By Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent
(Australian Associated Press)
Donning a cape and saving the universe continues to be good for Chris Hemsworth’s bank account.
The former Home and Away TV soap star turned Marvel superhero Thor earned $US31.5 million the past year, although he almost looks poor next to another Hollywood action star, Mark Wahlberg, who was the highest paid actor with $US68 million.
Wahlberg proved you can collect big bank by making critically panned films like maligned sequels Transformers: The Last Knight and Daddy’s Home 2.
“Markie Mark is officially Richie Rich,” Forbes announced on Tuesday with the release of its annual Hollywood’s highest-paid leading man list.
The Boston-born former rapper edged out last year’s king Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who came in second with $US65 million for Baywatch, the Ballers TV series and upcoming re-make Jumanji.
Melbourne-born Hemsworth was the 12th highest paid actor.
Vin Diesel, on the back of the Fast and Furious and Guardians of the Galaxy franchises, took third with $US54.5 million.
Notable Aussie leading men who didn’t make the top 20 include Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Hemsworth’s little brother, Liam.
Forbes’ tally does reflect the major upheaval underway in Hollywood, with the growing dominance of the Chinese and Indian film markets and the move away from the big screen to the small screen and online streaming by the likes of Netflix.
It also confirms it literally pays to be a Marvel superhero.
Joining Hemsworth on the list are other Marvel mates including Iron Man’s Robert Downey Jr (6th with $US48 million), Deadpool’s Ryan Reynolds (15th $US21.5 million), Jeremy Renner (17th $US19 million), Chris Evans (18th $US18 million), Chris Pratt (19th $US17 million) and Mark Ruffalo (20th $US13 million).
The Chinese box office powered Jackie Chan to fifth place with $US49 million while Bollywood trio – 8th Shah Rukh Khan $US38 million, 9th Salman King $US37 million and 10th Akshay Kumar $US35.5 million – pushed most of Hollywood’s biggest names out of the top 10.
Adam Sandler may have stunk up the box office in recent years but Netflix’s gamble to sign the comedian up to a multi-movie deal landed him in the fifth position with $US50.5 million for 2017.
The Forbes list also includes plenty of veterans who refuse to fade away with Tom Cruise hanging on to seventh with $US43 million, Tom Hanks 12th ($US31 million) and Samuel L Jackson 13th ($US30.5 million).
Ryan Gosling was an anomaly, opting to avoid superhero tights and big action roles.
He claimed a motza playing a jazz pianist in the small budget musical La La Land that earned him an Oscar nomination and went on to make almost half a billion dollars at the global box office.
Gosling pocketed $US29 million and 14th position.