A List Actors & Their Biggest Paydays

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Jim Carrey and Julia Roberts broke down doors when it came to actors earning the big bucks for movie projects, but ever since Carrey earned $20 million for The Cable Guy in ’95 and Roberts earned $20 million for Erin Brockovich in ’99, the salaries of major actors have only gotten bigger and better.

In this article we take a look at the biggest salaries ever received for movies.

And it’s not the greatest news if you’re a woman.

Keanu Reeves

Movie: The Matrix: Reloaded / The Matrix: Revolutions

Salary: $256 Million Dollars

It’s often claimed Keanu Reeves took home around $150 million for the final two movies in The Matrix trilogy, but a source tells us that it was almost a hundred million more than that with Reeves getting $15 million per movie and an additional 15% of the total gross. Reeves allegedly donated a huge chunk of his total takings, which makes him an ageless vampire and a philanthropist.

Bruce Willis

Movie: The Sixth Sense

Salary: $100 Million Dollars

Loving the M. Night Shyamalan script, Willis took a huge pay cut to star in the iconic thriller, agreeing a salary of $10 million (down from his usual 20) and a share in the gross, which evidently is how you make the big money as a Hollywood actor. The gamble paid off and Willis received almost exactly $100 million dollars when all was done.

Tom Cruise

Movie: War of the Worlds

Salary: $100 Million Dollars

Tom Cruise is one of the most successful actors in the world in part due to the lucrative Mission: Impossible franchise, but it was actually thanks to his decision not to take any salary for Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of War of the Worlds and just a percentage of the gross, that saw the actor earn his biggest payday of a stunning $100 million dollars.

Mission: Impossible 2 & 3 come close, however, with Cruise receiving a mouth-watering $75 million to star in each.

Will Smith

Movie: Men In Black 3

Salary: $100 Million Dollars

The only black actor on our list, Will Smith, on a lukewarm run at the box office, signed up for the third instalment of Men In Black for a reported $20 million dollars and a stake in the home video earnings as well as a percentage of the gross. End result? $100 million dollars. It wasn’t all good, though. MIB3’s production was so notoriously bad and the gross disappointing for the studio that a sequel is unlikely to ever happen.

Sandra Bullock

Movie: Gravity

Salary: $70 Million Dollars +

One of only two women to make the list, Sandra Bullock made one of the best deals in Hollywood history, signing up for the science-fiction disaster film Gravity for a huge lump sump payment of $20 million dollars and 15% of the gross of the movie. That resulted in Sandy walking away with her biggest payday for a movie ever with $70 million dollars.

And that figure doesn’t include the share of the DVDs and TV revenues Bullock apparently also received a share in.

Harrison Ford

Movie: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Salary: $65 Million Dollars

Forbes claim Paramount agreed to split most of the profits between Spielberg, George Lucas and Harrison Ford, which results in the latter making a nice $65 million off his last outing as the adventurer.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Movie: Inception

Salary: $59 Million

Vanity Fair claims DiCaprio bypassed a salary and just took points in Christopher Nolan’s convoluted blockbuster. Another smart decision by a smart actor who was $59 million dollars richer by the end of it.

Jack Nicholson

Movie: Batman

Salary: $56 Million Dollars

You would think Jack’s biggest payday might be something like Anger Management or As Good As It Gets, but after agreeing to a pay cut of $6 million dollars (down from 10) and  a share of the gross (damn smart), Nicholson earned more than anyone else in the movie, including the titular actor and director Tim Burton. That $56 million remains the biggest payday for Jack and also a superhero film.

Johnny Depp

Movie: Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides

Salary: $55 Million Dollars

With Orlando Bloom and Keira Kightley departing the franchise, Disney resorted to paying Johnny Depp an upfront $35 million dollars to star in the fourth instalment of the pirates franchise, as well as agreeing a small percentage of the gross.

Robert Downey Jr.

Movie: The Avengers

Salary: $55 Million Dollars

Not only did Robert Downey Jr. get above the title and top billing, Downey also earned more than everybody in the superhero ensemble combined with an insane $50 million payday for the Joss Whedon movie. Not bad for an actor once on the lowest rung of Hollywood.

Cameron Diaz

Movie: Bad Teacher

Salary: $42 Million Dollars

It was Diaz’s last hit movie before her abrupt retirement and like Bullock, Diaz signed up for a salary and a big share in the overall gross. The Mask actress received $1 million upfront and ended up walking home with $42 million when the movie grossed over $200 million at the box office. Not bad for a movie that the critics hated.

Tom Hanks

Movie: Forest Gump

Salary: $40 Million Dollars

During one of the greatest and most successful runs of any actor ever, Hanks parlayed that into a starring role in the now iconic Forest Gump and – like director Robert Zemeckis – instead of taking a salary took profit participation. The director and star both made $40 million dollars.

The author of the book, however, only received a small upfront salary and his percentage points in the movie resulting in nothing as the studio claimed. See: Hollywood Accounting.

 

88th Academy Awards Results

It was a successful Academy Awards with many shocks and twists. I won’t bother with the categories that no one cares about, but here’s the ones that matter –

Best Picture – Spotlight

Best Director – Alejandro G. Inarritu (The Revenant)

Best Actress – Brie Larson (Room)

Best Actor – Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Best Supporting Actor – Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)

Best Support Actress – Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

 

Leonardo DiCaprio ‘Raped’ in The Revenant

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It’s the movie critics as hailing as Leonardo DiCaprio’s overdue Oscar win, but The Revenant has become somewhat of a martyr before its release. A strangely long shoot has caused speculation regarding a difficult set and a combative cast and crew. But for once, the news regarding The Revenant actually regards the movie.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s character will be raped twice by a bear, according to the Drudge Report. The movie, which revolves around a legendary frontiersman who is promptly abandoned in the wild and needs to find his way home, features the controversial scene early in the movie, when DiCaprio’s character is viciously attacked by the bear and flipped on his back to be molested several times.

The Revenant, complete with bear rape and Leonardo DiCaprio, will be released on December 25th 2015.

Leonardo DiCaprio in Cannes

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It always confuse me just how much Leo DiCaprio’s weight fluctuates. Sometimes Leo, 40, can be one of the hottest men on the planet and other times he can be a beached whale. If only he was that versatile in his film roles!

Here’s Leo in Cannes, relaxing on the yacht of a friend. Juliette Lewis, 41, (Remember her?) joins him. Did you know she’s a Scientologist. She’s a Scientologist. I don’t think anything is going on between them. After all, she’s not a twenty five year old model.

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