Happy Madison production company,” explained Matt Craig of Forbes.

RELATED: This Serious Adam Sandler Flick Smells Like Another Netflix Banger

“The majority of his back catalogue of comedies are now licensed to the platform as well. In the first six months of 2023 alone, Netflix subscribers spent more than 500 million hours watching Sandler’s movies.”

In the words of Netflix Co-CEO, Ted Sarandos, when Adam Sandler’s contract with the streamer was renewed in 2020: “There’s no such thing as too much Sandler.” Even if it entails Murder Mystery 2, You’re So Not Invited To My Bat Mitzvah, and the animated flick Leo.

For comparison, the year prior, Tom Cruise was crowned highest-paid actor after a savvy bit of contract judo earned him over $100 million from Top Gun: Maverick (sacrificing upfront salary for a percentage of the box office revenue).

This wasn’t the first time the ageing action star behind Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell cashed an insane payday via such an agreement. Unsurprisingly, it’s made TC a recurring fixture within the list of history’s highest-paid actors, period (see: below).

“I would never bet against Tom Cruise,” an unnamed studio executive told Variety, adding that he has a “superhuman” ability to crisscross the globe and promote.

Highest-Paid Actors List For 2023 (#3 Tom Cruise)

“Most actors aren’t worth what you pay them, but Cruise and maybe Dwayne Johnson justify their salaries.”

Adam Sandler is followed not-so-closely by Margot Robbie, who enjoyed a record year thanks to a lucrative 12.45% cut of all Barbie back-end profits (which grossed over $1.45 billion worldwide), as well as several key producing credits including Saltburn through her company LuckyChap.

RELATED: John Krasinski Is Quietly One Of The Highest-Paid TV Actors Right Now

“I promise, Margot Robbie will be receiving Barbie checks for the rest of her life,” noted one Hollywood agent.

Robbie, on the other hand, is followed by the aforementioned Tom Cruise, who is apparently one of the last movie stars to still command a coveted ongoing “first-dollar gross” deal, then her Spotify-charting Barbie co-star Ryan Gosling.

Check out the highest-paid actors right now and the highest-paid actors of all time (from a single role).

The Highest-Paid Actors Of 2023

Adam Sandler Quietly Tops Highest-Paid Actors List For 2023

Note: All sums = USD

  1. Adam Sandler — $97 million (gross) | $73 million (after tax & fees)
  2. Margot Robbie — $78 million (gross) | $59 million (after tax & fees)
  3. Tom Cruise — $53 million (gross) | $45 million (after tax & fees)
  4. Ryan Gosling — $50 million (gross) | $43 million (after tax & fees)
  5. Matt Damon — $50 million (gross) | $43 million (after tax & fees)
  6. Jennifer Aniston — $56 million (gross) | $42 million (after tax & fees)
  7. Leonardo DiCaprio — $48 million (gross) | $41 million (after tax & fees)
  8. Jason Statham — $48 million (gross) | $41 million (after tax & fees)
  9. Ben Affleck — $45 million (gross) | $38 million (after tax & fees)
  10. Denzel Washington — $28 million (gross) | $24 million (after tax & fees)

Forbes Methodology

Estimations were calculated through interviews with agents, lawyers, managers, executives, and industry experts, as well as data sources such as IMDBPro and Polestar. The figures represent pretax earnings for the calendar year 2023, minus fees for representation: 10% to agents, 10% to managers and 5% to lawyers, per industry standard (although some actors do not have all three).

Actors were credited for compensation on projects in the year they were released, despite the fact that often, upfront fees are paid when a movie is filmed (which could be years in the past), and back-end participation is often paid several years into the future.

Additionally, the ranking only includes earnings related to entertainment — acting, producing, directing, or other forms of performance (such as stand-up comedy). Entrepreneurial endeavours not related to entertainment, such as beauty or spirits brands, were not counted.

The Highest-Paid Actors Of All Time (From A Single Role)

Note: All sums = USD

  1. Keanu Reeves (The Matrix sequels) — $156 million
  2. Bruce Willis (The Sixth Sense) — $100 million
  3. Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick, War of the Worlds, Mission: Impossible 2) — $100 million each
  4. Will Smith (Men In Black 3) — $100 million
  5. Robert Downey Jr (Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War, Iron Man 3) — $75 million+ each
  6. Sandra Bullock (Gravity) — $70 million+
  7. Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump) — $70 million
  8. Tom Cruise (Mission: Impossible) — $70 million
  9. Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) — $65 million
  10. Jack Nicholson (Batman) — $60 million
  11. Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception) — $59 million
  12. Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) — $55 million
  13. Jackie Chan (Rush Hour 3) — $50 million
  14. Robert Downey Jr (The Avengers) — $50 million+ each
  15. Margot Robbie (Barbie) — $50 million
  16. Cameron Diaz (Bad Teacher) — $42 million
  17. Leonardo DiCaprio (Titanic) — $40 million
  18. Tom Hanks (Saving Private Ryan) — $40 million
  19. Johnny Depp (Alice in Wonderland) — $40 million
  20. Will Smith (King Richard) — $40 million

Subscribe to B.H. Magazine

Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]