Rupert Grint Made More Money Than George Clooney, and 6 Other Staggering 2009 Salary Disclosures


Sometimes the news leaves little room for commentary beyond a gaping jaw and/or silently shaking head, and that's pretty much what you'll experience while browsing a new list of the top Hollywood earners of 2009. It's not necessarily the mere appearance of Roland Emmerich, Owen Wilson, or the Harry Potter cast that inspires disbelief, but rather wherethey ranking among such well-heeled regulars as Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay or George Clooney that really catches one's breath. Or maybe I'm just too easily shocked. Test your fortitude with the revelations after the jump.

7. Rupert Grint and Emma Watson out-earned George Clooney by almost 50 percent.

The young actors each took home $30 million for the two-part franchise finale Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Clooney earned an estimated $22 million total for projects including Up in the Air, The Men Who Stare at Goats, The American and roughly $5 million for appearing in foreign commercials. It's a recession! A Lake Como villa owner's gotta do what a Lake Como villa owner's gotta do.

6. Daniel Radcliffe out-earned Rupert Grint and Emma Watson by almost 40 percent.

The Potter star made $40 million for Hallows. Has there been a more radically life-changing casting of an unknown? Maybe Al Pacino in The Godfather? Help me understand.

5. Todd Phillips earned $44 million from two films.

You might have heard that Phillips gambled his salary on The Hangover -- and won very big with $39 million in profit participation. But commanding $5 million to direct Due Date? It stars Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis! It directs itself!

4. Roland Emmerich earned $70 million from one film.

The disaster kingpin also rolled the payday dice on his eventual global smash 2012. I think we all know what this means: Pool party!

3. Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart got hosed.

Pulling down $18 million and $16 million respectively, they each coaxed a total of only $14 million apiece from New Moon AND Eclipse in 2009. The Twilight franchise grossed $1.1 billion in a little over a year. Maybe Rupert Grint can do the joint negotiating for them on Breaking Dawn.

2. Reese Witherspoon earned $10 million with her voice.

Her back-end deal on Monsters vs. Aliens accounted for nearly half of her income in 2009.

1. Michael Bay made $125 million.

That. Is. All.

· Hollywood's Top 40 [VF]


  • Gabby says:

    Sounds about right to me. The Harry Potter trio are BANKING!! And they deserve it as well. They've been making those films, which happen to be the HIGHEST grossing film franchise of all time, for the 10 years of their life. If they weren't making that much, then something would be wrong.

  • billy says:

    George Clooney has a career. All the actors of Harry Potter's films have got so far is a franchise. Can anyone name only one of their films beside Harry Potter? Hardly.

  • Alan Montgomery says:

    You seem a bit overwhelmed and suggest that Rupert, Emma and Daniel don't deserve their salaries. The series of 8 movies hang on the talents of many people, but the three who are on screen the most are these three. Their abilities as actors have risen markedly from movie one, and that wasn't bad. The demands on those abilities is far above the demands on George Clooney.
    Don't get me wrong, I like George Clooney, but I don't lose George Clooney into a character the way I do Dan, Rupert and Emma. (I won't even start on my opinion of Tom Cruise's acting ability which, since his earliest two or three films has been not very impressive.) It is difficult to fight dragons, fly on a broom, and stand up against the evil powers of Ralph Fiennes. The great actors in the movies are there because they realize how well made most of the movies are. Those actors - Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, etc. - have all given these three highest marks for acting. Don't let the fact that they have not received acting nominations bother you. They will next year or the next for Deathly Hallows, much as LOTR finally won awards when the saga was ended.

  • Nick says:

    Well if I would make that much money I wouldn't care if the only thing I got was a franchise. I'd retire as soon as the last movies finished and invest half of my money in profit promising investments.

  • Luna says:

    Radcliffe- December Boys, Equus
    Watson- Ballet Shoes
    Grint- Driving Lessons, Wild Target, Cherrybomb, Thunderpants

  • Abbylee says:

    Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart made bank for the acting abilities they have... or better put, don't have. They're both way overpaid.

  • Lucas says:

    point taken. I don't think Emma has done anything else, Daniel did December Boys which was only a limited release and Rupert did Driving Lessons which I think went straight to DVD in the US.
    As for Robbie and KrisKris I wouldn't worry to much about them. they likely have a small amount of profit sharing and they can command a bit more (at least in terms of PS points) with up coming projects.

  • ELIZABETH says:

    Erm, I think you've all missed the point. There is no use arguing over who should make more, as no actor should be paid that kind of money. Ridiculous.
    Of the three Harry Potter kids, Rupert Grint is the only one that has any talent. Both Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe need acting lessons and voice teachers. Neither one of them know how to enunciate.
    For Lucas: Lots of good films never make it to the US. Thats the problem when one country exports more films than it takes in.
    Driving Lesson was very good, unlike a lot of the stuff Clooney made before O Brother Where Art Thou gave him any credit as a good actor. Batman and Robin anyone?

  • There are a few movies every year that ditch this rule, often restricted-release videos that start in not many theaters and actually raise their theater count through beneficial word-of-mouth and opinions.