Like his big-screen alter ego Tony Stark, Robert Downey Jr. is in the money.
The Iron Man star ranks No. 1 on Forbes' annual list of the highest-paid actors, banking $75 million from June 2012 to June 2013 thanks to the hefty slice of the box office pie he received for starring in The Avengers last year.
That's quite a remarkable turnaround for the actor, who at one time struggled to persuade producers to give him a chance after a string of drug-related run-ins with the law had made him nearly uninsurable.
Now headlining two of the cinema's biggest franchises, Marvel's Iron Man and Avengers series, Downey is now a sort of insurance policy for the studios—against failure at the ticket booth.
RDJ helped The Avengers become the third highest-grossing movie of all time with $1.5 billion in worldwide grosses. Combine that with the whopping $2.4 billion his three Iron Man flicks have raked in cumulatively and the huge chunk of change he earned from profit participation from all four films and it's no surprise he's come out on top of the magazine's traditional tally. And that's not including the millions he's expected to get for returning for an Avengers follow up.
Not far behind in second place however is something of a newcomer to the list. Channing Tatum generated $60 million in income during the one-year period, much of that from his large stake in Magic Mike, which was loosely inspired by his experience when he was an 18-year-old male stripper.
Because he and director Steven Soderbergh independently financed and produced the $7 million drama, they didn't have to share in the dough when it amassed an astounding $167 million in global receipts. And there's even talk of a sequel! Not bad for a kid who got his start dancing in Ricky Martin's "She Bangs" music video.
Not surprisingly, another Marvel go-to is hot on Downey and Tatum's heels. In the third spot is Hugh Jackman, he of X-Men and Wolverine fame, with $55 million in coin—most of which he pocketed playing the Adamantium-infused superhero as well as Jean Valjean in Les Miserablés for which he garnered a Best Actor Oscar nomination. The latter made $438 million at the worldwide box office.
Landing in fourth place is Mark Wahlberg with $52 million on the strength of his R-rated raunchy comedy, Ted, which paired him with a computer-animated foul-mouthed teddy bear. He'll figure to add to that amount with his starring role in next summer's fourth Transformers installment.
And rounding out the top five is Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson with $46 million on the back of his franchise-rescuing efforts lifting Fast & Furious 6 and G.I. Joe: Retaliation to $704 million and $371 million in international ticket sales respectively.
For the full Forbes list, click here.