Following a drop in box office returns in 2020, 2021 saw a rebound. With high-budget films contending for maximum ticket sales on the large screen and online streaming on the small screen, it has been an excellent year for motion pictures. This year, Marvel and DC superhero movies accounted for four of the top ten highest-grossing films.
Variety says the international box office will only fully recover in 2023. However, there’s no arguing that Hollywood A-listers are still getting paid handsomely for their parts in these blockbusters. So, how does our ranking of the year’s top ten earners stack up? Based on several media reports of known salaries, here’s the 2021 list.
Starting the list with the highest payment is The Rock. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson remains unstoppable, even in the face of a global pandemic. In the year 2021, the 49-year-old starred in two major motion pictures. Johnson was paid $22 million for his role as a steamboat captain in Disney’s grandiose Jungle Cruise.
Following that, he reportedly made another $20 million or more for Netflix’s heist comedy Red Notice, for where he also served as producer. The latter movie surpassed the previous record Bird Box (2018) with 328.8 million watching hours, becoming the streamer’s most-watched film.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Smith received $40 million for his Oscar-nominated picture King Richard. He portrayed the father of tennis players Venus and Serena Williams. While he made a considerable profit, the actor/producer is said to have paid out a sizable sum to castmates to assist those who were “financially impacted by the lost theatrical returns” and what they had previously gotten from Warner Media. According to the article, Smith also gave his King Richard co-stars iPhone 12 Pro Max and Polaroid camera as “treats.”
Washington got a $40 million paycheck for his role as a corrupt detective alongside Jared Leto in Warner Bros’ The Little Things, based on his fantastic box-office track record. Despite the film’s dismal box office performance, owing to its release during the early stages of the pandemic, Washington received the greatest pay raise of his career. He typically receives $20 million per picture.
He’ll also be in Joel Coen’s new adaptation of Macbeth, The Tragedy of Macbeth, though his pay for that role has yet to be revealed.
As per Forbes, the Hollywood queen got $35.5 million for her role in Marvel’s Eternals. It pushed her to the title of the world’s second-highest-paid actress, following Sofia Vergara, who, with her part on Modern Family, is the reigning TV queen.
This year, she also acted in Those Who Wish Me Dead, which unfortunately bombed at the box office, grossing only $23 million worldwide. Her earnings for the movie are unclear.
According to Variety, DiCaprio earned $30 million for acting alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, and Jonah Hill in Netflix’s dark comedy Don’t Look Up. In 2019, the 47-year-old actor took a salary cut to feature in Quentin Tarantino’s critically acclaimed Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, getting only $10 million than his usual $20 million. He’ll be featured next in a Martin Scorsese-directed picture as Theodore Roosevelt.
The British actor got a hefty $25 million paycheck after completing his fifth and final performance as James Bond in No Time To Die and called it a day. The picture shattered global box office records, grossing US$774 million worldwide.
But came up short of its predecessors’ totals: Skyfall generated US$1.1 billion in international box office earnings in 2012, while Spectre made US$800 million in 2015, according to Variety. Craig will be in the Knives Out sequels, for which he got a remuneration of $100 million. This makes him the only actor in history to do so.
After a three-year sabbatical, Jennifer Lawrence, America’s darling, is ready to come back on screen. She’s returning with Leonardo DiCaprio in Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up. According to reports, she was paid $25 million for her performance as astronomer Kate Dibiasky. Lawrence’s past films have generated over $1 billion at the box office, with The Hunger Games and X-Men leading the way.
Emily Blunt, the British actress who starred in two major films this year, has amassed $23 million. She allegedly made $12-13 million for her horror sequel A Quiet Place Part II, directed by her husband, John Krasinski.
Then there was the $8-10 million payday for Disney’s Jungle Cruise, in which she starred with Dwayne Johnson. Despite a strong box-office track record with films including The Girl on the Train (2016), Mary Poppins Returns (2018), and A Quiet Place (2018), Blunt earned much less than Johnson’s $22 million cuts from the very same movie.
Reynolds has had a lot of success this year, with three of his 2021 releases becoming huge blockbusters. He first appeared in the action sequel The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard and then in Disney’s Free Guy — they generated over $400 million.
However, since the compensation from those films has not been released, we can only look at his Red Notice revenue – It is still a massive $20 million, as per Variety.
Diesel, who has previously been on Forbes’ “The Highest-Paid Actors” lists, is ranked tenth this year, owing to the delays in the release of F9 (initially intended for 2020), which resulted in him earning very little from his share of the revenues.
According to Forbes, the 54-year-old singer was paid a generous $20 million advance for the franchise’s ninth installment. On the other hand, Diesel only made $2 million for the 2001 film The Fast and the Furious. It’s also worth mentioning that he hasn’t released anything else this year.
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April 26, 2022 | 6 Minutes to Read