Will Ferrell is Hollywood's most overpaid star: Forbes

LOS ANGELES Wed Nov 18, 2009 6:08pm EST

U.S. actor Will Ferrell arrives at the world premiere of his new film 'Land of the Lost' in central Sydney May 26, 2009. 'Land of the Lost' will be in theaters on June 5. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

U.S. actor Will Ferrell arrives at the world premiere of his new film 'Land of the Lost' in central Sydney May 26, 2009. 'Land of the Lost' will be in theaters on June 5.

Credit: Reuters/Daniel Munoz

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Funnyman Will Ferrell and British actor Ewan McGregor on Wednesday headed a Forbes.com list of Hollywood's most overpaid stars when looking at the financial returns of their movies.

Billy Bob Thornton, Tom Cruise and Jim Carrey also made the top 10 tally of actors who cost more to hire than they appear to be worth at box offices.

Ferrell took first place largely due to the flop of his summer 2009 movie "Land of the Lost", which Forbes said cost an estimated $100 million to make but earned just $65 million at box offices worldwide for movie studio Universal Pictures.

The movie followed a disappointing $43 million box office for Ferrell's 2008 outing "Semi-Pro", and $128 million for "Step Brothers".

Using a formula that calculated the actor's estimated salary on each film, including DVD and TV sales, compared to the film's revenues from theater box offices and elsewhere, Forbes.com said that for every dollar Ferrell was paid, his films earned an average $3.29.

To create the list, the financial news website looked at Hollywood's 100 biggest stars who had lead performances in at least three widely distributed movies in the last five years.

McGregor, best known for "Trainspotting" and his work in the "Star Wars" franchise, is not among Hollywood's highest paid actors but has recently proved a poor investment, averaging a return of $3.75.

Cruise, considered one of the biggest players in Hollywood, came sixth on the list with a return on investment of $7.18. Forbes said he had benefited from deals where he took nothing up front in return for a portion of the box-office gross. The deal resulted in Cruise getting paid for films like "Lions for Lambs" even if the studio did not recoup its money.

Eddie Murphy commanded a high salary after the success of family comedies like "The Nutty Professor". But his most recent films "Meet Dave" and "Imagine That" were box office duds, taking Murphy to fourth place for earning an average $4.43 for each dollar he was paid, Forbes.com said.

Forbes 10 Most Overpaid Stars were;

1. Will Ferrell ($3.29)

2. Ewan McGregor ($3.75)

3. Billy Bob Thornton ($4)

4. Eddie Murphy ($4.43)

5. Ice Cube ($4.77)

6. Tom Cruise ($7.18)

7. Drew Barrymore ($7.43)

8. Leonardo DiCaprio ($7.52)

9. Samuel Jackson ($8.59)

10. Jim Carrey ($8.62)

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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