The most profitable actor in Hollywood isn’t Brad Pitt, Robert Downey Jr. or Dwayne Johnson — it’s Emilio Estevez. And there’s research to prove it.
Analysts from PartyCasino, a unit of the GVC gaming group, have studied box-office data from 1980 to 2017 and found that the “Young Guns” star delivered the best return of any top-billed male actor who has starred in at least 10 films. Specifically, for every $1 spent on the leading man’s films, Estevez generated $6.70 at the box office.
The male actors who generated the next best returns were just as surprising. Jean-Claude Van Damme raked in $4.20 for each dollar, while other great investments were Mel Gibson ($3.50), Tyler Perry ($3) and Dudley Moore ($3).
The results for the worst return also left researchers stunned.
Brad Pitt returned only 10 cents for every $1 spent, making him the least-profitable actor in Hollywood. The “Ocean’s Eleven” star was followed by Johnny Depp (20 cents), Robert De Niro (24 cents), Hugh Jackman (25 cents) and Anthony Hopkins (26 cents).
PartyCasino also crunched the numbers for actresses from the past decade and found that Rose Byrne scored the best return — $9.80 for every budgeted dollar — followed by Regina Hall ($3.50) and Octavia Spencer ($2.90).
A rep told The Post that the reason they didn’t have the extended data for actresses was because “women, unfortunately, are less likely to be the top-billed actor for a movie.”
PartyCasino compiled its list by analyzing the top 100 films in each year since 1980. Researchers took each movie’s gross from Box Office Mojo, which tracks receipts from theaters in the US and Canada, and subtracted each movie’s budget. The difference — dubbed “profit” by analysts — was then divided by each movie’s budget to determine its ROI, or return on investment.
When it came to movie genres, mysteries proved to be the most profitable — returning $39.89 for each budgeted dollar over the 37-year period.
Horror flicks had the second-highest ROI, with $34.13, followed by thrillers ($17.36) and documentaries ($7.38).
Action movies were the least profitable films — generating $1.89 for each budget dollar, followed by crime pictures ($2.01) and musicals ($2.05).