Mark Wahlberg earned $68 million last year, making him the highest-paid actor in Hollywood.
But he may not be worth his salt, according to a new analysis from Forbes.
Together, Wahlberg’s three most recent wide release films that debuted prior to June 1, 2017 — “Deepwater Horizon,” “Patriots Day,” and “Daddy’s Home” — brought in $4.40 at the box office for every $1 he earned making them.
Forbes calculated actors’ box office earnings to paycheck ratio for its 2017 list of the most overpaid actors. The list, which was all men this year, ranks actors from Forbes’ highest-paid celebrity list by how much money their movies earn for every $1 they are paid to star in them.
Wahlberg also starred in “Transformers: The Last Knight,” which was released in mid-June, and executive produced his latest film, “Daddy’s Home 2,” neither of which were included in Forbes’ calculation.
British actor Christian Bale came in at No. 2 on the list, largely thanks to his 2016 flop “The Promise.” The big-budget film about the Armenian genocide earned back an estimated 11% of its $90 million production costs, according to Forbes. Together, Bale’s three most recent movies brought in $6.70 at the box office for every $1 he earned.
And though his paychecks are modest compared to Walhberg and Bale, Channing Tatum earned the No. 3 spot on Forbes’ list. His three most recent movies, including 2017’s “Logan Lucky,” returned $7.60 for every $1 he earned making them.
To determine the ranking, Forbes deducted the estimated production budget from the global box office earnings for an actor’s three most recent, non-animated, starring-role movies released before June 1, 2017. Forbes then divided that by the actor’s estimated pay for those movies to determine a return on investment figure.
“While these returns sound exceptional to stock or bond investors, Hollywood accounting means they are far worse than they seem,” wrote Forbes staffer Natalie Robehmed. “Studios and exhibitors must split global box office totals; add in multi-million dollar publicity and release costs not included in production budgets and films quickly become more expensive.”
Rounding out the top five in the ranking are Academy-Award winners Denzel Washington and Brad Pitt, whose latest three movies brought in $10.50 and $11.50 at the box office, respectively, for every $1 they earned.