Actors’ Salaries Revealed: The Highest-Paid Superheroes And Villians
Recently, there seems to be a new superhero movie out every other month, and with the title releases of the upcoming movies, we can be expecting more in the years to come! Not that we’re complaining. We like watching the box office records and seeing which hero is going to beat Avengers: Endgame (probably no one in our lifetime, that movie was bomb).
With all of the training, method acting, and time that goes into these roles, you may wonder how much the stars actually make. Take a look and see what the actors behind your favorite heroes and villains earn at the end of the day.
Tom Holland as Spiderman: $500,000
Spiderman is a fan favorite when it comes to comic book heroes, and many young men have portrayed the web-slinger on the big screen. Tom Holland is the latest and greatest to have filled the red and blue spandex suit. Holland’s youthful, fun take on the character made him the perfect addition within the Marvel Comics Universe — we’re all going to miss him.
The first time he stepped into the spidey suit for Captain America: Civil War, the 21-year-old made a total $500,000. Not too shabby for a guy who just turned the legal age to drink in America.
Paul Rudd as Ant-Man: $1.5 Million
Ant-Man became the unlikely superhero of the Avengers team. As a seasoned actor and comedic star, you’d think that Paul Rudd would receive a bit more than some of the rookie actors, but Rudd made no more than $300,000 upfront for his role of the quirky hero Ant-Man.
Thanks to some sneaky contract stipulations, that “low” number turned into $1,500,00 from back-end profits. If I were Paul, and my lawyer called with that news, I would have been jumping up and down on my bed so hard it probably would have fallen through the roof.
Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther: Between $2 Million and $3 Million
If you secretly looked into buying a one-way ticket to Wakanda after seeing Black Panther for the first time, you’re not alone. Airlines report that searches for the fictional country shot to 620% after opening day. Makes you wonder how many train stations had people asking for tickets to Hogwarts.
We can all agree that the movie was spectacular and deserved every bit of praise, but Marvel put a lot of faith in Boseman. They gave him a starting salary between $2 million and $3 million. Luckily, the Black Panther actor earned every cent. We look forward to the second installment of the series! “Wakanda Forever!”
Brie Larson as Captain Marvel: $5 Million or More
Marvel was not going to be outdone by DC. So with the success of Wonder Woman came the MCU’s, Captain Marvel. But because Brie Larson is an Academy Award-winning actress, the studio couldn’t rightfully pay her like that of their other superheroes. Her resume was far too impressive.
Larson’s superhero debut reportedly paid out at $5 million upfront, and that’s not even all of it. She presumably made more from share profits and back-end deals. Needless to say, the lady is making a boatload more than her fellow heroes, and that’s not even calculating in her Captain Marvel sequel that’s in the works.
Tom Hiddleston as Loki: $160,000
Although Tom Hiddleston didn’t get his first choice in character (he originally auditioned for Thor) we can’t imagine anyone else playing the adopted trickster brother, Loki, who wants to enslave Earthlings. Hiddleston makes the audience fall in love with the villain, a huge accomplishment considering most people don’t like the bad guy.
Compared to other supervillains, Hiddleston was not paid much. But it’s still more than most people will ever make in one check. Hiddleston got a $160,000 payout for the role of Loki.
Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern: $9 Million
Even though Green Lantern isn’t what anyone would call a “great movie,” it did bring together one of our favorite Hollywood couples, Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. Reynolds was able to snag the role due to his rapid rise to stardom on the big screen coming off of Just Friends.
He was able to negotiate for a $9 million contract, but his career took a huge hit when the movie garnered horrible reviews and a 26% on Rotten Tomatoes. No one thought they’d see the comedic actor play a big superhero film any time soon, if ever, but then we were introduced to Deadpool and all bets were off.
Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool: Estimated at $13.8 Million
After Green Lantern flopped, no one thought they’d see Ryan Reynolds’ career restored, let alone see him in another superhero role. Ever since his weird X-Man Origins: Wolverine version of the sassy anti-hero, Reynolds’ goal was to get another Deadpool film up and running.
Taking a serious pay cut for the lead role, and even going as far as to pay the writers out of his pocket, the movie was finally made. This time, he blew the role out of the water. Reynolds earned $2,700,000 upfront with a clever royalty clause and profit shares, totaling an estimated $13,800,000.
Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange: Around $4 Million
As far as superhero salaries go, Benedict Cumberbatch was able to negotiate a pretty high pay compared to his fellow spandex-wearing counterparts. The London native’s flawless American accent and dry humor make us love Cumberbatch’s take on Dr. Stephen Strange. Even though he could have been a bit more helpful with schematics in Avengers: Infinity War, we forgive him.
Cumberbatch was paid a total £2,500,000, converting to juts under $4,000,000 upfront to play the time-warping doctor. With Doctor Strange 2 on the horizon, he is looking to receive a $5,000,000 raise, totaling a bit over $10,000,000 for Dr. Strange.
George Clooney as Batman: $10 Million
George Clooney’s take on Batman in the 1997 film Batman & Robin was not well received and served as an essential turning point in his career. Though fans blame Clooney for the movie’s flop, there is something to be said about poor scriptwriting and a weirdly anatomically correct batsuit. Nevertheless, the movie has become a weird cult classic within the Batman franchise. So, we can’t help but love the cheesiness.
While Clooney was getting his career back on track after the 11%-on-Rotten-Tomatoes film, his $10 million payout for playing the masked crusader probably made him a little less bitter.
Anne Hathaway as Catwoman: $10 Million
Stepping into Catwoman’s black nylon catsuit and heels must have been intimidating, but Anne Hathaway surely rose to the occasion. To fully prepare for this role, Hathaway followed a strict vegan diet and extensive martial art training. To go toe-to-toe with the bad guys of Gotham, never one smearing Selina Kyle’s signature red gloss, we’d say Hathaway’s rigorous training paid off!
Hathaway was paid $10 million for her role as the sultry villainess turned good gal. Not a bad payout considering how much the Dark Knight Rises made in the box office, a whopping $1 billion. Nicely done, Anne!
Hugh Jackman as Wolverine: $20 Million
We can’t imagine the X-Men universe without Hugh Jackman’s scruffy, brooding Wolverine. The beloved mutant is one of the reasons these films did so well in the box office, most likely in part due to his fantastic sideburns. Those things are no joke. Even with the series huge audience praise, Jackman’s acting chops are what allowed him the opportunity to do a Wolverine spin-off.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine reviews were not stellar. But just because the film didn’t do as well as planned, that doesn’t mean it was due to Jackman’s acting, and because of that, he had a $20 million payout.
Christian Bale as Batman: $30 Million
The Dark Knight is arguably one of the better superhero movies, and that is party due to Christian Bales epic performance. Even if Bale is not “your” batman, you have to admit that he knocked the role out of the park with the Dark Knight trilogy, raking in billions of dollars in the process.
Although Bale initially made about as much as fellow Batman star Geroge Clooney, he was able to bank a few million more thanks to a clause in his contract. After all of the royalties he received, Bale made a total of $30 million for The Dark Knight.
Robert Downry Jr. as Iron Man: $75 Million
What are the Avengers without the playboy-billionaire-philanthropist Iron Man? Nothing! Robert Downey Jr. is Iron Man, and we can’t imagine the Marvel Cinematic Universe without his leadership, witty humor, and soft-spot for one Peter Parker. Even though the studio was skeptical about hiring the recently rehabilitated RDJ, they never once regretted their decision.
After getting a generous payout of $500,000 for the first Iron Man film, RDJ ended up making a fortune off of the franchise. For Avengers: Endgame Downey Jr. made his biggest payday to date, rumoring to have received $75 million for his role as Iron Man.
Jack Nicholson as the Joker: $100 Million
Jack Nicholson’s take on the Joker has set a precedent for all who take on the role. Being the big star that he is, Nicholson had some contract stipulations before stepping into the role of Tim Burton’s gangster, crime lord Joker.
He was paid $6 million upfront for the role, a pay cut from his usual $10 million (so sorry for your loss, Jack). The upfront salary was nothing compared to the share profits he receives for every Batman movie in the entire franchise. Nicholson’s take-home salary is rumored to be just shy of $100 million. Looks like the Joker has the last laugh this time.
Chris Evans as Captain Ameria: $15 Million
After Fantastic Four flopped in the box office, no one thought they’d see Chris Evans on the big screen again, let alone in another superhero movie — sounds kind of similar to Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern mishap. But the Human Torch needs to move on over and make room for Captain America, the First Avenger.
Evans started with a lower salary of $300,000 for Captain America’s origin story but quickly proved himself to be a valuable asset to the MCU. His salary was significantly increased to $15 million for Captain America: Civil War. A salary that Avengers: Endgame matched.
Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow: Estimated at $20 Million
Before Captain Marvel, Wanda, and the lot in Wakanda, Natasha Romanova was the token female Avenger. We’re first introduced to Nat in Iron Man 2, and she quickly shows us what a ridiculous fighter she is throughout another seven Marvel universe movies. We couldn’t be more thrilled that we’re finally getting Black Widow’s origin story!
Earning her stay as the ex-KGB assassin, Johansson was paid a $15 million salary for Avengers: Age of Ultron as well as Avengers: Endgame. Rumors are spreading that because she is producing Black Widow, she is looking at closer to a $20 million payout.
Chris Hemsworth as Thor: $15 Million
Excuse us while we go swoon. When Australian actor Chris Hemsworth was the first cast for the leading role in Thor, he was very much an unknown in Hollywood. He quickly made a name for himself, playing the funny and very attractive Norse Demigod to a tee.
Due to his short resume, Hemsworth’s initial superhero salary was $200,000, the least of any of his fellow heroes. After proving himself, he was raking in $15 million by the time the Avengers were saving the world from Thanos and the Infinity Stones in Avengers: Endgame. Not to mention the money he made from share profits!
Mark Ruffalo as Hulk: $15 Million
Finally, a Hulk that we all deserve. After Eric Bana and Edward Norton, Mark Ruffalo took a considerable risk signing on to play the Hulk. Thankfully he did, and because of his take on the big lug, the Hulk soon became a fan favorite in the MCU.
Including some back-end deals, Ruffalo received a rumored $2-3 million for the role. A salary that ended up being pennies compared to what the actor earned by the time Endgame wrapped up. Ruffalo ended up collecting a paycheck of $15 million. Not too shabby for a character that was once so disliked.
Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye: $15 Million
Not to say Hawkeye isn’t an essential part to the Avengers team, but we are surprised to see how much Jeremy Renner was paid for the role.
Renner started out with $500,000 upfront, but through back-end deals, he collected closer to a $1.5-2 million payout. His pay increased to $6.1 million in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and skyrocketed to a whopping salary of $15 million for Avengers: Endgame. Not too bad for a character that doesn’t have his own stand-alone film and was absent in Avengers: Infinity War because his character was under house arrest.
Jered Leto as the Joker: $7 Million
The known method actor left a lot to be admired about the crazy Clown Prince of Crime. Jered Leto’s 2016 Suicide Squad Joker was highly praised, yet, is not on the list for James Gunn’s remake. Fans believe he was not invited back due to his crazy antics on set, like famously sending co-star Margot Robbie a live rat as a “gift from the Joker.” Gross.
We suppose there is something to be said about fully embracing your character. Regardless of his behavior, the A-list actor received a $7 million payout for his portrayal of the famous crime lord.