Bullock Tops Forbes List of Top Earning Actresses

Cameron Diaz, Reese Witherspoon, and Meryl Streep were among the movie stars collecting big pay days

Sandra Bullock is on a roll. She's got an Oscar, a baby, and the hit films “The Proposal” and “The Blind Side” to her credit (true her marriage to Jesse James spectacularly combusted, but you can’t have everything!).

America’s Sweetheart has been well compensated for her film hits. Bullock was the highest paid actress in Hollywood last year earning an estimated $56 million, according to Forbes. The business magazine writes that Bullock topped their list of the top earning female movie stars thanks to a deal that gave her a cut of the profits on the $310 million grossing “Blind Side” in exchange for lowering her usual fee.

Bullock’s 2009 pay out was about $20 million more than the second and third actresses on Forbes’ list, Reese Witherspoon and Cameron Diaz. Due to her big salaries on the upcoming “Water for Elephants” and “How Do You Know,” Witherspoon was able to pull in $32 million without starring in a live action film. Diaz’s hefty paychecks came for “Shrek Forever After” and “Knight and Day,” both of which failed to meet expectations.

With the exception of Bullock, most of the actresses with the biggest hits last year showed up toward the bottom of Forbes' list.

Meryl Streep was a relative bargain for studios. Her romantic comedies “It’s Complicated” and “Julie & Julia” brought in $350 million at the box office, but the Oscar winner had to settle for ninth on the salary list. Likewise, Kristen Stewart starred in one of last year’s biggest hits “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.” That vampire romance banked $700 million worldwide, but Stewart barely made the list of top earners, sliding in at number ten.

To find out the salaries and endorsement deals of the actresses on its list, Forbes said it talked to agents, managers, lawyers, and producers. See the full list below.


Forbes Top Earning Actresses

1.) Sandra Bullock, $56 million
2.) Reese Witherspoon, $32 million
3.) Cameron Diaz, $32 million
4.) Jennifer Aniston, $27 million
5.) Sarah Jessica Parker, $25 million
6.) Julia Roberts, $20 million
7.) Angelina Jolie, $20 million
8.) Drew Barrymore, $15 million
9.) Meryl Streep, $13 million
10.) Kristen Stewart, $12 million