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Who Are Hollywood's Biggest Earners?

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Perhaps the most promising evidence of economic recovery?

We’ve gone right back to paying debatably talented professionals outrageous sums of money.

Specifically, total compensation and benefits at publicly traded Wall Street banks and securities firms hit a record of $135 billion in 2010, according to recent analysis by The Wall Street Journal. The total is up 5.7% from $128 billion in combined compensation and benefits by the same companies in 2009.

Average compensation per employee increased 3% to about $141,000, though the figure varies widely from company to company.

But it isn’t only the traders and bankers who are once again enjoying big paychecks: Vanity Fair now reports that the film industry’s post-crash aversion to $20 million paydays and gross-point deals seems to be easing. Big studios are once again hungering, the magazine says, to shell out Goldman-like bonuses for (somewhat) proven commodities.

In its latest issue, Vanity Fair highlights Tinseltown’s biggest earners in 2010, which included Guy Ritchie ($13.5 million), Vin Diesel ($18 million), and Adam Sandler ($50 million).

Your 2010 winner?

James Cameron, who raked in $257 million. That’s $257 million….in 12 months.

Read the whole list here. (HT: Newmark’s Door).
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.