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Adam Sandler tops Forbes' list of most-overpaid actors

Adam Sandler performs during the "12-12-12" benefit concert for victims of Superstorm Sandy at Madison Square Garden in New York December 12
Adam Sandler performs during the "12-12-12" benefit concert for victims of Superstorm Sandy at Madison Square Garden in New York December 12

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - American comedian Adam Sandler topped Forbes' list of Hollywood's most-overpaid actors, commanding a high up-front fee while delivering middling returns, the magazine said on Monday.

Sandler, 47, the star of recent comedies "Jack & Jill" and "That's My Boy," dethroned Eddie Murphy for the dubious distinction. Forbes estimated that Sandler's last three films returned an average of $3.40 for every dollar he was paid.

Murphy topped last year's list, returning an average of $2.30 at the box office for each dollar earned.

Katherine Heigl, who starred in the poorly performing films "Killers" and "One for the Money," placed slightly behind Sandler, returning an average of $3.50 per every dollar she earned.

The list, compiled annually by Forbes, counts the last three films an actor has starred in over the past three years. This year's list was cut off at June 1, and so it excluded Sandler's buddy comedy "Grown Ups 2," which was released in July and performed well at the box office.

Forbes did not say how much Sandler earned on his last three films. But the magazine said he was one of the few movie stars who could still command more than $15 million per film, on an "up front" arrangement. Hollywood studios in recent years have shifted to paying smaller up-front fees and tie actors' pay with the film's box office performance.

The magazine said it examined actors' pay, film budgets and expenses to calculate the average return an actor brings per dollar paid.

Reese Witherspoon, the star of recent films "Water for Elephants" and "This Means War," was third on this list, with an average return of $3.90 for every dollar she was paid.

Nicholas Cage was fourth, with a $6 average return, and comedian Kevin James was fifth, returning an average of $6.10.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Mary Milliken and Jan Paschal)

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