It's no secret that actors get paid big bucks for their big screen appearances but exactly just how much they make is actually astounding. Stars can easily bring in millions for a single film and some A-list actors can actually demand over $20 million per role. These members of the Hollywood elite have spent their entire careers working their way up to their incredibly impressive rate. And while it may seem like an exorbitant salary, these massive paydays are actually becoming increasingly more common.
Jim Carrey secured his place as one of Hollywood's highest paid actors back in 1995 when he signed on for a starring role in "The Cable Guy." Following a slew of majorly successful films, he became the first actor to take home a $20 million paycheck that at the time sent "heads spinning and tongues wagging." On top of that, Jim also received a 15% backend -- otherwise known as his cut of the box office profits.
In 2019, Robert Downey Jr. brought in an impressive $20 million for reprising his role as Iron Man in Marvel's "Avengers: Endgame" but what he took home at the end of the day was even more than that. Thanks to his 8% back-end deal, Robert has made a whopping $75 million so far -- and has the possibility of making even more in the future.
Over the course of her extensive career, Sandra Bullock has earned increasingly large payouts. In 2014, she took home one of her largest salaries to date when she was paid $20 million for her role in "Gravity." Not only did she get paid a major advance but she also received a 15% back-end deal, leaving her with around $70 million in total. Her rate has reportedly continued to remain at $20 million.
It was recently announced that Joaquin Phoenix would be getting paid $20 million to reprise his starring role in the "Joker" sequel, "Joker: Folie à Deux." His salary for the upcoming flick is a huge jump from the $4.5 million he made for the original film but makes sense considering that movie earned over $1 billion at the global box office and nabbed 11 Oscar nominations.
Matt Damon has earned some major paydays throughout his career, including a reported $26 million for his role in "Bourne Ultimatum" where he only had 25 lines of dialogue. The actor's over-the-top salary didn't stop there though as he is said to have pocketed another $25 million for his performance in "The Martian" in 2015.
Denzel Washington has been earning major money for his films since the early 2000s, allegedly bringing in $20 million for his 2003 film "Out of Time" as well as 2004's "Man on Fire." On top of that, Denzel reportedly brought in a whopping $40 million for his role in "American Gangster" thanks to some savvy negotiating. The actor was set to star in the film in 2004 but it ended up getting canceled. Fortunately, Denzel's contract guaranteed he would get paid no matter what happened to the flick. When the studio decided to try again a few years later, he was brought on again -- and made another $20 million.
As one of the most famous actresses in the world, Angelina Jolie can easily bring home a massive upfront for the projects she chooses to take part in. Most recently, Angelina reportedly earned a massive payday for Marvel's "Eternals" which was said to be north of $20 million. She also took home an impressive $33 million salary for her starring role in Disney's "Maleficent."
Leonardo DiCaprio has worked his way up to earning over $20 million per film throughout his career. Movies like "Catch Me If You Can" and "The Great Gatsby" are said to have paid him $20 million upfront but for Netflix's "Don't Look Up," he received one of his highest salaries to date. The streaming giant reportedly shelled out around $30 million for his starring role in the film.
Jennifer Lawrence quickly became a household name after starring in the first "Hunger Games" flick and her salary skyrocketed accordingly. By the end of the franchise, she was reportedly making $20 million per flick. Her salary has stayed consistently in that range, recently earning an estimated $25 million for her role in Netflix's "Don't Look Up." Despite it being slightly less than her co-star Leonardo DiCaprio, she says she's happy with what she made.
"Look, Leo brings in more box office than I do. I'm extremely fortunate and happy with my deal. But in other situations, what I have seen -- and I'm sure other women in the workforce have seen as well -- is that it's extremely uncomfortable to inquire about equal pay. And if you do question something that appears unequal, you're told it's not gender disparity but they can't tell you what exactly it is," she told Vanity Fair.
In the past few years, Dwayne Johnson has become one of the highest paid actors in the world. He easily rakes in more than $20 million per movie, including his roles in "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw," "Skyscraper" and "Red Notice" -- which earned him considerably more thanks to his producer credit. He’s also said to have made $22 million on Disney's "Jungle Cruise" and will be paid $22.5 million upfront for the upcoming "Black Adam." His massive paydays have earned him the title of the highest paid actor in the history of Forbes' Celebrity 100, although that also takes into account his numerous other business ventures.