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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie has proven again how handsomely it pays to combine gun-wielding action with serious roles, as she topped The Hollywood Reporter's list of highest-earning actresses on Friday.
But salaries are plummeting for top actresses and still lag the earnings of leading men, the trade paper said.
Jolie, 33, earned $15 million for the action movie "Wanted" this year and she could make $20 million to star in a possible sequel, it said.
Jolie played dramatic roles in 2007's "A Mighty Heart" and in this year's "Changeling." The mother of six and partner of actor Brad Pitt last month talked about eventually fading away from acting to spend more time with her family.
Oscar winner Julia Roberts, 41, claimed the No. 2 spot after a long absence from the screen, making more than $15 million for "Duplicity," which comes out next year.
Actors are also earning less, with the exception of Will Smith, star of blockbusters "Hancock" and "I Am Legend," who is riding high with up to $25 million per movie.
"Everyone else's prices have gone down," an unidentified talent agent told The Hollywood Reporter.
Reese Witherspoon, 32, who topped the female list last year after winning an Oscar for her role in the 2005 movie "Walk the Line," dropped to No. 3. She earned $14 million for appearing in the comedy hit "Four Christmases" that opened last week.
Cameron Diaz, Katherine Heigl, Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Aniston rounded out the list, with 39-year-old "Friends" star Aniston earning more than $8 million for the comedy "Marley & Me" opening on Christmas Day.
Big stars such as Halle Berry and Nicole Kidman -- both Oscar winners -- are no longer able to earn $10 million a movie.
Compare that with Pitt and Johnny Depp, who according to The Hollywood Reporter make between $15 million and $20 million per film.
Editing by Jill Serjeant and John O'Callaghan