Forbes has released it's annual "Best Actors for the Buck" list, naming Natalie Portman and Kristen Stewart as this year's most profitable investments. A converse of their most overpaid actor list, the ranking analyzes what actors yield the greatest box office return compared to their salaries, creating a loose "return on investment" measure. Forbes explains the methodology:
We looked at the last three films each actor starred in over the last three years that opened in more than 2,000 theaters, calculating the return on investment for the studios who pay his (or her) salary. We didn’t count movies where the actor was in a supporting or large ensemble role and we didn’t count animated movies. The actors who score well on this list tend to have small paydays and star in highly profitable movies.
Portman led the pack, returning $42.70 for every dollar she was paid, thanks to the box office success of "Black Swan" and "No Strings Attached" (and despite the flop "Your Highness"). More surprising, however, was the No. 2: "Twilight's" Kristen Stewart. Stewart currently returns an average of $40.60, outranking consistent stars like Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams. Forbes notes that this is rare, considering that Hollywood's highest paid actors are usually not able to yield such a high return on investment.
Of course, most actors don't have the "Twilight" franchise to boost them. In fact, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner also made the short list, ranking 4th and 6th, respectively. Forbes notes that "All three of the actors were paid the same for the final 'Twilight' movies. The differences in their return numbers comes from their other projects."
Actor Daniel Radcliffe also made the list at No. 5, also largely due to the success of his franchise, "Harry Potter."