Eddie Murphy Tops 'Overpaid Actors' List

Eddie Murphy - who was a top box office draw in his Beverly Hills Cop days - is now Hollywood's most overpaid actor, according to Forbes magazine.

Forbes said Murphy, who also filled cinema seats with movies like Trading Places, had now displaced Drew Barrymore for the top spot.

The list  is collated by analysing stars' salaries compared with their films' box office takings.

"Murphy's career has just collapsed," said Forbes, citing recent box office bombs such as Imagine That, A Thousand Words and Meet Dave.

Weighing box office receipts against pay cheques, Forbes calculated that for every dollar (62p) Murphy was paid for his last three films, they returned an average of just \$2.30 (£1.43) at the box office.

Katherine Heigl, Reese Witherspoon, Sandra Bullock and Jack Black were next, with their returns ranging from \$3.40 (£2.11) to \$5.20 (£3.23).

Forbes took issue with Witherspoon's star-laden romantic comedy How Do You Know, which was one of 2010's worst-performing films.

It cost \$120m (£74.5m), much of which went towards star salaries, but grossed just \$49m (£30.4m).

The list also included two-times Oscar winner Denzel Washington, as well as actors generally considered to be solid at the box office, such as Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller.

"Washington's films do fine at the box office, but he can demand an outsized pay cheque on those movies," said Forbes. His current hit Flight was not included for this year's list.

Washington's return was the same \$6.30 (£3.90) calculated for Sandler, whose comedies Forbes said were generally consistent performers - except the likes of the disappointing Jack And Jill.

It was the same with Stiller, whom Forbes said "earns so much money per film that one miss can make him seem overpaid".

That is what happened with Tower Heist, in which the actor co-starred with Eddie Murphy.

Will Ferrell, who topped the list for two of the last four years and came in third a year ago, did not make it this time.