The Hunger Games is something of a phenomenon. The adventures of Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have captured imaginations worldwide and have helped make their creator, Suzanne Collins, incredibly wealthy. In fact, her estimated net worth is greater than any of the actors and actresses in this list, with a fortune of around $70 million generated by her Hunger Games trilogy, the Underland Chronicles series and various other books.
Considering the huge amounts that The Hunger Games and its sequel have taken at the global box office, it's shocking how little the cast were paid for the first installment: The Hunger Games (2012) was made on a budget of $78 million but took in over $691 million worldwide. The much anticipated sequel, Catching Fire (2013), cost more to make at $130 million but also raked in a higher box office gross, with more than $864 million making the movie's big budget seem like a bargain.
With two more sequels to come, Mockingjay Part 1 (2014) and Mockingjay Part 2 (2015), the quarter of a billion dollars being spent on making both of these films means producers are likely expecting well over a billion dollars in total gross from the two installments. The Twilight Saga movie franchise made $3.3 billion over five films, and many are hypothesising that the Hunger Games films will eventually overtake that figure.
The following are the ten richest lead actors in the Hunger Games franchise. Of course, with bigger and more successful sequels come larger salaries, so we can expect to see many of the figures on this list swell considerably in the coming years...
Warning: Contains Plot Spoilers
10 Liam Hemsworth: Estimated net worth of $1.5 million
9 Josh Hutcherson: Estimated net worth of $2 million
Another young actor not doing too badly for himself is Joshua Ryan Hutcherson, who at the age of 21 is already worth $2 million. Hutcherson has been in several films that have grossed over $100 million worldwide, including the animated film Epic (2013) and Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008). Playing the pivotal role of Peeta Mellark in the Hunger Games franchise has helped Hutcherson's star rise and certainly made his bank balance healthier.
8 Elizabeth Banks: Estimated net worth of $16.5 million
This stunning 40-year old actress has branched out into production and directing; her feature-length directorial debut will be 2015's Pitch Perfect 2 (she has previously directed shorts and segments). With roles in smash hits such as The LEGO Movie (2014) and The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Banks is the actress who often lands important supporting roles. Her performance as the seemingly vacuous Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games films has so far been outstanding, contributing to the movies' critical acclaim.
7 Stanley Tucci: Estimated net worth of $18.5 million
6 Lenny Kravitz: Estimated net worth of $30 million
Cameos and supporting roles in films like The Hunger Games, Precious and The Butler may have bulked up Kravitz's fortune, but it's of course the 40 million or so records that the musician and actor has sold worldwide that have contributed most to his net worth. With global hits like "Are You Gonna Go My Way" and "Fly Away" in his repertoire it is hardly surprising that his Greatest Hits album from 2000 sold over three million copies in the USA alone. Playing Cinna might just be something for the rock star to do in his downtime, but it's a performance he has carried out with aplomb.
5 Philip Seymour Hoffman: Estimated net worth of $35 million
The late actor was a giant in character acting, leading to his victory at the 78th Academy Awards in 2006, when he won the Best Actor Oscar for his excellent performance in Capote (2005). Hoffman appeared in blockbusters (Mission: Impossible III, Twister) and performance-driven films (Magnolia, Boogie Nights) alike, and he always seemed able to supply a memorable turn regardless of the part given to him, including in the role of Plutarch Heavensbee in the Hunger Games. He died in 2014, aged 46.
4 Julianne Moore: Estimated net worth of $40 million
3 Donald Sutherland: Estimated net worth of $40 million
Having a successful acting career spanning over six decades is a good recipe for personal wealth and a host of plaudits. Canadian actor Donald Sutherland has been in some genuinely classic movies: Don't Look Now, Ordinary People and JFK. The 79-year-old has won an Emmy, two Golden Globes and is delighting audiences everywhere with his towering portrayal of the ruthless and ghastly President Coriolanus Snow.
2 Jennifer Lawrence: Estimated net worth of $53.9 million
Considering her salary for The Hunger Games was $500,000, it's astonishing how Jennifer Lawrence's fortunes have multiplied in recent years. The 24-year-old Kentuckian has been an exemplary Katniss Everdeen, and she has proved she has some serious acting prowess after winning an Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook (2012) and being nominated for both Winter's Bone (2010) and American Hustle (2013). Appearing as Mystique in the recent X-Men films has certainly assisted in bolstering her bank balance; films featuring this actress have grossed over $3.2 billion. Things could have been so different though; Lawrence auditioned for the role of Bella in the Twilight series but the part eventually went to Kristen Stewart.
1 Woody Harrelson: Estimated net worth of $65 million
Three interesting facts about Woody Harrelson: His first name is Woodrow, his father was a hitman who murdered a federal judge and his films have amassed more than $4.1 billion at the box office. Known for his controversial political views and ideologies, Harrelson has enjoyed steady acting work for over 20 years: White Men Can't Jump, Indecent Proposal, Natural Born Killers, The People vs. Larry Flynt, No Country for Old Men, The Messenger, Zombieland, 2012. Starring as the unforgettable character of Woody Boyd in 200 episodes of Cheers definitely helped set Harrelson on the way to such financially-friendly heights, and now he's enjoying a prolonged period in the limelight as Haymitch Abernathy in The Hunger Games films.