(Reuters) - To everyday moviegoers, the millions of dollars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson are paid to star in films must seem like a lot, but to the producers of the "Twilight" movies, their salaries are a bargain.
Financial website Forbes.com on Tuesday posted a ranking of Hollywood movie stars who earn studios the most money compared with amounts they are paid. The top actors, perhaps not surprisingly, starred in major Hollywood flicks that earned hundreds of millions at box offices.
Stewart, who plays Bella Swan in the "Twilight" movies that tell how Swan falls in love with the vampire Edward Cullen, ranked No. 1 on the list of "Hollywood's Best Actors for the Buck" after being paid just $1 for every $55.83 she earned, on average, for movie producers.
Pattinson, who portrays Cullen, was No. 3, with earnings of $39.43 for producers from every $1 he was paid.
The pair's most recent film, "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" has raked in $589 million at global box offices since its release earlier this month.
But remove the pair from a blockbuster franchise like "Twilight," and the financial picture changes dramatically, which is why Pattinson's average is lower than Stewart's.
To qualify for the list, actors must have starred in three major movies in the past five years, and films that opened after May 1 of this year were not counted, so the most recent "Twilight" was not included. But the ones before it, which were equally as successful, did play a role in the list.
Forbes.com looked at each star's compensation on their last three films and the operating income of those movies. It then divided the operating income number by the compensation and averaged figures for the three films.
Pattinson scored lower because he has been busier, Forbes.com said, working on dramas "Water for Elephants" and "Remember Me." Neither film did very well at box offices.
Stewart, 21, had only on big flop, "The Runaways," at box offices between her most recent "Twilight" flicks. Forbes.com did not include animated movies.
Ranked between the two "Twilight" lovers was actress Anne Hathaway, who earned studios $45.67 for every $1 she was paid for films including "Alice in Wonderland" and "Bride Wars."
"Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe was No. 4, and "Transformers" leading man Shia LaBeouf rounded out the top 5.
A full list can be found at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorothypomerantz/2011/12/06/hollywoods-best-actors-for-the-buck/
(Editing by Jill Serjeant)