Posted by Sean Gallen @seangallen
The pen is mightier than the sword but is ultimately useless in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Filmmaker, filmlover, MP staff writer.
Sean Gallen

Forbes just released its annual list of highest paid actresses and once again the undefeated Jennifer Lawrence takes the top spot for a second year running. Even though we didn't see her in many projects this year, her earnings came mostly from her share of the final Hunger Games installment and her big upfront payment for the upcoming Passengers.

Coming at distant second place, Melissa McCarthy overtakes Scarlett Johansson for the second spot with some impressive box office returns for Central Intelligence and Ghostbusters. There are a lot of familiar faces on the list who have been earning consistently, but there are also a surprising number of new faces.

We're going to take a more in-depth look at the actresses who raked in the most cash this year.

1. Jennifer Lawrence - $46 million

Jennifer Lawrence takes aim in 'Joy'/ Fox
Jennifer Lawrence takes aim in 'Joy'/ Fox

  • Total earnings in 2016: $46 million

  • Net worth: $110 million

  • Age: 26

  • Projects in 2016: X-Men:Apocalypse

  • Upcoming projects: Passenger, Red Sparrow, Bad Blood, check out the full list here.

Check out Movie Pilot's video of J-Law's evolution below:

2. Melissa McCarthy - $33 million

Melissa McCarthy in 'Ghostbusters' / Colombia
Melissa McCarthy in 'Ghostbusters' / Colombia

  • Total earnings in 2016: $33 million

  • Net worth: $23 Million

  • Age: 45

  • Projects in 2016: Central Intelligence, Ghostbusters, Can You Ever Forgive Me, The Boss, Mike and Molly

  • Upcoming projects: Life of the Party

See also:

3. Scarlett Johansson - $25 million


  • Total earnings in 2016: $25 million

  • Net worth: $100 million

  • Age: 31

  • Projects in 2016: Hail, Caesar!, Sing, The Jungle Book, Captain America: Civil War

  • Upcoming projects: Ghost In The Shell, Rock That Body, Avengers Infinity War, check out the full list here.

4. Jennifer Aniston - $21 million

Jennifer Aniston in 'Mother's Day'
Jennifer Aniston in 'Mother's Day'

  • Total earnings in 2016: $21 million

  • Net worth: $130 million

  • Age: 47

  • Projects in 2016: Mother's Day, Storks, Office Christmas Party, The Yellow Birds

  • Upcoming projects: Check them all out here!

Check out the trailer for Storks below:

5. Fan Bingbing - $17 million

Fan Bingbing in 'X-men: Days of Future Past' / Fox
Fan Bingbing in 'X-men: Days of Future Past' / Fox

  • Total earnings in 2016: $17 million

  • Net worth: $17.8 million

  • Age: 34

  • Projects in 2016: The King's Daughter, Skiptrace, The Lady in the Portrait, I Am Not Madame Bovary, Legend of Ravaging Dynasties

  • Upcoming projects: TBA

6. Charlize Theron - $16.5 million

Charlize Theron in 'The Huntsman: Winter's War' / Universal
Charlize Theron in 'The Huntsman: Winter's War' / Universal

  • Total earnings in 2016: $16.5 million

  • Net worth: $110 million

  • Age: 41

  • Projects in 2016: The Huntsman: Winter War, The Last Face, Kubo and The Two Strings

  • Upcoming projects: Tully, Fast 8, The Coldest City, check them all out here!

7. Amy Adams - $13.5 million

Amy Adams in the upcoming 'Arrival' / Paramount pictures
Amy Adams in the upcoming 'Arrival' / Paramount pictures

  • Total earnings in 2016: $13.5 million

  • Net worth: $35 million

  • Age: 42

  • Projects in 2016: Arrival, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Nocturnal Animals

  • Upcoming projects: Sharp Objects, Justice League, see them all here.

Check out the trailer for Arrival below:

8. Julia Roberts - $12 million

Julia Roberts in 'Money Monster' /Sony
Julia Roberts in 'Money Monster' /Sony

  • Total earnings in 2016: $12 million

  • Net worth: $140 million

  • Age: 48

  • Projects in 2016: Money Monster, Mother's Day

  • Upcoming projects: Wonder

9. Mila Kunis - $11 million

Mila Kunis in 'Bad Moms' /Palm Star Media
Mila Kunis in 'Bad Moms' /Palm Star Media


  • Total earnings in 2016: $11 million

  • Net worth: $30 million

  • Age: 33

  • Projects in 2016: Bad Moms

  • Upcoming projects: Jackpot

Check out the trailer for Bad Moms below:

10. Deepika Padukone - $10 million

Deepika in 'Piku'/MSM motion pictures
Deepika in 'Piku'/MSM motion pictures


  • Total earnings in 2016: $10 million

  • Net worth: $17.5 million

  • Age: 30

  • Projects in 2016: None

  • Upcoming projects: Raabta, Rani Padmavati, xXx: Return of Xander Cage

What's Changed Since The Last List?

It's good to see some non-Hollywood actresses make their way onto the list as well as see comedy actresses like Melissa McCarthy holding their own. Forbes will release the list of highest paid actors on August 25th and it will be interesting to compare the two lists to reveal the wage gap. Last year Robert Downey Jr. raked in the most with a whopping $80 million, almost twice what J-Law earned this year.

Who do you think will top the list next year?