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Sandra Bullock earns top spot on Forbes' highest earning actresses list

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From its innovative use of special effects to create an immersive out-of-this world story to winning seven Academy Awards, Alfonso Cuaron's 2013 film "Gravity" has revolutionized cinema. Now, it can add one more accomplishment to its long list of accolades.

Sandra Bullock topped Forbes' list of highest earning actresses for 2014, mostly due to the success of "Gravity," which earned $716 million at the global box office and was a critical darling during awards season. Bullock earned $51 million between June 2013 and June 2014, more than any other actress in Hollywood.

Not only did Bullock reportedly receive $20 million up front for starring in "Gravity," but her deal with Warner Bros. also included that she receive 15 percent of first-dollar gross, or the box office earnings. With that piece of the film's profit and some additional revenue from sources such as home video and TV, some reported that Bullock would earn at least $70 million from "Gravity." Not bad for floating around space by yourself for the better part of 90 minutes, is it?

It looks like sci-fi/fantasy flicks are the way to go for Hollywood actresses these days as Jennifer Lawrence has claimed the No. 2 spot on Forbes' list with $34 million earned this year, mostly due to her starring role as Katniss Everdeen in "The Hunger Games" movie franchise. Jennifer Aniston came in at No. 3 with $31 million, and though she has grabbed more headlines for her personal life this year, Gwyneth Paltrow ranked fourth on Forbes' list at $19 million, thanks mostly to her role as Pepper Potts in "Iron Man 3."

Last year's winner, Angelina Jolie, is tied for fifth with Cameron Diaz on this year's list, each with an estimated haul of $18 million. Yes, Jolie made bank with "Maleficient," but Forbes factored her large up front into its list for last year. However, she will likely be a contender for the top spot on next year's Top Earning Actresses list with some revenue from the film's box office earnings. 

How does Forbes calculate these numbers, you ask? Well, they speak to "agents, producers, lawyers and other in-the-know folks" to estimate how much each actress has earned for her entertainment-related work, not factoring in fees for taxes and other costs.

While these earnings are certainly impressive, Hollywood is not immune to the gender wage gap. The actors on Forbes' Top Earning Actors list raked in a combined $419 million during this same time period (Robert Downey, Jr. topped that list with $75 million), whereas the top earning actresses earned a total of $226 million. See, celebrities really are just like everyone else!

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