Barrymore and Murphy top Forbes 'overpaid' actors list

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Drew Barrymore and Eddie Murphy have topped a list of Hollywood's most overpaid actors.

The Forbes list says that Barrymore's films earned 40 cents (25p) for every dollar (67p) she was paid, while Murphy's returned about $2.70 (£1.68).

Reese Witherspoon, Denzel Washington and Will Ferrell complete the top five.

The 40 highest paid actors had their pay measured against the budget and earnings of their last three movies.

Everybody's Fine, a 2009 film starring Drew Barrymore and Robert De Niro, earned only $16m (£10m) globally - according to Forbes.

And while Eddie Murphy may be well known for box office hits like The Nutty Professor, his recent films have not done well.

His 2009 comedy-drama Imagine That only earned $22m (£14m) from its $55m (£34m) budget.

Will Ferrell may be number three in the countdown, with mixed success meaning he only made $3.50 (£2.18) for every dollar, but it's not all bad - the last two years the comedian was number one on the list.

Legally Blonde star Reese Witherspoon - at number four with a return of $3.55 (£2.21) - has seen her value hit by the failure of 2010's How Do You Know.

The film, which also starred Owen Wilson and Jack Nicholson, only brought in $50m (£31m) worldwide from its $120m (£75m) budget.

Denzel Washington is perhaps an unexpected face at number five, with recent movies like The Book of Eli banking $157m (£98m).

However, the star's pay - which Forbes estimates at up to $20m (£12.5m) - suggests he may not always be the best value.

The actor's average return on his last three films was $4.25m (£2.65m).

Rounding out the Forbes top 10 are Nicolas Cage, Adam Sandler, Vince Vaughn, Tom Cruise (after 2007 film Lions for Lambs only made $63m £39m), and Nicole Kidman.

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