ByHeather Snowden, writer at Creators.co
Lover of bad puns, nostalgic feels and all things Winona. Email: [email protected] Tweet: @heathbetweetin
Heather Snowden

Jennifer Lawrence made headlines alongside American Hustle co-star Amy Adams late last year when Wikileaks revealed how much the two women earned in comparison to their male counterparts. The conversation that surrounded this scandal was one of surprise and disgust, although granted it was a good catalyst to the debate surrounding equal pay. It's hard to believe that even actresses who have become household names are treated in the same outdated, unjustified and sexist fashion.

If the recently released list of Highest-Paid Actresses from Forbes teaches us anything it's that, although these women are undoubtably raking in mega bucks, they're still earning significantly less than the Highest Paid Actors. This year, only 4 actresses made over $20 million, opposed to 21 male actors. The women earned a combined $281 million, the men banked $941 million.

Whilst Jennifer Lawrence's takings are impressive, the sad fact is that The Hunger Games is one of the few major films that has a woman as its lead character. According to Forbes, a recent study unearthed that only 21 of the highest grossing films in 2014 actually featured a female lead or in fact a female co-star. This not only means there are less opportunities for women full stop, but also that they are nowhere near as exposed to the mammoth earning potential offered by blockbuster franchises as their male counterparts.

This year is the first time Forbes' annual list as gone global and looked at actors and actresses around the world. Here are the top ten:

1.) Jennifer Lawrence - $52 Million

Thanks to a little known franchise called The Hunger Games, which has grossed $2.3 billion worldwide so far, and a lucrative contract with fashion house Dior, JLaw has steamrolled into first place this year taking home a cool 52 mill! Thats 16.5 million dollars more than the second spot on the list, Scarlett Johansson. Oof!

2.) Scarlett Johansson - $35.5 Million

Thanks to her role as Black Widow in various Marvel films and starring in Lucy, the latest Luc Besson movie, Ms. Johansson now earns over $10 million per film. Additionally, the Captain America star supplements her salary with Dolce & Gabbana and Sodastream endorsements.

3.) Melissa McCarthy - $23 Million

Post Bridesmaids, Melissa McCarthy has gone on to be one of the most sought after actresses in Hollywood. After starring in Spy, McCarthy wrote, produced and starred in Tammy. Banking $23 million, she comes in at third place, however, as she's just started her own clothing line, Melissa McCarthy Seven7, by next year I reckon we can expect this figure to grow.

4.) Bingbing Fan - $21 Million

The only non-American on the list, Bingbing Fan has topped Forbes' China Celebrity 100 list for the past three years on the trot. Best known for her roles in X-Men: Days of Future Past and The White-Haired Witch of Lunar Kingdom, Fan also collects a nice wad from her endorsements with Chopard and L’Oreal.

5.) Jennifer Aniston - $16.5 Million

The last episode of Friends aired 11 years ago but newly-wed Jennifer Aniston still sees a steady flow of dollars streaming into her bank account thanks to endorsing brands such as Smart Water, Aveeno and Living Proof.

6.) Julia Roberts - $16 Million

Making a return with a tidy $16 million haul, Pretty Woman Julia Roberts' takings are largely thanks to deals with Lancome, Givenchy and Calzedonia, although she does have a few movies in the works.

7.) Angelina Jolie - $15 Million

In recent times Jolie has spent more time behind the camera than in front, although she continues to bring in some of the biggest bucks in Tinseltown. Her latest project has been writing, directing and starring in the forthcoming drama By The Sea with husband Brad Pitt.

Check out the trailer:

8.) Reese Witherspoon - $15 Million

Four years since dropping off the charts in 2011, Reese Witherspoon is back with a vengeance, banking $15 million and in at number 8. The star has had quite the run of success of late, from starring in and Oscar nominated for Wild to producing one of the most the most talked about films of last year, 'Gone Girl'.

9.) Anne Hathaway - $12 Million

In the big budget animation movie Rio 2, Anne Hathaway voiced the character Jewel. She's also set to star in Alice Through the Looking Glass, the Tim Burton sequel to Alice in Wonderland.

10.) Kristen Stewart - $10 Million

Kristen made her buck in indie films this year as opposed to major box office hits, but that's just fine as the cash she earned during Twilight is still rolling in. Although this is her forth appearance on the Forbes' Celebrity 100 list, her move towards lower budget movies may mean this time is the last.

(Source: Forbes)

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