12 Biggest Movie Star Paydays Of All Time

Do you know some A-list stars who make hundreds of millions of dollars from acting in a movie? It sounds crazy but it's true. These are some movie stars who take a profit participation deal instead of a huge salary, which might give them a much larger payday. In another word, they accept risky a profit-participation deal that rewarded them based on the movie's success.
There is no doubt that the greater the success of the films, the more money these famous actors can earn. That’s why a “Star Wars” actor continues to earn millions long after his death. And some actors have enjoyed their lavish life since their successful movies started to bring them big bucks.
Today, we have compiled a list of the biggest movie star paydays of all time. Keep scrolling down and enjoy!

#1 Jim Carrey: “Yes Man”

Source: @imdb

Canadian Jim Carrey took a risk on his 2006 comedy “Yes Man” as he agreed to take no salary at all. Instead of that, he took 32.6% of the gross profits. And, when the movie grossed an amazing $223 million at the box office, the movie star reportedly earned $30 million.

#2 Sandra Bullock: “Gravity”

Source: @risenmagazine

Thanks to the fame she earned from winning an Oscar for “The Blind Side”, Sandra Bullock dealt a $20-million upfront salary in addition to 15% of the gross profits for the sci-fi movie Gravity. It made her earn a massive payday estimated at $77 million.

#3 Tom Cruise: “War of the Worlds”

Source: @imdb

Tom Cruise spent a tight 10-week window to film Steven Spielberg’s big-budget sci-fi remake before he was required on the set of Mission: Impossible III. To fast-track the script and get the $132-million budget approved, he traded his salary for 20% of the movie profits. When The War of the Worlds turned into a huge international blockbuster, Cruise earned an estimated $100 million.

#4 Denzel Washington: “American Gangster”

Source: @imdb

In the 2007’s American Gangster, Denzel Washington could earn $40 million for portraying real-life criminal Frank Lucas. But his big buck came from the double paid with a $20-mil/movie asking price. He had a “pay or play” deal that kicked in when the movie was scrapped after he signed on, making the studio pay him fully.

#5 Jack Nicholson: “Batman”

Source: @imdb

Jack Nicholson decided to take a pay cut with a salary of $6 million instead of his usual $10-mil demanding price when the actor landed the role of memorable comic-book villain The Joker in 1989’s Batman. Instead, he was given a percentage of the profits that turned out to be a lottery win when the movie became a big hit. Nicholson has reportedly earned $50M for portraying The Joker.

#6 Leonardo DiCaprio: “Inception”

Source: @imdb

When the film was about to start filming, Leonardo DiCaprio took a risky venture by foregoing his usual $20-mil salary with director Christopher Nolan’s Inception. He and Nolan inked a rare deal for first-dollar gross points if the film was a hit. DiCaprio won the bet and took home $60 million.

#7 Tom Hanks: “Forrest Gump”

Source: @pinterest

When negotiating his deal for Forrest Gump, Tom Hanks wisely held out for a share of the movie’s profits; not only did the role gain him a Best Actor Oscar, but it also deposited an estimated $60 million in his bank account.

#8 Harrison Ford: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Source: @imdb

In the Forbes list of 2009’s highest-earning movie stars, Harrison appeared with an annual earning of $65 million coming from only The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. He negotiated a profit-participation deal that rewarded him based on the movie's success.

#9 Robert Downey Jr.: “The Avengers: Infinity War”

Source: @imdb

It’s no doubt that Rober Downey Jr. is now one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood. His incredible success in Iron Man helps him earn a payday of $50 million from The Avengers. Still, it changes quite a lot when he pockets an astounding $200 million for the two-part Avengers: Infinity War sequels.

#10Keanu Reeves: “The Matrix” franchise

Source: @imdb

Originally, Keany Reeves was paid $10 million for the Matrix and a sweet back-end deal which is said to be 10% of the gross. He earned a bundle and negotiated $15-mil per movie plus 15 percent of the gross for the sci-fi film’s two sequels when his film turned into a big smash. In total, the Canadian-born actor earned $260 million from the 3 movies. As you might already know, he gave up $80 million to reward the film crew.

#11 Tom Cruise: “Mission: Impossible” Franchise

Source: @newsandstar

Tom Cruise was the star and producer on 1996's Mission: Impossible, which let him easily negotiate a chunk of the movie’s profits. This led him to take an estimated $70 million when the film became an international blockbuster. Employing similar deals for the film’s sequels, Cruise has reportedly earned a whopping $285 million and counting from this undoubtedly unstoppable franchise.

#12 Johnny Depp: “Pirates of the Caribbean” Franchise

Source: @screenrant/Twitter

Despite reports of his recent financial struggles, Johnny Depp made a fortune by portraying Jack Sparrow in all those Pirates of the Caribbean movies. You might be shocked that his total earnings from the Disney franchise are estimated at $300 million.
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