Considering that Marvel films seem to have a licence to print money, it's tempting to think that all the stars in their movies are breaking the bank with every appearance. Well, yeah, they kind of are. It just doesn't work the way you're probably imagining. While Robert Downey Jr. makes a minimum of $40 million per film and Scarlett Johansson has used her incredible star power to coerce Marvel into paying her in excess of $6 million per film, most of the other actors in the Marvel films didn't start out with that kind of love. Marvel and the other studios involved in these films have created a ladder-like pay system for their actors. First, you start out small, signing on for several films and committing to show up in basically whatever they want you in. With each appearance, the actor's salary increases. They also get back-end deals which can be extremely lucrative if the film is successful. Now, before you say, obviously, these films are going to be successful, please remember that Marvel was also responsible for Fantastic Four. Success is not a given.
Now, when we're dealing with the type of superstars like the ones in this list, all salaries and talk about low pay is relative. These people are rich and they're making loads of money, but they aren't making that RDJ or ScarJo money. We've gone through and looked at the reported salaries for each of the stars in all of the Marvel films and have listed the most surprising of the bunch. The people on this list were the ones who made the least amount of money. We are going to consider the back-end deals, but we're going to try to look beyond that as well. Since guaranteed money is a better indicator of how much an actor was worth to Marvel, the up front numbers are going to hold more weight. Without further ado, here are the 15 lowest paid stars in Marvel films.
15 Zoe Saldana, $100K+, Guardians of the Galaxy
14 Anthony Mackie, $100K+, Avengers: Age of Ultron
13 Karen Gillan, $140K, Guardians of the Galaxy
12 Lee Pace, $175K, Guardians of the Galaxy
11 Gwyneth Paltrow, Not Much, Iron Man
10 Chadwick Boseman, Under $200K+, Captain America: Civil War
9 Andrew Garfield, $500K, The Amazing Spider-Man
8 Don Cheadle, $1M, Iron Man 2
7 Chris Pratt, $350K+, Guardians of the Galaxy
6 Paul Rudd, $300K+, Ant-Man
5 Jeremy Renner, $500K+, The Avengers
4 Chris Evans, $300K+, Captain America: The First Avenger
3 Chris Hemsworth, $200K+, Thor
2 Mark Ruffalo, $500K+, The Avengers
1 Tom Hiddleston, $160K, The Avengers
Poor Tom Hiddleston. This guy was shortlisted for the part of Thor only to cast as the devious brother, Loki. While the part is amazing and Hiddleston hits it out of the park, there is a significant drop-off in salary between the two parts. Since Chris Hemsworth only made $200,000 for Thor, we can assume that Hiddleston's salary was significantly less. When everyone came back for The Avengers and Loki was cast as the villain, Hiddleston must have been as excited as a pig in poo. The superheroes on The Avengers team were making millions in that film, you would think that Hiddleston got to share some of that pie too, but he didn't. While his co-stars counted their millions of dollars, Loki only made about $160,000 for his part in The Avengers.
Sources: CinemaBlend; IMDB; Forbes
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