Has anyone else ever wondered how much actors actually make? Or maybe how they even make money? Well, it’s all about economics-how in-demand are they? This will affect how much money the actor, or more likely their agent, can request for each film. How large of a role do they have in that particular film? How big is the production’s budget? The biggest contributing factor is whether or not they belong to a union. Unions make sure all actors and actresses receive at least a minimum daily or weekly wage depending on their type of acting gig. Minimum pay for an actor or actress per day of work if they belong to a union is around $750. If the actor or actress do not belong to a union, a minimum does not exist. They can be paid as little as $100 a week or even as much as $1 million a week. It just depends on the person ultimately.
10. Friends Cast: $1 million per episode
In the last two seasons of Friends, the cast came together to renegotiate their insufficient salary per episode for an expensive $1 million each. At the time, this marked the highest salary paid to a half hour show. This was quite a jump from their measly $75,000 in season 3. I may need to pull out the last two seasons from my Friends collection (I have all ten, no judgment please) to evaluate whether or not they deserved this crazy amount of money for not even thirty minutes of air time. Who am I kidding…of course they did. Where would our television shows be today without Ross, Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, and Joey!? Absolutely nowhere.
And for all you Friends fans out there, the reunion is not going to happen. It broke my heart to come to this realization but co-creator Kauffman has made it pretty clear that this idea will, unfortunately, never come to fruition.
9. Megan Fox: Estimated net worth of $5 million
Have you ever heard anyone say, “Who is Megan Fox?” I didn’t think so. But surprisingly the Transformers franchise didn’t see her name too valuable. Fox’s salary was $800,000 for Transformers 2. Many people believe that this is the reason why Fox did not return for the third movie but there were possibly some other contributing factors at play.
It is safe to say that Fox was bitter about her significantly small salary compared to her co-star Shia LaBeouf’s $5 million. This factor most likely played a role in her attitude and morale toward her job and her director. But, instead of negotiating a new salary, she got kicked out of one of the most famous action film franchises. But something tells me she won’t have a hard time finding another gig.
8. Chris Hemsworth: Estimated net worth of $12 million
According to Hypable.com, “(Thor) is a far bigger actor now than he was when The Avengers was signing on cast members, so he’s most likely expecting a bigger pay raise. He’s reportedly told Marvel that he won’t show up for Avengers 2 for what they’ve offered him so far. As he was paid $5 million for Snow White and the Huntsmen, he’s unwilling to take a pay cut for a film that is expected to make at least $1.5 billion at the box office.” Considering that Robert Downy, Jr. will make more than $50 million off of The Avengers franchise due to his amazing reps after the first Iron Man hit big and won Downey considerable backend percentages and bonuses linked to box office benchmarks, it is inevitable that a growing star like Chris Hemsworth is stating his worth as an actor.
Although Hemsworth’s net worth is not as high as some of the actors on this list, a net worth of $12 million seems pretty high for an actor whose career is relatively young. With hits such as Thor, Thor 2, The Avengers, Snow White and the Huntsman, Star Trek Into Darkness and Rush, it’s inevitable that Hemsworth will be rolling in the dough and with plenty of upcoming offers. Four of which, are lined up with three currently in the making.
Plus, he isn’t the worst guy to look at.
7. Terrence Howard: Estimated net worth of $20 million
As only a few know, Terrence Howard was signed on the original Iron Man film as the highest paid actor. More than Robert Downey Jr.’s contract. With $4.5 million in Howard’s contract, it is surprising to know that he was not Marvel’s first choice for the character of Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes. The filmmakers actually wanted Don Cheadle for the role initially, but lucky for Howard, Cheadle declined. Before the first film turned out to be such a success, Howard signed a contract for $8 million for the sequel. When Iron Man 2 came into motion, Marvel had made the decision to cut his contracted salary of $8 million down to $1 million. It is believed that this salary reduction was due to the fact that Marvel wanted to oust Howard out of the franchise, but needed him to have a reason to walk away in order to bring in Don Cheadle for the part. Howard’s performance in the first film was not received well by director Jon Favreau, which brought into reconsideration of Don Cheadle. Well, their goal was achieved. Howard wouldn’t accept the significant reduction and walked.
6. Katherine Heigl: Estimated net worth of $25 million
In 2009, Heigl was dropped from the ensemble romantic comedy Valentine’s Day because of her apparent outrageous demand of an astronomical salary. Competing with much bigger names than hers, Heigl was to be co-starring with Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, Shirley Maclaine, George Lopez and much more.
Heigl didn’t see a reason why she shouldn’t be paid a salary of $3 million up front for the film. While there was no lead role, no actor in the film was paid that much. A source reported by Fox News called that salary “ridiculous” since the movie had “an ensemble cast where there is really no one lead role. Actors are only filming between three and 14 days, and no other actors asked for nearly that amount.” Of course, Heigl’s reps defended her by denying any accusations as to why she was not in the film. “The story is ludicrous. Early negotiations are a daily occurrence in this business, and just for clarification, Katherine walked away from this project for multiple reasons.” Although various sources note that Heigl has large salary expectations we cannot be sure of what really happened, we can only assume.
5. Michael C. Hall: Estimated net worth $35 million
After season 6 of thriller Dexter, Michael C. Hall’s contract was to expire, giving him the chance to renegotiate his salary with the series. Contract negotiations had come to a halt once Showtime and Hall hit a wall of $4 million. Hall and his representatives requested $24 million for the next two seasons but Showtime was drawing their line at $20 million. At a $24 million figure, Hall would bring in a cool $1 million per episode for the last two seasons.
With the dark drama being Showtime’s highest-rated show at the time, $1 million shouldn’t have been a tough decision to award their most popular actor. And we’re guessing since Dexter made it to season 8, Hall got what he wanted. Maybe the actor is so different from his character, getting what they want seems to be a similar trait in the two.
Hall’s icy cold stare has his fans completely entranced and wanting more. Will we see Hall after the dramatic and cliffhanging series finale which aired back in 2013? Keep your eyes open Dexter fans!
4. Bruce Willis: Estimated net worth of $150 million
A twitter feud brought to light the tension between The Expendables stars, Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone. Calling Willis greedy and lazy, Stallone added those characteristics are a “Sure Formula For Career Failure.” Did Stallone really say this to Bruce Willis. Stallone may be a talented actor with few good films under his belt, Bruce Willis seems to take the cake between the two.
The fallout was over a specific money demand. Willis was offered $3 million for four days of consecutive work on location in Bulgaria for the film. But the mighty Bruce Willis turned down that offer, countering them with $4 million and a threat that he’d drop out if he didn’t get that amount. One million dollars a day. Wow. I guess he felt like he deserved that. Stallone and everyone involved in the production gave Willis a firm “no.” Stallone then quickly reached out to Harrison Ford who jumped at the chance.
3. Charlie Sheen: Estimated net worth $125 million
When he was still playing the middle-aged millionaire on the unforgettable series Two and a Half Men, Sheen was making a jaw-dropping $1.8 million per episode. He was the highest paid actor on TV before he was fired from his monumental role. Although he was the highest paid actor on television, Sheen was just not satisfied. He demanded $3 million if CBS wanted him to come back to set after production was stalled due to his verbal attacks on the creators of the show. Claiming he was underpaid, Sheen accused Chuck Lorre, creator of the show, of trying to destroy his family. Sheen definitely did not get the outcome he expected. Two and a Half Men decided to cut ties with the actor. To Sheen’s dismay, the show continued on without the need of his centripetal force keeping the empire intact. The show also had a very sympathetic way of saying their goodbyes to the actor by killing him off. I’m sure there was a clever message there for Sheen to interpret.
It didn’t take Charlie long to move on from the dispute. Starring in his own show Anger Management, Sheen doesn’t seem to be doing too bad after his short term unemployment. Not to mention starring in some films here and there. Maybe Two and a Half Men did Sheen favor! Do you think he’s winning?
2. Leonardo DiCaprio: Estimated net worth of $200 million
We couldn’t write this list without including the jaw-dropping Leonardo DiCaprio. The actor hasn’t made less than $1 million since 1995. In 1993, DiCaprio made $75,000 for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and $150,000 for The Quick and the Dead in 1995. That salary jumped to $1 million later that year in The Basketball Diaries, and then it was “the rest is history.” DiCaprio made an average of $20 million after 1995. And in 2010, the actor hit the jackpot role in Inception, earning him a $59 million salary including shares of the proceeds. He has reached the top of the list in Hollywood, coming a long way in his 20 year old feature film career.
The Los Angeles native made $10 million in his most recent film The Wolf of Wall Street and $20 million in The Great Gatsby. For a guy getting his big break in Titanic, earning him $2.5 million, it looks like Hollywood has been treating him pretty well since then.
1. Johnny Depp: Estimated net worth $350 million
Lets start with the one and only Johnny Depp. Depp apparently refused to take a 50% pay cut of his usual salary per film of $20 million for the highly anticipated, “Black Mass,” a biopic about the Boston gangster Whitey Bulger. $10 million seems like a pretty good deal to us, but not to Depp.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the initial deal was $20 million for Depp but once a soft sale at Cannes took place, the budget of the film took a hit, in the high $60 million range. Depp was then asked to cut his salary in half but refused.
Depp was listed as the Highest Paid Actor in the 2012 Guinness Book of World Records, with a whopping $75 million.
With all these accomplishments on his resume, should we be surprised that Depp would turn down $10 million? Does he deserve over $20 million a movie? I guess that is up to his fans to determine.
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