It's only been around a decade since big Hollywood stars like Julia Roberts, Will Smith, Tom Hanks or Jim Carrey could easily receive around $20 million for their participation in films, on top of a substantial cut of the films box-office takings. However, of late, the number of stars eligible for such earnings has reduced significantly.
With Superheroes and Jedis taking over the box-office, more and more studios are prioritising special effects over big names, meaning a large part of a productions budget goes towards making a spectacle as opposed to the stars' salaries. Despite all of that, however, some actors still manage to earn around $20 million.
Variety have recently published a list of some actors' salaries for their appearance in some of the most well-known films to date. The most shocking of the lot belongs to none other than Robert Downey Jr. who earned $10 million for his 15 minute appearance in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming'. Take a look at the table below to see some of the other names.
Vin Diesel has managed to negotiate a higher salary for every 'Fast & Furious' film, the most recent for which he earned the coveted $20 million. Diesel first appeared as Dominic Toretto back in 2000 in 'The Fast and The Furious'. No-one could have ever imagined that a film about a group of small time criminals could become the multimillion dollar franchise we know today. Diesel isn't the only actor to take advantage of sequel productions however, for, following the success of 'Jurassic World', both Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard have negotiated some pretty sweet deals. The next film 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom', directed by Juan Antonio Bayona, will see the two earn a little more than the first.
Other actors, like Dwayne Johnson, prefer to take advantage of their fans and influence. Johnson has 105 million followers on Instagram and asked for a further $1 million in order to promote his latest film 'Red Notice' on his social media. Perhaps even more surprising, is that some stars, namely Tom Cruise and Brad Pritt are able to cash in their cheques before filming has even finished!
The other side of the coin
On the other hand, talents, such as Leonardo DiCaprio choose to traverse the fine line between art and business, by acting in films that interest them, even if they're low-budget. DiCaprio earned $20 million for his work on 'Inception', but will only get half of that figure for the upcoming Quentin Tarantino film, 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'.
Taking lower pay is an honourable commitment, but it's not as unheard of as you might suspect. Blumhouse Productions is known for only paying directors and actors a few thousand dollars per week, helping them to lower costs.