Guess Robert Downey Jr.'s Projected Avengers Payday
The Marvel Studios front office may be notoriously loaded with cheapskates who've built a multibillion-dollar empire from the ground up in less than five years thanks to thrifty dealmaking, but at least one star has done enough franchise grunt work to get paid for the record-shattering blockbuster that is The Avengers. And when I say "paid," I mean paid.
Let's hear it for Robert Downey Jr.! Or at least for Robert Downey Jr.'s agents, according to THR:
According to multiple knowledgeable sources, Iron Man/Tony Stark is set for a highflying payday of about $50 million once box-office bonuses and backend compensation are factored in. (Two sources claim the number could go higher than $50 million once the ultimate box-office haul of Avengers is known, but another cautions that it could be years before the final number is known.) While on par with the upper echelon of franchise movie stars, that number blows away his superhero co-stars, all of whom will make a small fraction of Downey’s total, even as Avengers has a shot at topping the final Harry Potter film’s $1.32 billion global haul.
Why the difference? When Marvel’s Iron Man grossed a surprising $585 million worldwide in 2008, Downey’s reps at CAA and the Hansen Jacobson law firm renegotiated a deal to include what multiple sources say is a slice of Marvel’s revenue from future movies in which he plays Iron Man (one source puts it in the 5 percent to 7 percent range; another source disputes the percentage. Marvel and Downey’s reps declined comment).
Of course, profit participation is nothing new — Jack Nicholson probably just earned another $1,000 for Batman in the time it took to write this post — but compared to Marvel's deals with Jeremy Renner (roughly $2 million-$3 million plus bonuses), Samuel L. Jackson (roughly $6 million plus bonuses) and the rest, Downey is far and away the Avenger with the mostest. Or... however that phrase goes. No wonder Captain America wants to kick Iron Man's ass.