Europe may have monarchies, but America has Hollywood. England may have Queen Elizabeth and the gorgeous Prince William, but we have Forbes‘ Top Earning (and therefore most powerful) Couple, Jay-Z and Beyonce Knowles. The couple raked in $122 million from June 2008 to June 2009 alone and are climbing the music charts by day. We have yet to hear a Beyonce song that hasn’t made our feet wiggle for weeks. Not to mention Jay-Z’s latest single, “Empire State of Mind” has become the stuff of legend, as it was named the anthem for the New York Yankees. Watch out Royals, a new (hip hop) regime is predicted to reign supreme in the coming decade.
Hollywood is one area where money and power are not lacking, even in a recession. Here are the other top-earning couples to watch out for.
1. Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart
One of the more low-key couples in Hollywood, the twosome’s hits may be few and far between, but when they make those few breakout hits, the payoff is big. Harrison Ford’s main money makers were the Indiana Jones series, which was reprised in 2008 with Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. Thanks to a serious cult following, Harrison raked in $65 million. Calista did her part for the couple’s net worth of $69 million, starring in the ABC drama Brothers & Sisters. However, you may remember her better as the quirky lawyer, Ally McBeal.
2. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Even with six children and rumors of trouble in paradise, the Pitt-Jolie clan managed to earn $55 million this year alone. The acting duo are doing what they do best. Brad has been playing roles in epic flicks like Inglourious Basterds, where fans were dazzled by his charm and good looks, and Angelina is all action with the film Wanted. What’s to come in 2010 for this real life Brady Bunch? We are hoping for another duet reminiscent of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, another adoption, maybe a natural birth, and… a comedy perhaps? Doubtful, but we can hope.
3. Will and Jada Pinkett Smith
Together, Will and Jada are the ultimate action star couple. With Jada’s roles in The Matrix trilogy and Will’s films including Hancock and I am Legend, this is one couple that exudes power on and offscreen. Contrary to Jada’s heavy metal band persona and Will’s apparent skill of blowing up buildings, the couple has a softer side. Jada provided the voice for Gloria the hippo in the animated film Madagascar and Will is notorious for his clean, child-friendly, rapping days. Who could forget Big Willy Style? Either way, the couple proves to be talented actors, as their net worth amounted to $48 million in 2009.
4. David and Victoria Beckham
He’s one of the highest paid soccer players in the world; she is the ex-member of the band that defined “girl power.” Obviously, they would make the Forbes‘ Top Earning Couples list. David Beckham not only starts for the LA Galaxy, but he is also signed to AC Milan and is predicted to play in his fourth World Cup for England. Victoria is growing from pop icon to fashion icon, to a legend in popular culture. Both have lent their faces and names to fashion campaigns and their own signature scents, all adding to their accumulated worth of $46 million.
5. Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi
Ellen and Portia have everything it takes to make it work. Both are good looking, successful, they make each other laugh, and both are lacking financial restraints. Portia seems to have a knack for cult successes, with her hilarious roles in Arrested Development and her latest, in ABC’s Better Off Ted. Ellen seems to be more mainstream with her talk show, American Express Commercials, and the latest deposit to her joint bank account — her position as a judge on American Idol. Together, the duo earned $36 million in the past year.
6. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson
As far back as the movie Big, Tom Hanks is one of those actors whose roles are always memorable. This year, his memorable role as suave Harvard professor and symbologist, Robert Langdon, earned him and Rita a spot on the power couple list, with a staggering $35.5 million in the bank. But Rita is not to be overlooked. She currently stars alongside Meryl Streep in the much anticipated It’s Complicated.
7. Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy
The poster children for comic couples, Jim and Jenny are laughs all around. While Jim earned serious laughs from audiences for his memorable roles in the Ace Ventura series, 2009 was the year he tried his hand in less comedic roles. Starring in the upcoming film, I Love You Phillip Morris, Carrey will play con artist Steven Russell opposite Ewan McGregor, who plays his on-screen love interest Phillip Morris. The serious roles are paying off as he and Jenny are laughing their way to the bank, literally, with a balance of $34 million.
8. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
Everyone’s favorite scientologists made bank this year, accumulating $33 million in 2009. Holmes stuck to small ventures such as Mad Money with Diane Keaton, while Cruise took on the bigger, and much more controversial project, Valkyrie. We are hoping that Tom gives comic acting another shot, as he left audiences hysterically laughing in their seats during his role as Les Grossman in Tropic Thunder.
9. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin
Coldplay front man, Chris Martin and irresistible actress Gwyneth Paltrow make a beautiful and powerful couple. Despite rumored affairs in 2009, the couple is still going strong. Parents to son Moses and daughter Apple, the couple have always put parenthood first, but they still managed to achieve a net worth of $33 million in 2009. No easy feat. Coldplay’s latest, Viva La Vida, earned rave reviews from fans and critics alike, selling $2.6 million stateside and $3 million in Europe. In 2010, Gwyneth is set to reprise her role as Pepper Pots in Iron Man 2, alongside Robert Downey Jr.
10. Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick
Together, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick earned a net worth of $29 million in 2009 and have most aspects of the entertainment field covered. SJP brought in the big bucks both on the small and silver screen with Sex and the City. Matthew Broderick has focused his efforts on the stage, appearing in off and on Broadway spectacles such as the acclaimed hit, The Producers. But just in case the couple ever has to call in sick, they can rely on Sarah’s latest clothing and perfume line welcomed in stores by multitudes of screaming fans. The two reside in New York City, with their son James Wilkie and twin girls, Marion and Tabitha.