Lawrence, 26, took the top spot largely through a slice of the profits from the final movie in the Hunger Games franchise, as well as a big upfront fee for her forthcoming space adventure movie Passengers, Forbes said.
Yet Lawrence's estimated payday was likely well below that for Hollywood's leading men, Forbes said, despite the actress sparking a debate about the gender pay gap last year. She declared she was "finished being adorable" when it came to negotiating better deals for herself.
Lawrence's 2016 earnings dropped 11.5 percent from her 2015 total of $52 million. Forbes will release its list of the world's highest-paid actors on Thursday. Last year Robert Downey Jr. topped the list with an estimated $80 million.
Neither however came close to pop star Taylor Swift, who was named the top-earning celebrity of 2016 earlier this year, pulling in an estimated $170 million from record sales and her world tour.