By Karen Valby
Updated August 31, 2010 at 03:56 PM EDT
Credit: John Shearer/
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Image Credit: John Shearer/WireImage.comA new report in Forbes magazine tallies the monetary worth of Hollywood actors, working in the numbers of their fees, their movies’ budgets, and how well studios fared for their investments once the box office receipts were all counted. Shia LaBeouf gets to spend the day feeling like the cock of the walk as, thanks to a comparably modest quote and hits like the Transformers sequel and the fourth Indiana Jones, he claimed the top spot. For every dollar a studio invested, LaBeouf turned around and made them $81. It’s an impressive trade-off but perhaps a dubious victory in a town where people are commodified and an actor’s worth is decided by box office and magazine covers. Something tells me LaBeouf’s agent will most likely spend the day on the phone hollering like Ari Gold for Hollywood to show his client the money. Anne Hathaway, Daniel Radcliffe, and Robert Downey Jr. round out the top four. Bewilderingly (and this coming from a person who adored his supporting role in Kick Ass), Nicolas Cage also makes an appearance.

No reasonable person would ever wring her hands over whether an actor pulls in $2 or $12 or $20 million a picture. But a bell-ringer line from the story — “Because women typically earn less than men in Hollywood, they make up a full half of our top 10 list” — is nevertheless distressing. Bravo to Meryl Streep for swanning her way into the No. 6 spot, without the help of 3D or CGI or robots or merchandising tie-ins. Bravo to Jennifer Aniston (and this coming from a person who threw a Pillsbury crescent roll at the screen during the interminable Love Happens), for reminding her critics that people like her, they really like her. Robert Downey Jr., do your thing.

What say you PopWatchers? Whose inclusion on this list baffles you the most? Delights? Should we take the buck out of the equation and simply make a list about the actors whose choices and goods we trust, whose name in the credits secures a call to the babysitter? I’ll start: Leonardo DiCaprio, Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep, Matt Damon… Your turn.


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