Highest-paid actors in the world: George Clooney, Dwayne Johnson top 'Forbes' list

George Clooney
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George Clooney

George Clooney may be taking a hiatus from the big screen, but he's still cashing in.

The 57-year-old ranks as the highest-paid actor of the year, according to Forbes' 2018 list of top male earners, which was released Wednesday.

Clooney took in $239 million in pretax earnings, thanks to a lucrative business venture, endorsements and older movies. The extra money should come in handy taking care of his one-year-old twins, Ella and Alexander, with wife Amal Alamuddin Clooney.

The new dad claimed the top spot despite not starring in a hit movie during the 12-month period (June 1, 2017 to June 1, 2018) covered in the Forbes study. The annual ranking tallies on-screen and off-screen earnings.

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Clooney sold his Casamigos Tequila company to British liquor giant Diageo last June for $700 million upfront with a potential to earn $300 million in the next decade, Forbes reported. Clooney, who founded the company in 2013 with Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman, took home $233 million during the sale.

Trailing closely behind at No. 2 is Dwayne Johnson. The 46-year-old raked in $124 million pretax, "the largest ever acting take-home from front-of-camera roles in Celebrity 100 history," Forbes said.

During that time, Johnson played a soldier turned primatologist in "Rampage" and an archaeologist explorer in "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," which proved to be his biggest salary bump.

Johnson's huge social media following (113 million on Instagram) helped him pad his wallet, allowing him to nearly double his earnings through promotion.

"Social media has become the most critical element of marketing a movie for me," Johnson told Forbes."I have established a social media equity with an audience around the world that there's a value in what I'm delivering to them."

After the top two, the other highest earning actors are:

3. Robert Downey Jr., 53, scored $81 million from his portrayal of snarky Iron Man in "Spider-Man: Homecoming" and "Avengers: Infinity War."

4. Chris Hemsworth, 36, pocketed $64.5 million as Thor in Marvel movies, including "Thor: Ragnarok" and "Avengers: Infinity War."

5. Jackie Chan, 64, earned $45.5 million after starring in six movies in 2017, including "The Lego Ninjago Movie." His earnings also included money from endorsements and his own chain of movie theaters in China.

The top-ten highest paid actors made $748.5 million combined last year.

Despite equal pay becoming a pressing issue in Hollywood, Forbes' 10 top-paid actresses only made $186 million in the same period, a whopping $562.5 million gap from their male counterparts.