July 2, 2009 -- LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Angelina Jolie vacillates between two kinds of movies: award bait, like A Mighty Heart, and action films, like Mr. and Mrs. Smith. The former earn her nominations and critical praise: She won an Oscar in 2000 for her work in Girl, Interrupted and a Best Actress nomination for last year's Changeling. The latter earn her big bucks. Mr. and Mrs. Smith, where Jolie met her boyfriend, Brad Pitt, earned $480 million at the worldwide box office. Last year's Wanted brought in $341 million.
Jolie's cinematic butt kicking made her the highest-paid actress on our annual Celebrity 100 list. Between June 2008 and June 2009, Jolie earned an estimated $27 million. Much of that came from her share of the profits on Wanted, but she also scored a fat upfront check for Salt, an action film originally slated to star Tom Cruise, in which Jolie plays a CIA agent who is accused of being a Russian spy. Judging by scenes filmed on the streets of New York City, the film should have plenty of action to satisfy Jolie's fans.
To figure out earnings, we talked to agents, managers, producers and lawyers to determine what the stars got as upfront pay on movies they are currently shooting, as well as back-end pay earned after a movie hit the theaters. We also looked at any money actresses might have earned through their perfume or clothing lines.
As is still typical for Hollywood, our actresses earned significantly less than their male counterparts. Harrison Ford was the top-earning actor this year with $65 million, $38 million more than Jolie earned. All told, the top 10 actors earned $393 million, compared with $183 million for the top 10 actresses.
Coming in second behind Jolie is Jennifer Aniston, continuing the never-ending tabloid battle between the two actresses. Aniston earned $25 million thanks to her work in the romantic comedy Marley & Me and the upcoming comedy The Baster, in which Aniston plays a woman who tries to become pregnant on her own. Aniston still earns money from Friends and she gets a nice paycheck shilling for Glaceau's SmartWater.
Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet
Meryl Streep ranks third on our list thanks to last summer's surprise smash hit Mamma Mia. The film took in $603 million at theaters internationally and helped Streep earn $24 million between June 2008 and June 2009. Now instead of being known just as the most-nominated actress in history, she's also known as a moneymaker. Streep should soon be able to boost her asking price, especially if her upcoming movie Julie & Julia does well at the box office.
Being an Oscar winner doesn't always mean a big payday though. Kate Winslet, who won the Best Actress Oscar last year for her work in The Reader, ranks 15th on our list with only $2 million in earnings between June 2008 and June 2009. The Titanic actress hasn't appeared in a commercially successful film since 2006's The Holiday. She still makes a decent living though doing ads for companies like American Express and Lancome.