-by Mike Finkelstein

Hollywood people earn a lot of money, and sometimes, it’s fun to look at just how they got it all…

Now that 2010 is officially behind us, Vanity Fair has released their annual breakdown of the top 40 Hollywood earners of 2010.  (Think of it as like a tax form, except a lot more entertaining.) It’s pretty awesome, although I’ll admit, I got really thrown off by one person in the top ten…

The list focuses on creative people–actors, directors and producers–specifically in film, and details where exactly the money came from, including fees, wages, bonuses, and old revenues.

Take a look at the top ten below, and click here for the rest of the list.

Top 10 Earners in Hollywood from 2010:

1) JAMES CAMERON – $257 MILLION
$248 million: AVATAR (back-end for writing, producing, and directing, based on 2010 worldwide box-office gross of $1.95 billion, and share of DVD and pay-television revenue; excludes $50 million earned in 2009)
$5 million: AVATAR (share of toy licensing, other revenue)
$4 million: Older film revenue (e.g., back-end and royalties from earlier projects, other payments)

2) JOHNNY DEPP – $100 MILLION
$40 million: ALICE IN WONDERLAND (back-end for starring, based on worldwide gross of $1.02 billion)
$35 million: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES (up-front money for starring)
$20 million: THE TOURIST (fee for co-starring)
$5 million: Older film revenue

3) STEVEN SPIELBERG – $80 MILLION
$50 million: Universal-theme-park royalties and consulting fees
$20 million: WAR HORSE (fee for directing and producing)
$10 million: Older film revenue

4) CHRISTOPHER NOLAN – $71.5 MILLION
$69 million: INCEPTION (back-end for writing, producing, and directing, based on worldwide gross of $823 million, and share of DVD and pay-TV revenue)
$2.5 million: Older film revenue

5) LEONARDO DICAPRIO – $62 MILLION
$59 million: INCEPTION (back-end for starring)
$3 million: Back-end for starring in SHUTTER ISLAND, older film revenue

6) TIM BURTON – $53 MILLION
$50 million: ALICE IN WONDERLAND (back-end for directing, based on worldwide gross of $1.02 billion, and share of DVD and pay-TV revenue)
$3 million: Older film revenue

7) ADAM SANDLER – $50 MILLION
$25 million: JUST GO WITH IT (fee for producing and starring)
$20 million: JACK AND JILL (fee for producing and starring)
$3 million: GROWN UPS (back-end for starring and writing, based on worldwide gross of $271 million, plus share of DVD and pay-TV revenue)
$2 million: Older film revenue

8) TODD PHILLIPS – $34 MILLION
$15 million: THE HANGOVER: PART II (fee for writing, producing, and directing)
$13 million: THE HANGOVER (back-end for producing and directing; excludes $39 million earned in 2009)
$3 million: DUE DATE (back-end for producing and directing, based on worldwide gross of $200 million, as of December 31, 2010)
$2 million: Older film revenue
$1 million: PROJECT X (fee for producing)

9) TAYLOR LAUTNER – $33.5 MILLION
$12.5 million: THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN – PART 1 (fee for co-starring)
$12.5 million: THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN – PART 2 (fee for co-starring)
$7.5 million: ABDUCTION (fee for starring)
$1 million: Older film revenue, mostly from TWILIGHT franchise

10) ROBERT DOWNEY, JR. – $31.5 MILLION
$15 million: SHERLOCK HOLMES 2 (fee for starring)
$12 million: IRON MAN 2 (back-end, based on worldwide gross of $627 million, and share of DVD and pay-TV revenue)
$3.5 million: SHERLOCK HOLMES (back-end, based on worldwide gross of $523 million, and share of DVD and pay-TV revenue)
$1 million: Older film revenue