Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Margot Robbie among highest paid actors

Tom Cruise, Will Smith, Margot Robbie among highest paid actors

If there’s one group of people not feeling the pinch of the rising cost of living, it’s movie stars.Hollywood’s brightest are commanding enormous, eye-popping pay cheques to flash their pearly veneers at the camera, the kind of money that would make even lottery winners jealous. Industry bible Variety has released a list of what the top actors have earned for their recent or upcoming films and, unsurprisingly, Tom Cruise tops the list.Cruise is estimated to rake in over US$100 million ($160m) for his work on Top Gun: Maverick, with the vast majority of that money coming from the blockbuster sequel’s huge box office.Cruise is one of the few talents in the industry who still commands what is called “first-dollar gross”, a lucrative deal which sees him paid a set percentage of the entire box office and not just profits. This means even if a film lost money after production and marketing costs, Cruise would still get paid.In the case of Top Gun: Maverick – the box office is currently on US$1.24 billion ($2b) and still going – Cruise will collect big. His deal is said to also include a back-end percentage of digital rentals, DVDs and streaming revenue.He is also slated to take home upfront salaries of between US$12m-US$14m for the two upcoming Mission Impossible sequels. He likely has a similar “first-dollar gross” deal for those two films.Director Christopher Nolan is said to be another figure who commands a “first-dollar gross” deal.The actor sitting in second position on the top salary charts is Will Smith, who was paid US$35m ($56m) for his role in Apple TV+ movie Emancipation, which was greenlit and filmed before he assaulted Chris Rock onstage during the live Oscars broadcast.Apple seems to be very generous with its stars as it seeks to establish itself as a power player in the industry. It also shelled out US$30m ($48m) for Leonardo DiCaprio’s involvement in Killers Of The Flower Moon, a Martin Scorsese crime drama that will also star Robert De Niro, Jesse Plemons and Lily Gladstone.Brad Pitt was, similarly, the beneficiary of Apple’s largesse, taking home a US$30m ($48m) pay cheque for his role in an upcoming, still untitled, drama set in the world of Formula 1. Top Gun: Maverick director Joe Kosinski will helm the project while UK F1 driver Lewis Hamilton is one of the producers. Pitt’s production company Plan B is also on board.Streaming companies often pay well upfront to compensate for the lack of back-end profits that could have been generated from a cinema release.In the same vein, Chris Hemsworth was paid US$20m ($32m) for the sequel to Netflix action flick Extraction, which became the streaming platform’s most watched original movie.Netflix also paid up to lure Millie Bobby Brown back for the sequel to Enola Holmes. She was paid US$10 ($16m) for the next instalment.The highest ranked woman on the list doesn’t come into play until the equal 16th spot, and it goes to Margot Robbie who is being paid US$12.5m ($20m) for her role in Barbie.Her co-star Ryan Gosling is being paid the same amount but Robbie may be commanding more separately as she is also a producer on the Greta Gerwig film through her company LuckyChap Entertainment.Elsewhere, donning a comic book costume continues to be lucrative with Dwayne Johnson being paid US$22.5m ($36m) for DC movie Black Adam while Tom Hardy will rake in US$20m ($32m) for Venom 3.Jason Momoa’s payday for the next Aquaman flick will be US$15m ($24m) while Joaquin Phoenix will command US$20m ($32m) for the Joker sequel.According to Variety, Phoenix made a comparatively paltry US$4.5m ($7.2m) on the first Joker movie but the film then went on to take in over US$1b ($1.6b) at the box office and also won a swag of awards including an Oscar for Phoenix.
Top movie salaries
• Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick – US$100 million+

• Will Smith, Emancipation – US$35 million

• Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers Of The Flower Moon – US$30 million

• Brad Pitt, untitled Formula 1 drama – US$30 million

• Dwayne Johnson, Black Adam – US$22.5 million

• Will Ferrell, Spirited – US$20 million

• Ryan Reynolds, Spirited – US$20 million

• Chris Hemsworth, Extraction – US$20 million

• Vin Diesel, Fast X – US$20 million

• Tom Hardy, Venom 3 – US$20 million

• Joaquin Phoenix, Joker 2 – US$20 million

• Denzel Washington, Equaliser 3 – US$20 million

• Jason Momoa, Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom – US$15 million

• Eddie Murphy, Beverly Hills Cop 4 – US$15 million

• Chris Pine, Star Trek sequel – US$13 million

• Steve Carell, Minions: The Rise of Gru – US$12.5 million

• Margot Robbie, Barbie – US$12.5 million

• Ryan Gosling, Barbie – US$12.5 million

• Millie Bobby Brown, Enola Holmes 2 – US$10 million

• Timothee Chalamet, Wonka – US$9 million

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