It looks like the inside of Hollywood is changing, for better and for worse. One of the best ways to look at how Hollywood changes is to look at how everyone is getting paid. You have to follow the money to see how everyone is progressing. Forbes releases an annual list of the highest-earning female movie stars.
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At just 26-years-old, Jennifer Lawrence leads the pack. She has had an incredibly successful career so far with four Oscar nominations, one win, and several leading roles in mega-franchises. This is the second year that she has been first one the list.
However, the woman who came in second place is much more interesting.
Melissa McCarthy has placed second after a year of anticipated blockbusters, including Ghostbusters. Before her breakout role in Bridesmaids, she was considered a secondary actress because of her size. Now she has become one of the go-to funny women of our time, defying the expectations of leading ladies and making people laugh.
In fact, two of the top five actresses - McCarthy and Jennifer Aniston - are comedic actresses, a rarity in today's Hollywood. It does show a shift in movie viewing, away from romantic comedies and femme fatales into a more comedic scene.
Many of the classical roles for women are disappearing in favor of newer, fresher roles. Half of the women on the list are over 40, pushing back at some of the Hollywood trends where women have to be young in order to lead a movie.
But for all of the progress we have made, there is still a huge problem. Of the top ten women, only one is Asian and one is Indian. There are no African-American actresses ranked. There is still a major problem with how the cash flows. While many celebrities have been talking about equal pay, women aren't able to achieve equality within their salaries. Lawrence actually earned $6 million less than she did last year.
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The final problem is that there seems to be little room for new talent. These actresses have been featured for the past several years, though their rankings have changed. Lawrence hasn't left the top five spots in the last four years, and some of these actresses have been on for a decade.