Examining each actors’ last three films, Forbes says that Mr. Washington’s superb acting prowess only brought in a return of $8.30 for every dollar paid to him.
As one of Hollywood’s so-called box office heroes, Washington can demand top dollar for working his magic on the silver screen. Denzel makes $40 million annually. “Unfortunately, his films don’t always do great at the box office,” Forbes says.
Let’s look at the revenue 2 Guns pulled in. Denzel, along with his good ol’ sidekick Mark Wahlberg, only reeled in an embarrassing $10 million from 3,306 North American theaters on opening day. This was an unexpected slap in the face for the film’s distributor, Universal. They expected at least $20 million from the ebony and ivory weapon-wielding duo.
But what about Flight? Sure the 2012 riveting drama got two Academy Award nominations for Best Actor and Best Screenplay, but box-office pundits weren’t too impressed with Flight’s numbers. During it’s opening weekend, the film pulled in $25.1 million at 1,884 locations.
While this isn’t too bad, as it was ranked No.2 in America, ALT Film Guide notes that this Oscar-sweetheart should have drew in more cash:
“Even ‘The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3’, considered a major box office disappointment, opened in June 2009 with $23.37 million at 3,074 locations,” it added.
Denzel’s Safe House pulled in $28.4 million during its opening weekend and grossed $82.6 million after 11 days, according to ALT Film Guide. But even though the movie was a box office hit, a profit wasn’t yet made, since the film’s budget was $85 million. Thanks to international attraction, however, the film grossed $208 million in total.
So with a salary of more than $20 million a picture, Forbes has deemed Denzel “overpaid.” Sure American Gangster and Safe House are the only Denzel Washington films that have grossed over $100 million during the past decade, but his recent numbers aren’t exactly anything to snooze at.
In case you’re curious, Adam Sandler landed at No.1 on the list, bringing in only $3.40 for every dollar paid. Who could forget his box-office stinkers like Jack & Jill and That’s My Boy?
Forbes method for compiling this year’s “Overpaid” list includes analyzing actors’ last three films over the past three years using data from Box Office Mojo. “Think of it like a star return on investment number,” Forbes concludes.
Do you think Denzel should be on the list?