Last Spring, Forbes named Kristen Stewart Hollywood's highest paid star, but the title of "most bankable star" is another matter altogether. Natalie Portman gives the best cash return, according to those denizens of wealth at Forbes, beating out the likes of Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Shia LaBeouf and Daniel Radcliffe.
Portman's films Black Swan, No Strings Attached and Your Highness were included in the formula that put the Oscar-winning actress over the top. Your Highness was, in fact, a flop, taking in only $25 million on an estimated $50 million budget, but that blemish did not derail her reign atop the list. Forbes also did not count Thor because Portman was a supporting actor in the title.
Forbes devised a calculation that includes an actors' earnings, box office grosses and budget estimates that fixed the Black Swan star's returns at $42.70 for every dollar she is paid.
We looked at the last three films each actor starred in over the last three years that opened in more than 2,000 theaters, calculating the return on investment for the studios who pay his (or her) salary. We didn’t count movies where the actor was in a supporting or large ensemble role and we didn’t count animated movies. The actors who score well on this list tend to have small paydays and star in highly profitable movies.
Kristen Stewart ranked as Hollywood's highest paid actress by Forbes last June and yet, she nevertheless placed second on the return list. Not bad considering she's been paid $25 million for each of the last Twilight pics, but the overall franchise has brought in $3.3 billion.
Co-stars Robert Pattinson placed fourth while Taylor Lautner placed sixth on the list, but Stewart came out on top with her role in Snow White and the Huntsman, which grossed $400 million from an estimated $170 million budget. Pattinson's Water for Elephants grossed $118 million worldwide from an estimated $38 million budget.
The one oddity in the calculations was that Pattinson's specialty releases, Bel Ami and Cosmopolis were not factored in because Forbes said neither reached "enough theaters" to count for the list. Also, Stewart's On the Road was not factored though that film opened last weekend.
Shia LaBeouf, who topped the list in 2009 and 2010, ranked third this year.
1. Natalie Portman: $42.70 for every dollar paid
2. Kristen Stewart: $40.60 for every dollar paid
3. Shia LaBeouf: $35.80 for every dollar paid
4. Robert Pattinson: $31.70 for every dollar paid
5. Daniel Radcliffe: $30.50 for every dollar paid