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February 3, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

Being prominently attached to a big blockbuster movie can instantly make you one of the richest persons in America. In Vanity Fair‘s current Hollywood issue, the magazine lists the top earners in the entertainment industry in 2010. Topping the list — no surprise — is James Cameron, whose estimated earnings were $257 million in 2010, $248 million of that amount coming from back-end earnings for Avatar. No. 2 on the list — with earnings of $100 million for the year — is Johnny Depp, who received $40 million in back-end fees for Alice in Wonderland and front-end payments of $35 million for starring in the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. He also got $20 million for co-starring with Angelina Jolie in The Tourist, which had a domestic gross of $67 million. In third place was Steven Spielberg, who didn’t even have a movie in release in 2010 but who nevertheless pocketed $80 million, $50 million coming from theme-park royalties and consulting fees. No. 4 is writer-director Christopher Nolan, whose estimated 2010 earnings came to $71.5 million, $69 million from his back-end deal for Inception. And in fifth place is Leonardo DiCaprio, who earned $62 million in 2010, $59 million from his back-end deal on Inception.