If you were convinced that Hollywood movie stars make too much money, today’s news won’t change your opinion – but it does provide an interesting look at just how much money a top name actor with a savvy agent and canny legal representation can bring in.
Marvel Studios has been incredibly cost-conscious when it comes to the budgets of their movies, particularly when it comes to paying actors’ salaries. All those big names that assembled for The Avengers? They all worked for well under $10 million dollars each – except one.
THR reports that Robert Downey Jr., the star of Iron Man, will potentially make over ten times as much as his co-stars – a staggering $50 million by the time all the ink has dried on the ledger sheet. How did this come to pass? Thank Downey’s representation.
After the huge success of Iron Man, RDJ’s people renegotiated his deal to include a cut of the revenue from all future films where the actor dons Tony Stark’s distinctive armor. Some sources claim that figure is in the 5-7% range, while others suggest it’s lower. It’s largely irrelevant, because whatever the number is, it translates to a lot of money when you appear in a film that grosses over a billion dollars.
Of course, given the peculiarities of Hollywood accounting – a place where number-crunchers can make a huge hit that raked in hundreds of millions of dollars bleed red on the financial sheets – Downey Jr. may be waiting quite awhile to see his windfall…if he ever actually gets the full amount at all.
If he does, the actor will join some other big names who’ve had huge paydays thanks to their involvement in wildly successful franchises. The most notable is Johnny Depp, who THR reports has taken home over $250 million for his work in the four Pirates of the Caribbean films.
Meanwhile, what did RDJ’s Avengers co-stars make from the film? Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, and Jeremy Renner will reportedly earn between $2-3 million each. Scarlett Johannson and Samuel L. Jackson will be paid closer to $6 million. Looks like Iron Man is the mightiest Avenger – at least in terms of negotiating deals. Makes sense, given Tony Stark’s comic book persona.