In a recent interview, Shia LaBeouf told WalletPop, "There are certain investments that aren't
gambling at all."
Apparently, that applies to the actor himself. For the second straight year, LaBeouf topped Forbes magazine's list of Hollywood's Best Actors for the Buck. LaBeouf earned $81 for a movie for every $1 the studio put in the filmmaking kitty. Forbes determined Tinseltown's most efficient earners with a formula that took into account the actors' movies in the past five years, their estimated salary and the box office, DVD and TV sales.
LaBeouf appeared in the $787 million-earning Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and the $836-million grosser Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
LaBeouf, playing Gordon Gekko's would-be son-in-law, is the key to Oliver Stone's Wall Street follow-up, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, opening Sept. 24. With mostly positive early buzz, the movie should keep his name in the black.
Rounding out Forbes top 10 are Anne Hathaway ($64 per $1 spent), Daniel Radcliffe ($61), Robert Downey, Jr. ($33), Cate Blanchett ($27), Jennifer Aniston ($21), Meryl Streep ($21), Johnny Depp ($18), Nicolas Cage ($17) and Sarah Jessica Parker ($17).
Gone are the days of common $20 million-plus salaries, so it is up to actors like LaBeouf to make a deal for a share of the profits after the movie is released. Film biz types call it the back end. Women, who generally earn less in major studio films, appear prominently on the list, Forbes explained, because they cost less and have been generating relatively large ticket and DVD sales.
But nobody nets a return like Shia. It's a long way from when LaBeouf, who says he grew up in "outrageous poverty," would dress up in a clown suit with his mom and dad and sell hot dogs in L.A.'s Echo Park.
He said to WalletPop: "It's like Harrison [Ford] told me, 'If you're a go-getter and you show up on the set, they'll like you. If you're passionate and your priorities are correct, they'll like you."
Forbes list shows why Hollywood isn't Shia about hiring LaBeouf