It’s August, which means it’s time for one of the year’s oddest annual reports to come out: Forbes’ ranking of the “highest-paid actors.” The list has been frustrating for a while, since it tends to reveal just how ridiculous the pay disparity is in Hollywood between men and women, but it has also become oddly meaningless in the last few years as famous people make more and more money doing things that aren’t acting—making the whole “highest-paid actor” label kind of meaningless. This was especially blatant in 2018 when George Clooney topped the list even though he hadn’t acted in anything for a few years. He had made all of his money from selling his tequila company, so calling him the highest-paid actor is like saying a construction worker who wins the lottery is the highest-paid construction worker. It’s silly.
But it’s 2020, and things will surely make more sense now! Actually, no. Dwayne Johnson is this year’s highest-paid actor, as he was last year, but he hasn’t really been in too many things in the past 12 months. Him and Ryan Reynolds will appear in Red Notice on Netflix, but that’s not out yet, leaving just Jumanji: The Next Level and Hobbs & Shaw (which wasn’t very successful, relatively). The reason Johnson is at the top of this list probably has something to do with Project Rock, his Under Armour clothing line, which is not money that he made from acting and should not count.
In terms of hard numbers: Johnson made $87.5 million in the past year, down slightly from the previous year’s $89.4. In second place is the aforementioned Ryan Reynolds with $71 million, with him making $20 million from Red Notice, another $20 million from Six Underground, and he has other Netflix projects in the work that will also get him some big money. Perennial contender Mark Wahlberg came in third with $58 million, just ahead of Ben Affleck and Vin Diesel. The list of highest-paid women isn’t out yet, but you can bet that all of these men made more money than they did, possibly more money than some of them made combined.