Marvel Money Breakdown: How ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Stars Made $340 Million Last Year

“Avengers: Endgame” has grossed over $2.77 billion worldwide since opening in April but it seems like what was a gargantuan payday for Marvel is also benefitting some of the stars.

Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list of the world’s highest-earning entertainers this year features six “Endgame” heroes, from Chris Hemsworth at No. 24 overall with $76.4 million (not all of his earnings were from Avengers) to Paul Rudd at No. 83 with $41 million. Robert Downey Jr., Bradley Cooper, Scarlett Johansson, and Chris Evans also assembled and made the cut. Together, the team earned $340 million.

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“We started saying that the character is the marquee name, and I think that’s still true, but I think we’ve been very lucky and thankful that the actors that imbibe these characters have now become them,” Marvel president Kevin Feige told Forbes of the highly compensated group in 2017.

In fact, the group mentioned above proved so valuable to the studio that they were able to negotiate for a piece of the MCU pie.

“A studio’s incentive to grant contingent compensation to various actors, writers, directors, and other key personnel is simple. Movie studios depend upon tent-pole films to support their financial performance,” says entertainment lawyer David Chidekel of Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae.

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The second-highest-grossing film ever in both the U.S. and overseas, “Avengers: Endgame” currently sits at $848 million in domestic sales, making about $700 million in profit. The stars benefit from these back-end points. For example, Robert Downey Jr. holds around eight per cent in these points, which translates to about $55 million. Add that to his reported $20-million salary for one film and it tallies up to a grand total of $75 million for the one film.
And while Downey earned that much from Endgame, the film grossed $36.90 at the box office for every dollar he was paid. Those on the lower end of the earnings spectrum, like Rudd, produced over $100 at the box office for every dollar they were paid.

“It’s expensive but well worth it,” Feige shares. “Certainly the strange alchemy of seeing characters you’ve never seen before teamed up together on screen. If they were different versions of those characters, it wouldn’t be as fun.”

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