The magazine has named Barrymore the most overpaid star in Hollywood. She tops a list of other irrationally compensated actors, which Forbes determined by analyzing the box-office returns of the past three non-animated movies starring Hollywood’s 40 highest earners. Those movies had to have been released within the past five years.
The magazine then divided the actor’s estimated earnings against the production budgets and DVD and box-office earnings for those three films, not including marketing costs. Go here for more detailed explanation of the math.
Based on what we’ll call the Forbes Equation, Barrymore returned just 40 cents for every dollar various studios spent on her. But Forbes didn’t include Barrymore’s box-office hit “He’s Just Not That Into You,” because it was an ensemble effort. This put her at a disadvantage, as Hitflix noted.
Future Oscar host Eddie Murphy came in second, with a return of $2.70 for every dollar. Again, Murphy didn’t exactly get a fair shake. Animated movies were not included in the rankings because, according to Forbes, “the stars aren’t really the draw.” This means Murphy didn’t get any love for the lucrative “Shrek the Third,” which has earned billions.