Aniston's biggest recent movie was "Just Go With It," an Adam Sandler vehicle featuring Aniston as the nice girl. But she earned more praise for "Horrible Bosses" where she played very much against type as a sexually aggressive dentist. The former "Friend" got plenty of press this year thanks to her new relationship with actor Justin Theroux whom she met on the set of "Wanderlust."
The "Saturday Night Live" star's "Bridesmaids" earned more money than anyone thought it would: $288 million on an estimated budget of $32 million. Wiig, who just left "SNL," followed up "Bridesmaids" with the tiny "Friends With Kids" but next Christmas she'll co-star in her first big-budget film, The "Secret Life of Walter Mitty," with Ben Stiller.
The most nominated actress of all time, Streep won her third Academy Award this year for "The Iron Lady," a biopic about former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. At the age of 62, Streep has an enviable career. She works consistently and balances smaller, award-worthy films with more mainstream fare like "Hope Springs."
Parker had a major flop this year with "I Don't Know How She Does It" which brought in only $30 million at the global box office. But the actress still earns big thanks to reruns of her HBO hit show "Sex and the City" and her best-selling perfumes like NYC and Lovely. Parker also gets paid to endorse Garnier hair products.
Roberts has reached that age where many actresses struggle to find good roles. Instead of taking everything that's offered to her, Roberts has been picky about her projects but even those haven't performed so well. "Larry Crowne" which costarred Tom Hanks , earned only $52 million. "Mirror, Mirror," a retelling of the "Snow White" tale, did better with $135 million but cost an estimated $85 million to produce.
Theron is in the middle of a major career surge that kicked off with the 2011 movie "Young Adult." The film might not have earned a lot of money (it brought in only $23 million) but it gave Theron the kind of buzz she hasn't had in several years. Following up with "Snow White and the Huntsman" and "Prometheus" didn't hurt. Theron is also the high-profile face of Dior.
Even when she's not starring in a big studio flick, Jolie still earns millions from residuals and endorsement deals for companies like Louis Vuitton. Jolie also attracts plenty of attention wherever she goes. The tabloid-friendly actress appeared on 78 magazine covers between May 2011 and May 2012. It didn't hurt her press popularity that long-time life partner Brad Pitt proposed. The couple are parents to six children.
Bullock's most recent film, "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," was not a box office hit but the actress is still in demand. Her 2009 film, "The Blind Side" was the kind of massive hit studios dream about. Bullock got plenty of attention this year away from the big screen for her outings with her young son, Louis.
Diaz' 2011 film "Bad Teacher" was a quiet hit. It earned $216 million on a tiny budget of $20 million. That massive profit helped Diaz earn $34 million between May 2011 and May 2012. The funny lady took a smaller upfront on the film in exchange for a large share of the profits. It's the kind of deal more movie stars are having to make but in the right film, Diaz can still earn a big advance.
At the young age of 22 Stewart earned more than any other actress between May 2011 and May 2012. Most of that money came from "Twilight" where Stewart stars as Bella Swan. But she also earned big bucks for starring in "Snow White and the Huntsman." The press loves writing about Stewart. Her relationship with "Twilight" costar Robert Pattinson is a constant source of tabloid interest.