For every dollar he was paid for his last three roles, Damon brought in $29 of gross income, the site calculated. That put the 36-year-old "Bourne" star atop a Forbes list of 22 film heavyweights, ranked by the same financial formula.
The first two "Bourne" movies grossed an estimated $850 million at the box office and in DVD sales, Forbes said. The third installment, "The Bourne Ultimatum," opened last weekend and raked in $70.2 million at the box office. It was the biggest August film opening ever.
Brad Pitt took second place on the list with a gross income return of $24 for each dollar he was paid, and Vince Vaughn tied with Johnny Depp for third with $21.
"The biggest stars in Hollywood are not the actors that deliver the biggest returns," Forbes senior editor Michael Ozanian said in a statement Monday.
Russell Crowe is at the bottom of the list. His last three films — "A Good Year," "Cinderella Man" and "Master and Commander" — averaged just $5 in gross income for every dollar spent on the Oscar winner, Forbes said.
Movies starring the two Toms — Hanks and Cruise — averaged $12 and $11 of gross income, respectively. Will Smith and Denzel Washington each brought in $10.
On the comedic front, Adam Sandler brought in $9 per dollar earned, Will Ferrell and Jim Carrey $8 each).
Forbes.com calculated the net revenue for a film by adding the worldwide box office and revenues from U.S. DVD and video rentals and then subtracting its budget. The net revenue was divided by the actor's total compensation to derive gross income. The average gross income of an actor's last three films produced their box-office return.
The "Ultimate Star Payback" list was posted Monday.