Sandra Bullock tops Forbes rich list thanks to pull of Gravity

Sandra Bullock In Gravity

A back-end deal on Alfonso Cuarón's blockbuster helps the star become Hollywood's highest paid woman. She earned $51m over the last 12 months, $17m more than second place Jennifer Lawrence

Sandra Bullock has topped the annual Forbes list of the highest paid female actors in the world, thanks largely to the box office success of Oscar-winning space drama Gravity.

Bullock's $51m haul over the past 12 months puts her way ahead of the chasing pack, which is led by Jennifers Lawrence and Aniston. The 50-year-old actor is reported to have had a back end deal for a share of profits from Alfonso Cuarón's film, which took a spectacular $716m at the global box office and won seven Oscars. Bullock last topped the list in 2010, with an estimated $56m, off the back of hit films The Blind Side and The Proposal.

Lawrence, 23, takes second place with $34m this year, thanks to a back end deal for the Hunger Games movies and a high-profile supporting role in superhero sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past. Her three Oscar nominations to date and a win last year for indie romance Silver Linings Playbook have made her one of the most powerful actors in Hollywood at a remarkably young age. Aniston, 45, takes third place with $31m thanks to the success of comedies such as We're the Millers and Horrible Bosses, both of which offered her a share of profits to sign on.

Gwyneth Paltrow lands in fourth place this year with $19m, thanks largely to the $1bn box office success of superhero movie Iron Man 3, in which she played Pepper Potts. Last year's top female actor, Angelina Jolie, is fifth this year with $18m. Forbes included her upfront fee for Disney fantasy Maleficent in their 2013 calculations, pushing her down a few spaces in this year's chart.

The next four places on the list are held by Cameron Diaz ($18m) and a trio of women who have made their earnings playing supporting roles in superhero movies: The Avengers' Scarlett Johansson ($17m), Man of Steel's Amy Adams ($13m) and Thor: The Dark World's Natalie Portman (also $13m). Kristen Stewart, the list's top earner only two years ago thanks to earnings from the Twilight films, slips down to 10th spot this time around with $12m.

Bullock's impressive earnings mean she would have made it to third place, behind only Robert Downey Jr and Dwayne Johnson, on a combined list of male and female actors. However, Forbes estimates that members of its female top 10 earned just $226m, compared to the $419m haul taken by the top 10 men, between June 2013 and June 2014.

Forbes top 10, June 2013 to June 2014

1. Sandra Bullock ($51m)
2. Jennifer Lawrence ($34m)
3. Jennifer Aniston ($31m)
4. Gwyneth Paltrow ($19m)
5. Angelina Jolie ($18m)
6. Cameron Diaz ($18m)
7. Scarlett Johansson ($17m)
8. Amy Adams ($13m)
9. Natalie Portman ($13m)
10. Kristen Stewart ($12m)

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Ben Child, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 5th August 2014 09.00 Europe/London

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