Forbes released its annual list of Hollywood's highest paid actors on Tuesday, and the 48-year-old thespian who is now best known for breathing life into playboy billionaire Tony Stark topped the list with an estimated $75 million before taxes.
Considering both "The Avengers" and "Iron Man 3" grossed more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office — and Downey got backend on both on top of a massive paycheck upfront — it's not hard to understand why.
Downey was absent from Forbes' 2012 list of top 10 highest paid actors, which Tom Cruise“>Tom Cruise topped with the exact same income estimation, but cracked the list in 2011 with $31 million. That year, DiCaprio ruled with an estimated $77 million, thanks to blockbusters "Shutter Island" and "Inception."
While next year's top spot may be up for grabs, Downey is set for two more "Avengers" flicks — the first of which hits theaters in 2015 — so it may not be long until he is once again on top of Hollywood.
Mimicing their respective summer tentpole movie release dates, "White House Down" star Channing Tatum“>Channing Tatum came in second with an estimated $60 million in earnings, while "The Wolverine" star Hugh Jackman“>Hugh Jackman ranked third with an estimated $55 million flowing into his bank account.
Take a look at the income of all of this past year's top leading men:
1. Robert Downey Jr. — $75 million
2. Channing Tatum — $60 million
3. Hugh Jackman — $55 million
4. Mark Wahlberg — $52 million
5. Dwayne Johnson — $46 million
6. Leonardo DiCaprio — $39 million
7. Adam Sandler — $37 million
8. Tom Cruise — $35 million
9. Denzel Washington — $33 million
10. Liam Nieson — $32 million