Sure, there are still top-billed behemoths capable of guaranteeing a strong opening, like Dwayne Johnson and Leonardo DiCaprio, but for the most part, the idea of a box office movie star is kaput. We live in the Era of IP, where familiar franchises and titles reign supreme; the superhero-ization of Hollywood was the comet that destroyed the movie star dinosaurs.
You can thank shifting consumer tastes and the rise of China’s box office importance for that.
But despite the diminished name power atop the marquee, a few titans still walk these hallowed empty theaters and command massive paydays for their presence. Johnson, Robert Downey Jr. and a select few others can still somehow pull those 1990s paychecks of around $20 million and up.
On Tuesday, Variety unearthed an impressive sample of paychecks for some of Hollywood’s top earners.
Interested? Of course you are.
Daniel Craig tops the board with a healthy $25 million for the upcoming untitled Bond 25, a generous sum that may have been padded to help convince Craig to return for one last adventure as 007.
Johnson is a close second at $22 million for the upcoming Red Notice. The King of Hollywood at the moment is also charging a $1 million social-media fee in exchange for promotion on Facebook and Twitter. When you’ve got the leverage of The Rock, you use it.
Vin Diesel is next with $20 million for last year’s The Fate of the Furious. Against all odds, Universal’s super-charged franchise has become one of the biggest money-makers in all of Hollywood. I yearn for the days when these movies were still about street racing.
Anne Hathaway comes in fourth place with $15 million for Barbie, though there’s speculation over whether or not that movie will ever actually get made. Regardless, the Oscar-winner has done an impressive job of collecting mainstream box office hits (anyone who doesn’t like The Devil Wears Prada is crazy) and critically acclaimed roles (“I dreamed a dream of time gone byyyyyyy!”) throughout her career.
Rounding out the top five is Jennifer Lawrence, who has actually fell into a bit of a slump over the last few years. Joy didn’t morph into the Oscars contender everyone was hoping for; X-Men: Apocalypse was a dud; Passengers never blasted off;and mother! was… Actually, I have no idea what mother! was, but I know it wasn’t a “star role” so to speak.
Still, the internet’s crush received a nice $15 million for Red Sparrow earlier this year.
Other notable names on the list include Leonardo DiCaprio, who is slicing his asking price in half for Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood ($10 million), Downey Jr. for Spider-Man: Homecoming ($10 million) and Sandra Bullock for Minions ($10 million).