A surprising star tops list of Hollywood's highest paid actresses

By Meaghan Wray

Hollywood is teeming with incredible talent, but only one woman can claim the title of highest paid actress, and this year the honour goes to Scarlett Johansson . According to Forbes, which ranked stars based on their pre-tax earnings between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018, the 33-year-old’s whopping US$40.5 million salary catapulted her ahead of heavyweights like Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston , who came in second and third, respectively.

The Marvel star is clearly killing it thanks to her superhero powers and fight scenes, for which she won an MTV Movie Award back in 2013. While her films Rough Night and Ghost in the Shell saw average success at the box office, her return as Black Widow in Avengers: Infinity War helped quadruple her salary. The actress will further add to her bank when she appears in the blockbuster franchise's next installment before stepping out on her own in a Black Widow spin off.

Scarlett poses on the Avengers Age Of Ultron red carpet back in 2015. Photo: © Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Mother-of-six Angelina Jolie earned an estimated US$28 million for her starring role in Disney’s upcoming Maleficent 2, a sequel to the first film – which raked in US$758.5 million – in which she portrays an evil fairy protecting her forest kingdom. Jennifer Aniston’s US$19.5 million payday is attributed to the iconic TV show Friends, as well as her brand endorsements with Aveeno, Smartwater and Emirates airlines.

The celebrated star, who recently split from ex-husband Justin Theroux , has a lot to look forward to in the coming year, including a new series with industry pal Reese Witherspoon, who scored the fifth spot on Forbes’ list with an income of US$16.5 million. The duo, who play played sisters on Friends, will reportedly rake in about $1.25 million per episode, which will likely boost their positions in the annual list. Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence slipped into fourth position with US$18 million, while Mila Kunis, Julia Roberts, Cate Blanchett, Melissa McCarthy and Gal Gadot round out the top 10.

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