Angelina Jolie, Sarah Jessica Parker - highest paid

Angelina Jolie and Sarah Jessica Parker were the highest paid actresses of last year.

The Hollywood beauties tied at the top of the list, compiled by Forbes magazine, earning $30 million (NZ$36 million) each.

Angelina's earnings come mainly from her starring roles in two big budget action movies, Salt and The Tourist, the latter of which earned $280 million (NZ$338 million) at the box office.

Meanwhile, Sarah Jessica made most of her money from the series Sex and the City, both from TV re-runs and the second movie, which took $290 million at the box office.

As well as money from Sex and the City, the actress has a successful line of perfumes, including Lovely, Covet and NYC, which made her $18 million in 2010. She has also ventured into fashion, designing clothes for the Halston brand.

Taking joint third place on the list were Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, who each earned $28 million (NZ$33 million).

The former Friends star - who has experienced a string of flop movies, including 2008's Management, which generated less than $1 million - took home high pay cheques from The Bounty Hunter, which made $136 million and Just Go With It, which was the fourth-highest grossing film of her career to date.

In fifth place, Julia Roberts tied with Twilight Saga actress Kristen Stewart, with them both earning $20 million in the last financial year.

To calculate the stars' earnings, Forbes collated figures from agents, lawyers and producers and other movie industry figures.

The earnings presented are estimates for the financial year running from May 1, 2010 and May 1, 2011 and consist of pre-tax gross figures, without management, agent and attorney fees deducted.

Forbes list of highest paid actresses 2010-2011 financial year:

1= Angelina Jolie, $30 million ((NZ$36 million)
1= Sarah Jessica Parker, $30 million
3= Jennifer Aniston, $28 million ((NZ$33 million)
3= Reese Witherspoon, $28 million
5= Julia Roberts, $20 million (NZ$24 million)
5= Kristen Stewart, $20 million
7= Katherine Heigl, $19 million (NZ$22.9 million)
8= Cameron Diaz, $18 million (NZ$21.7 million)
9= Sandra Bullock, $15 million (NZ$18 million)
10= Meryl Streep, $10 million (NZ$12 million)

- BANG! Showbiz

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