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How Much Do A-List Actors Really Make?

Brad Pitt Angelina Jolie

First Posted: 01/30/2012 9:15 am Updated: 01/30/2012 10:18 am

Being an A-list actor means multi-million dollar contracts, expensive rides, more expensive mansions and probably even statues made of caviar (just guessing). But how much does a movie star today really make?

After factoring in household expenses, legal fees and life insurance, that multi-million dollar contract can quickly slim down to a fraction of its former self (not that the end number ends up making the celeb a 99 percenter).

In this week's New York magazine, readers get a taste of the Celebrity Economy, with a chart tracking the average A-lister's net earnings. So how much can a star such as George Clooney actually reap from his work each year? Let's find out.

A big movie role can pay around $10,000,000. But then the costs of the lifestyle kick in: $300,000 for boat expenses; $300,000 for childcare expenses; $40,000 for medical expenses; $25,000 for charitable contributions; $10,000 for gifts; $486,400 for mortgage payments; and even $80,000 for gardening. After adding everything up (you can read the entire list over at New York), you've got total outlays of $11,437,360 and a net income of $4,474,640 -- plenty leftover to be living large. (Time to buy that second caviar statue!)

Of course, there ways to add to that net number, too. For instance, if you are popular enough, you can get paid just for having kids (Brad and Angelina received a reported $11 million for their baby photos). Another star perk is the ability to get pretty much everything for free: festivals and events are guaranteed to have giveaways (iPads, leather jackets, year-long car leases; on average, "a regular red-carpet walker will receive about $100,000 in free goods and services annually"), which can help an actor cut back on expenditures.

The entire New York feature is pretty fascinating, and a must-read for anyone interested in getting a closer look at the economics of Hollywood; check it out here. Oh, and if you're looking to get in on the action, maybe take up celebrity boat maintenance. Remember: $300,000 per year in expenses!

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[via New York]

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Filed by Alex Suskind  |