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Arts and Entertainment

Top-Paid Actor Makes Over $40M More Than Top-Earning Actress

(Photos by Jeff Schear/Getty Images (left) and Kevin Winter/Getty Images (right))
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Mark Wahlberg, noted Boston Dude and plant whisperer, was number one on Forbes' annual listing of highest paid actors. In the publication's 12-month scoring period (June 2016 to June 2017) the Transformers actor earned $68 million before taxes were factored in. Wahlberg's pay was bolstered by the recent Transformers: The Last Knight, as well as the upcoming Daddy's Home 2 (we really do get the world that we deserve).

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson came in at number two with a $65 million payday. And Vin Diesel filled out the third spot with $54.5 million. Marvel staples Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt (basically every Chris in existence), and others were also found in the top 20.

The most striking thing about the list? The fact that Wahlberg makes over $40 million more than Emma Stone, who Forbes said last week was the highest paid actress in the world. Stone was said to have pulled in $26 million, beating out Jennifer Lawrence's $24 million for the top spot.

The pay disparity is, well, beyond ridiculous. Forbes attributes it (at least partly) to the proliferation of blockbuster franchises like The Avengers and Transformers, which generate a high box office draw and cast more men in lead roles. Though this doesn't explain everything away; in 2015, Lawrence penned an open letter asking why she was paid less than her male co-stars in 2013's American Hustle, which was pretty far from being a Justice League movie.

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Time Magazine also notes that, on average, actresses reach their peak payday at the age of 34, after which they see a precipitous decline. Male actors, on the other hand, don't reach their peak earning year until 51, and they don't experience the same kind of decline afterward. Furthermore, a 2016 study done by USC Annenberg showed that women took up only 28.7% of all speaking roles in movies, and that only a quarter of characters over the age of 40 are played by actresses.

As such, a lot is hanging on the current contract negotiations for Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins. While more Wonder Woman films have already been confirmed, talks with Jenkins have dragged on as the director angles for a fair pay. Jenkins "expects to be paid substantially more and the same as a male director would receive after such a box office coup," said Deadline, speaking on the contract talks and the wild success of the Wonder Woman movie. The movie has grossed over $800 million worldwide and was a lone bright spot in DC Comics' slate of movies; Jenkins more than deserves a fat check.