No. 1 Kristen Stewart - For every $1 Stewart is paid, her films earn an average $55.83.
Stewart tops our list thanks to her paydays for two Twilight movies: New Moon and Eclipse. She ranks higher than her costar Robert Pattinson (even though they earn the same amount on the films) because he has branched out more so only one of his Twilight films is eligible for this list.
No. 3 Robert Pattinson -For every $1 Pattinson is paid, his films earn an average of $39.43.
The Twilight star ranks lower than Kristen Stewart because he’s been busy. Only one of his Twilight films, Eclipse, qualifies for the list. The other films we looked at for Pattinson were Water for Elephants and Remember Me.
To create our list we looked at the 40 highest-earning actors in Hollywood. To qualify, each had to have starred in at least three movies in the past five years that opened in more than 500 theaters. Movies that opened after May 1 were not counted. We also didn’t look at animated films because the stars aren’t really the draw.
We used data gathered for our annual Celebrity 100 list to calculate each star’s estimated earnings on each film (including up-front pay and any earnings from the movie’s box-office receipts and first-year sales of DVDs). We then looked at each movie’s estimated budget (not including marketing costs, which are susceptible to accounting chicanery) and box-office and DVD earnings to figure out an operating income for each film.
We added up each star’s compensation on his or her last three films and the operating income on those films, and divided the total operating income by the star’s total compensation to come up with a return-on-investment number. The final number represents an average of how much a studio earns for every dollar paid.