There's a new way to make money in 2018. It comes in one catsuit-wearing, power-wielding package and it's called being a Marvel actor. The Marvel Cinematic Universe didn't mess around when it came to thinking of a name. It truly is a universe. Scarlett Johansson has already signed a $25 million contract to star in her own Black Widow movie. Robert Downey Jr's smiling face is all over the news – most of us would smile if our 2017 earnings were $48 million. To be fair, no Marvel movie has managed to gross $1 billion without him.
In 2018, Business Insider gave us a sneak peek at Marvel salaries. We learned that Chris Evans was paid $1 million for Captain America: The First Avenger. Chris Hemsworth's initial paycheck for Thor in 2011 was $150,000. Times have changed, though. The MCU is a global franchise that scoops up the industry's top A-Listers, and these individuals are as demanding as they are talented. What's most surprising though, is who is earning the most. The MCU's less-prominent faces are raking in way more money than an average "sideline" actor, but it's worth it for Marvel. Avengers: Infinity War broke global box office records in its opening weekend with $640 million in ticket sales. The Gamer and MensXP have broken the figures down. Looking at where the money is going, here are the top 25 earning Marvel actors in 2018.
25 CAPTAIN AMERICA's $8 MILLION IS THE ICING ON THE CAPE
Leading the Avengers comes with a price tag. Then again, Chris Evans is totally worth the investment. In 2016, Forbes ranked Chris Evans as the best value actor in Hollywood– for every dollar spent, Chris rakes in $135.80 for the studio. Chris is estimated to have earned $1 million from his first Avengers appearance. By the time Captain America: The Winter Soldier came around, that figure had jumped to $2.3 million. Nearly quadrupling for Avengers: Infinity War, Chris' pay was $8 million. Chris is hanging up the cape, though.
24 NAME ANOTHER TREE WORTH $160 MILLION
Statistics on trees don't usually come with seven figures. Enter Groot. Vin Diesel has been voicing this much-adored sentient tree since Guardians of the Galaxy. Although Vin isn't the highest-paid actor per movie, his Fast & Furious roles combined with the MCU make him the highest-paid actor, statistically. Fun fact: Vin prepped his role as Groot by walking around the Fast & Furious set on stilts.
With $54.5 million earned in one year, Vin Diesel is the highest-paid Marvel actor in 2018.
23 $25 MILLION FOR A STANDALONE BLACK WIDOW MOVIE
When you're earning what Scarlett Johansson is, you get to hold your head high. You're looking at the highest grossing female film star of all time. ScarJo has already signed a $25 million deal to take her iconic Black Widow role solo. In 2018, The Guardian named her the highest-paid female actor with earnings of $40.5 million. While Scarlett's pay was around $5.4 million for earlier Avengers movies, the paycheck for this hard-hitting redhead was $20 million for Avengers: Infinity War.
22 ROBERT DOWNEY JR. IS SET TO BE RICHER THAN TONY STARK
Learning that Robert Downey Jr. earned $48 million in 2017 may have made headlines, but it's old news now. In 2018, The Telegraph told us where things stand: the man behind Tony Stark is set to be paid $200 million for the next Avengers movie. Taking up half of the actors' budget, this figure will represent a huge jump from Iron Man's earlier roles. Iron Man earned Robert $500,000. Iron Man 2 netted him $10 million. Avengers: Infinity War sat at $50 million, and it's only going up.
21 A SWEET $60 MILLION FOR PEPPER POTTS
For someone who started out as an assistant, the net worth behind Pepper Potts isn't bad. Prior to Avengers: Infinity War, Gwyneth Paltrow's highest-grossing Marvel contribution was the $409,013,994 that Iron Man 3 earned. Gwyneth is one of the cast's more vocal actresses – "look, nobody is worth the money that Robert Downey Jr. is worth," she told The Independent in 2015. Gwyneth's salary for Avengers: Infinity War hasn't been revealed, but fans know that Pepper Potts is a valuable asset. We'll assume the salary reflects that.
20 HAPPY HOGAN IS JUST AS COMFORTABLE
Happy Hogan may be pointing to Marvel's highest-paid actor here, but his own net worth deserves a pat on the back. Jon Favreau made his first Marvel appearance in 2008 – for many though, the Iron Man 2 boxing scene makes Scarlett stand out more than Jon. That said, this character has risen from trainer and assistant to head of security, and the actor's $60 million net worth is reflecting it. The majority of Jon's wealth comes from producer credits– Jon was executive producer for Avengers: Infinity War.
19 THOR IS WELL-COMPENSATED FOR HIS DUTIES
With his flowing blonde locks, bulging biceps, and iconic metallic armor, Thor isn't a face that Hollywood will forget. Chris Hemsworth admitted to Business Insider that he "almost lost out the role" to his younger brother, Liam. Despite thinking that he had "blown" the audition, Chris was cast. His salary for Avengers: Infinity War is estimated at $12 million. Chris' overall net worth is estimated at $70-90 million.
Chris Hemsworth earned $12 million from Avengers: Infinity War. The role almost went to his brother.
18 GUARDING GALAXIES PAYS WELL AT $5 MILLION
Defending inter-dimensional batteries isn't your regular security job. Chris Pratt is the sitcom actor-turned-superhero that nobody saw coming. Star-Lord is now one of Marvel's biggest faces, and this former sitcom actor is now worth $30 million. Chris was paid an estimated $1.5 million for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.1. With his popularity from Jurassic and Marvel's overall success though, that figure jumped to $5 million for Avengers: Infinity War. Chris has admitted that he felt too "fat" during MCU auditions. He whipped into shape fast, though.
17 THE HULK IS WORTH $30 MILLION
It must be pretty fun to have "destroying everything in sight" as your job description. The Hulk has backup in his ability to regenerate organs and limbs, but the actor behind the angry green face is just as well supported. Mark Ruffalo has starred in six Marvel movies, including The Avengers, Thor: Ragnarok, and Avengers: Infinity War. He is a confirmed face for the as-yet-untitled Avengers 4. Mark's most recent estimated Avengers salary was $5-6 million. His overall net worth is $30 million, though.
16 SCARLET WITCH'S $5 MILLION IS SET TO RISE
There's nothing wrong with being a newer face – everybody starts somewhere. Despite early (and somewhat embarrassing) appearances on The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley, Elizabeth Olsen hasn't built her career on her famous sisters. Scarlet Witch first appeared in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, although it's Avengers: Infinity War that made Elizabeth an A-Lister. Her salary for the 2018 movie is said to have been $5 million, with predictions that her pay will significantly rise.
"Avengers 4 will be the best thing ever," Elizabeth Olsen claims.
15 HAWKEYE IS WORTH $50 MILLION
There's a huge amount of speculation right now over who will feature in Avengers 4. Vanity Fair has stated that Jeremy Renner's Marvel contract spans five movies. With Jeremy not appearing in Avengers: Infinity War, it is assumed that his final appearance will be in the upcoming Avengers 4. Jeremy reportedly earned $6 million for Captain America: Civil War. That's nothing compared to his overall net worth of $50 million– likely amassed from high-profile roles in American Hustle and Mission Impossible.
14 ANT-MAN IS WORTH $30 MILLION
Paul Rudd is enjoying all kinds of fame in 2018. Fans still agree that this former rom-com and Friends actor's MCU casting was unexpected. Paul has aced it, though. The tiny superhero, Ant-Man has his own movie, plus he will be appearing in Avengers 4. Paul's up-front fee for Ant-Man was reportedly just $300,000 although a bonus raised that to $1.5 million. The $30 million net worth makes sense when you remember that Paul has starred in over 50 movies and 30 TV series.
13 THE WASP IS WORTH $15 MILLION
There is definitely a gender pay gap in Hollywood – Benedict Cumberbatch, for instance, has refused to take a role unless his female co-star receives equal pay. While Evangeline Lilly's $15 million net worth feels like a huge drop compared to her co-star, Paul Rudd, it's important to remember that she has starred in less blockbuster roles. Evangeline is reported to have been paid $6 million for Ant-Man and the Wasp. We can't wait to see The Wasp in Avengers 4.
12 IF ONLY WEARING EYE PATCHES EARNED US $6 MILLION
Somehow, it just wouldn't be an MCU movie without the hard-hitting authority from Nick Fury. In many ways, Samuel L. Jackson was born for the role– the guy can intimidate anyone just by looking at them. Samuel signed a 9-movie contract with Marvel, which first saw him in Iron Man. His reported salary for two MCU movies is up to $6 million. That isn't what stands out, though. With an overall net worth of $220 million, Samuel L. Jackson is one of the wealthiest actors in Hollywood.
11 IF ONLY BEING A DESTROYER EARNED US $2 MILLION
Some MCU actors have to get into shape for their roles. For Dave Bautista, the package was ready on the shelf. The former WWE wrestler took on the role of Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy, returning for both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4. Dave's salary, according to The Daily Mail was $1 million for his first Marvel appearance. Many fans have speculated that Bautista's paychecks have risen since then. Dave's overall net worth sits at $13 million – wrestling, Riddick, and The Scorpion King 3 have earned him plenty.
10 THE $9.7 MILLION MARVEL IS DANGLING AT THIS GUY
From Sherlock to Sorcerer Supreme – Benedict Cumberbatch has had quite the career roller coaster. Doctor Strange is one of the most captivating characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and we're not talking about the face paint. The role may also become incredibly lucrative for Benedict. In 2018, The Mirror reported that a Doctor Strange sequel salary will nearly triple Benedict's original Marvel salary of $2.9 million.
A Doctor Strange sequel could be bumping up Benedict Cumberbatch's salary to $9.7 million.
9 BLACK PANTHER STARTED WITH A HUMBLE HALF MILLION
It's called climbing the ranks. If anyone has done that in lighting speed, it's Chadwick Boseman. In 2018, Black Panther became a cultural phenomenon, not to mention grossing over $1 billion worldwide. T'Challa signed a 5-movie deal with Marvel a few years ago, and we're already seeing the effects. A mere $200,000 was Chadwick's pay in Captain America: Civil War, but that's history. Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and the untitled Avengers 4 movie have earned Chadwick a net worth of $5 million. Expect that to rise.
8 SPIDER-MAN WEAVES A HEALTHY $4 MILLION
In 2018, the creator of Marvel's comics, Stan Lee gave Tom Holland the greatest compliment there is. Stan said that Tom was "the Spider-Man I envisioned." As fans agree that Tom's performance sets him apart from other actors, we're expecting great things from this 22 year-old face. The youngest superhero already has a solo movie to his credit – oh, and a net worth of $4 million. That may seem feeble compared to the multi-millions from other cast members, but mark our words – Tom will rise.
7 THOR IS LOOKING AT $60 MILLION
Jane Foster may require a bit of memory jogging, but it's unlikely that Thor has forgotten this astrophysicist. In 2011, Natalie Portman was cast as Jane in Thor – remember those "quarters" that Thor called her cramped living space? Jane returned in 2013 for Thor: The Dark World. While Natalie appears to have left the franchise, she leaves a $60 million footprint. The Oscar-winning actress has been one of the highest-paid women in the industry, with movies like Black Swan and lucrative Dior contracts.
6 THAT'S $20 MILLION WORTH OF GREEN PAINT
Guardians of the Galaxy did a lot of favors for a lot of people. The movies basically put Chris Pratt on the A-list level, plus they really gave him a chance to shine. Likewise benefiting from the franchise, is Zoe Saldana. The alien assassin, Gamora stands out as the only female member of the Guardians. The most dangerous woman in the galaxy has a weapon that she doesn't advertise, though – her $20 million net worth.
Here is Zoe Saldana with her Gamora body double.
5 ODIN'S $160 MILLION EMPIRE
If anything is proof of a Hollywood legend, it's an IMDB page that immediately drops down to a 1991 movie – and yet, the actor is still huge. Anthony Hopkins is now 80 years old. The iconic actor has decades of movies under his belt, but Marvel couldn't pass up the opportunity to cast him. Anthony joined as Odin in Thor. The former King of Asgard and protector of the nine realms has a $160 million fortune to protect, though. He is one of the richest actors of all time.
4 GRANDMASTER'S GRAND $40 MILLION
It's definitely a pattern with Marvel's actors – the wealthiest actors aren't necessarily the most prominent. With an illustrious career behind him, Jeff Goldblum was already a multi-millionaire when he joined the franchise as Grandmaster in Guardians of the Galaxy. Returning in Thor: Ragnarok likely added to Jeff's net worth, which sits at $40 million. Of course, $40 million isn't going to stagnate when you're also cast in blockbusters like Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Jeff's salary for Thor: Ragnarok was $7.5 million.
3 $250,000 PER EPISODE FOR JESSICA JONES
It isn't an empire without conquering TV. Marvel makes the majority of its profits through movies, but the TV shows aren't far behind. Krysten Ritter has been synonymous with her character, Jessica Jones since the self-titled TV show began airing in 2015. You can always trust Marvel to pick well. Looking to Breaking Bad for an actress, Marvel picked Jessica. She is reported to have a salary of $250,000 per episode. Not quite The Big Bang Theory's $1 million per episode, but impressive, nonetheless.
2 LOKI LOCKED DOWN AN $8 MILLION PAYCHECK
Being the villain pays. The God of Mischief may have a cute name, but Loki is a force to be reckoned with. Tom Hiddleston has played the character since he was introduced in Thor – a role that gained enough praise for Tom to be re-cast. With Tom's "no resurrection" quote to The Express, the most that we can hope for is the Avengers 4 flashback scene, which Tom has been seen filming. Tom's net worth sits at $20 million– $8 million of which came from Avengers: Infinity War.
1 FANS FEEL KAREN GILLAN SHOULD EARN MORE
Karen Gillan is just another British actress who has taken Hollywood by storm. Karen took on the role of Nebula with full force – she shaved her head for Guardians of the Galaxy. Not surprisingly, being able to keep her top layer of hair for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was "the best gift ever" for Karen. Nebula will return in Avengers 4.
With a net worth of just $2 million, CBR described the Nebula actress as one of Marvel's "poorest" stars.
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