For actors, the secret to big earnings usually lies in a prime position in a big franchise. But as Sandra Bullock proved this year, sometimes a one-off role does just as well.
The Gravity star topped Forbes’s list of Hollywood’s highest-paid actresses this year with an estimated $51 million in earnings between June 2013 and June 2014, much of it from the sci-fi film, which made $716 million at the global box office and took home seven Academy Awards.
Runner-up Jennifer Lawrence made an estimated $34 million in earnings, primarily through her starring role in the Hunger Games films (Catching Fire opened November 2013) but also from her role in this year’s installment of another franchise: X-Men: Days of Future Past. Rounding out the top five were Jennifer Aniston ($31 million), Gwyneth Paltrow ($19 million), and Angelina Jolie and Cameron Diaz (tied at $18 million).
Taking Forbes’s list of highest-paid actors into account, Bullock’s earnings would put her at a respectable third in a ranking that ignores gender (clocking in behind Robert Downey, Jr.’s $75 million and Dwayne Johnson’s $52 million), but her success doesn’t erase the stark differences in compensation between genders. For instance, the top 10 actresses together earned $216 million, barely more than half of what the top 10 actors made ($416 million).
Angelina Jolie topped last year’s list of the highest-paid actresses, and Forbes expects a potential boost for the Maleficent star this year, based on profit participation from the Disney blockbuster as well as earnings from her directorial turn in Unbroken.
Read Forbes’s full list here.