The movie business is the pinnacle of success in the entertainment business. There’s massive pay involved to the actors, you can bounce from project to project to fulfill creative desires and the fame is second to none. Everyone dreams of becoming the next blockbuster actor or actress when entering the Hollywood bubble and the professional goal tends to be to earn as much money as possible while you are at a peak. Most actors and actresses that are household names tend to make millions of dollars that we can’t relate to, but a paycheck is worth what you are offered.
Promising movies having high demand for star power and big names lead to the talent being able to hold more power. Everyone is making decent money but some make much more than their co-stars. We tend to look at movies and assume it’s an even playing field for all the notable names who likely raking in similar paychecks, but that’s not how it works out. The top star likely eats up the majority of the money allotted to the cast and it can make the rest of the actors and actresses have to take a smaller cut if they truly want to be in the project that may have a smaller budget.
The politics of acting can skew our perception of assuming all blockbuster stars are equal but that’s definitely not the case. The on-screen talent will take lesser pay at times to get a role they badly want or feel could help set them up for bigger pay and a higher demand in the future. That’s also the reason we often see many great talents take poor rom-com movie roles once in a while as a “cash grab” to make up for a smaller pay in prior films. We’re looking at some of the cases that featured one specific actor or actress making much more than their co-stars in films you may not have expected this to happen.
10 Leonardo DiCaprio > Jonah Hill - The Wolf of Wall Street
9 Jackie Chan > John Cusack and Adrien Brody - Dragon Blade
8 David Duchovny > Gillian Anderson - The X-Files
7 John Travolta > Joaquin Phoenix - Ladder 49
6 Jim Carrey > Jeff Daniels - Dumb and Dumber
5 Julia Roberts > Natalie Portman - Closer
4 Mel Gibson > Danny Glover - Lethal Weapon 4
3 Cameron Diaz > Drew Barrymore > Lucy Liu - Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle
2 Harrison Ford > Daisy Ridley and John Boyega - Star Wars: The Force Awakens
1 Robert Downey Jr. > Everyone - The Avengers: Age of Ultron
The rise of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has led to Robert Downey Jr. becoming the highest paid actor in Hollywood and earning far more money than any of his Avengers teammates. Downey made $40 million for his work in Avengers: Age of Ultron and more than quadrupled the pay of most of the other stars. Scarlett Johannson raked in an outstanding $20 million for her role as Black Window but it was half of Downey’s pay. Everyone else earned $7 million or less for their work in the film. Marvel apparently wanted Robert Downey Jr. to live the character of Tony Stark in real life as he’s by far the wealthiest Avenger and the richest man in Hollywood these days.
Sources: theloop.ca, screenrant.com, variety.com, cinemablend.com
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