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Hollywood Movie Stars face pay cuts!

Forums - Discs & Movies - Hollywood Movie Stars face pay cuts! 

7th May 2006 14:50  #1

Mark Lim Member Join Date: March 2004 Location: Australia Posts: 1,211
Hollywood Movie Stars face pay cuts!
I was reading this article today, and I can't believe just how much our fave stars are getting paid for the movies we love or hate! Check this out!

Hollywood stars face pay cuts

May 7, 2006
THE Hollywood actors gravy train has been derailed.

After years of pocketing megabucks, the biggest names in Tinseltown are facing a pay cut.

The heady days of Julia Robert's $25 million a movie, Tom Cruise's $32 million and even Nicole Kidman's $22 million film salary appear to be over as Hollywood faces a declining box office, spiralling production costs and the emergence of the starless blockbuster.

The purse strings are being tightened after last year's 5.3 per cent drop in box office takings and the enormous success of movies such as Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, Star Wars: Episode III and The Chronicles Of Narnia – all without an A-list star.

Among the actors whose salaries are tipped to be brought back to Earth is Nicole Kidman, who last week was named as one actor who, of late, has not delivered on her giant pay packet.

Respected magazine Entertainment Weekly said Kidman was now a gamble for movie producers after taking $22 million to star in last year's flop Bewitched, which only made $81 million.

Other stars to be shamed included Charlize Theron, who was paid $12.9 million for her forgettable 2005 flick Aeon Flux, which took in $33 million, and Jim Carrey, who was paid an estimated $32 million for Fun With D**k And Jane, which barely topped $130 million.

Will Ferrell's $26 million tag also made the list of risky bets, while Eddie Murphy's $20 million was considered downright "too pricey".

But Tom Hanks' $32 million was thought to be "worth every penny", and Oscar-nominee Jake Gyllenhaal, at $6 million a picture, was a bargain.

Hollywood insiders, like ex-20th Century Fox studio head Bill Mechanic, say the economics of making films today means that stars simply have to get paid less.

"It's a rationalisation of the business," Mechanic says. "It's long overdue. You paid someone a lot of money to star in a movie, and then you spent a lot of money to make a movie, and then you lost money."

Hollywood's soaring wage bill, like many other businesses, has its origins in the 1980s and early '90s when actors like Julia Roberts and Tom Cruise were able to negotiate massive salaries on the back of mega-hits such as Pretty Woman and Top Gun.

To get around the soaring cost of making movies, many actors have, in recent years, been taking a percentage of profits in lieu of their huge upfront salaries.

Cruise, for example, regularly passes on his millions asking price in return for a healthy 20 to 30 per cent of the film's profits. It's estimated to have made him $97 million for Mission: Impossible II and $129 million for War Of The Worlds.

But some A-listers occasionally volunteer to take a cut in pay so as to get a film made.

From the Sunday Telegraph, Sydney, Australia - 7th May, 2006

7th May 2006 17:56  #2

Keith Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 221
learn to do better advertising.
can I get a hallelujah?

Box office is down because quite a bit of the movies aren't worth your money.  They are just bad movies with a high budget. The way they are advertised is terrible.  Half second clips of movies scenes all put together into a 30 sec or 1 minute commercial.  The reason is not the cost, it's now the fad in advertising.

I now know the feeling of being a movie star walking up the red carpet with all the camera lights flashing in their eyes.  I even turn my head the other way at some commercials because it is so annoying to my eyes.  It's really a challenge to figure out what the movie is about.

7th May 2006 22:37  #3

Darren Russell Member Join Date: June 2004 Location: United States Posts: 208
It's about time!  A lot of these stars put out stinker after stinker, yet they were raking in the dough continuously.
Hollywood should've done this a LOOONNNGGG time ago!!
Just because a star has one good movie under his/her belt doesn't justify and/or warrant them getting a "raise" out the box.  Let them have 2 or 3 hits before "guaranteeing" them these large salaries and/or percentages of the gross, etc.

8th May 2006 14:15  #4

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
Darren Russell wrote: It's about time!  A lot of these stars put out stinker after stinker, yet they were raking in the dough continuously.
Hollywood should've done this a LOOONNNGGG time ago!!
Just because a star has one good movie under his/her belt doesn't justify and/or warrant them getting a "raise" out the box.  Let them have 2 or 3 hits before "guaranteeing" them these large salaries and/or percentages of the gross, etc.


Actually, I disagree.  Most of the "stinkers" (at least the ones that don't make money) put out by Hollywood lack true star power.

9th May 2006 0:44  #5

stanton heck Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,098
Adrian wrote: Darren Russell wrote: It's about time!  A lot of these stars put out stinker after stinker, yet they were raking in the dough continuously.
Hollywood should've done this a LOOONNNGGG time ago!!
Just because a star has one good movie under his/her belt doesn't justify and/or warrant them getting a "raise" out the box.  Let them have 2 or 3 hits before "guaranteeing" them these large salaries and/or percentages of the gross, etc.


Actually, I disagree.  Most of the "stinkers" (at least the ones that don't make money) put out by Hollywood lack true star power.


I think all stars are overpaid

9th May 2006 14:25  #6

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
stanton heck wrote: I think all stars are overpaid

Of course, most people do.  But mainly, I think, that is just jealousy.  There is an old addage that it takes money to make money.  That certainly seems to be the case in Hollywood.  After all, why should the studios reap all the profits?  Why not the talent that makes the movies?

9th May 2006 17:18  #7

stanton heck Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,098
Because when talent gets all the money it means less money for the studios and therfore less movies are made.  That is why we get so maney sequels and remakes.  

9th May 2006 17:41  #8

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
stanton heck wrote: Because when talent gets all the money it means less money for the studios and therfore less movies are made.  That is why we get so maney sequels and remakes.  

Eh?  At least sequels are made with stars. . . so I have no idea what your point is.

11th May 2006 20:22  #9

Tony DeFrancisco Senior Member Join Date: July 2005 Location: United States Posts: 2,652
From IMDb:

Tucker Becomes Highest-Paid Actor, Says Report


 New Line has agreed to pay Chris Tucker $25 million to appear in Rush Hour 3, making him the highest-paid actor in Hollywood, according to FoxNews.com's Roger Friedman. Friedman commented that the figure is all the more remarkable considering the fact that Tucker has starred in only two other films -- both of them the Rush Hour movies. Friedman observed that Rush Hour 2 holds the record for the highest gross of any comedy and that the total worldwide take for the first two films is about $600 million. Both the previous Rush Hour also star Jackie Chan alongside Tucker.

11th May 2006 22:04  #10

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,151
So New Line have to spend $25million for Chris Tucker and say another $75m for the film and $40m for prints and advertising ($140 million maths fans), hell lets say $150 million, okay? And all they get in return is about twice that ammount as a return on the initial investment. These New Line boys are clearly fools.

11th May 2006 22:08  #11

Tony DeFrancisco Senior Member Join Date: July 2005 Location: United States Posts: 2,652
Intergalactic Ponce wrote: These New Line boys are clearly fools.Especially when they pay Jackie Chan less money than Tucker.

12th May 2006 1:07  #12

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
Intergalactic Ponce wrote: So New Line have to spend $25million for Chris Tucker and say another $75m for the film and $40m for prints and advertising ($140 million maths fans), hell lets say $150 million, okay? And all they get in return is about twice that ammount as a return on the initial investment. These New Line boys are clearly fools.

I'd call them shrewd.  The first two films averaged over $300 million a piece.  If the third acheives that, they will double their money.  I don't think the third will do as well, but will probably easily clear $200 million, which is a 33% return on investment.  

12th May 2006 2:30  #13

Darren Russell Member Join Date: June 2004 Location: United States Posts: 208
Adrian wrote: Intergalactic Ponce wrote: So New Line have to spend $25million for Chris Tucker and say another $75m for the film and $40m for prints and advertising ($140 million maths fans), hell lets say $150 million, okay? And all they get in return is about twice that ammount as a return on the initial investment. These New Line boys are clearly fools.

I'd call them shrewd.  The first two films averaged over $300 million a piece.  If the third acheives that, they will double their money.  I don't think the third will do as well, but will probably easily clear $200 million, which is a 33% return on investment.  


That's not guaranteed.  The third might not even clear $100 million.  Maybe it will, maybe it won't.  Moviegoers are fickle, you know.  Domestically it might tank, but internationally it might be a big success.  Hell, the last Rush Hour was in 2001! That's a big gap between sequels and people tend to lose interest.  I'd say the best ticket to a successful run is a good script and releasing it with no real competition in sight!

12th May 2006 2:32  #14

Darren Russell Member Join Date: June 2004 Location: United States Posts: 208
Adrian wrote: Darren Russell wrote: It's about time!  A lot of these stars put out stinker after stinker, yet they were raking in the dough continuously.
Hollywood should've done this a LOOONNNGGG time ago!!
Just because a star has one good movie under his/her belt doesn't justify and/or warrant them getting a "raise" out the box.  Let them have 2 or 3 hits before "guaranteeing" them these large salaries and/or percentages of the gross, etc.


Actually, I disagree.  Most of the "stinkers" (at least the ones that don't make money) put out by Hollywood lack true star power.


And actually I disagree as well. Some movies with "star power" were stinkers.  Some independents with "no names" have actually been better than the big studio releases.

12th May 2006 4:26  #15

Keith Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 221
Wasn't much star power in Lord of the Rings except for Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf.  Don't you wish you had a grandfather like that?

12th May 2006 12:35  #16

Mark Lim Member Join Date: March 2004 Location: Australia Posts: 1,211
Are you sure it's $25 million? My local paper says $30 million!

12th May 2006 15:29  #17

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
Keith wrote: Wasn't much star power in Lord of the Rings except for Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf.  Don't you wish you had a grandfather like that?

It's a little different situation.  There was a built in audience for the movie.  Kind of like Harry Potter.  You really don't need stars for movies that already have an audience.

It did make Orlando Bloom into a star though, for better or worse.

12th May 2006 18:57  #18

Worst Nightmare Senior Member Join Date: July 2002 Location: Australia Posts: 6,706 Send a message via AIM to Worst Nightmare Send a message via ICQ to Worst Nightmare Send a message via MSN to Worst Nightmare Send a message via Yahoo to Worst Nightmare Send a message via Google to Worst Nightmare
Mark Lim wrote: Are you sure it's $25 million? My local paper says $30 million!$30 Million AUD Mark, $25 Million USD...

15th May 2006 14:29  #19

Intergalactic Ponce Member Join Date: April 2005 Location: United Kingdom Posts: 1,151
Adrian wrote: Intergalactic Ponce wrote: So New Line have to spend $25million for Chris Tucker and say another $75m for the film and $40m for prints and advertising ($140 million maths fans), hell lets say $150 million, okay? And all they get in return is about twice that ammount as a return on the initial investment. These New Line boys are clearly fools.

I'd call them shrewd.  The first two films averaged over $300 million a piece.  If the third acheives that, they will double their money.  I don't think the third will do as well, but will probably easily clear $200 million, which is a 33% return on investment.  


It's okay Adrian, I was being sarcastic. The point I was making was exactly the point you went on to make. Yes clearly the numbers we are talking about are obscene when you think what the money could do in the real world, but in movie making terms, while there is a demand for a 2nd sequel to Ruch Hour, the sums involved make business sense. New Line turn a profit (almost guaranteed) and Chris Tucker gets his $20-25m (or whatever). Is Tucker overpriced? Based on the above figures, no. Is it an obscene amount of money to give to one person for 3 months work, absolutely. But then with Chris Tuckers film work rate I'm sure those millions have to carry him for quite a while. What will the gap be from Rush Hour 2 to 3? Five years? Spread out like that, for a Hollywood lifestyle, less taxes, less agent fees, there probably ain't a lot left. My guess is that after RH3 opens he'll be making some deals and capitalising on it's release so we'll be seeing more from him in the years to come as he'll surely realise that Rush Hour will only carry him so far.

Of course the other possibility is that he really isn't that bothered about acting and has other irons in the fire elsewhere.

15th May 2006 17:17  #20

Stephen Etherton Member Join Date: October 2003 Location: United States Posts: 706
Long time over due.  If a star really thinks they are worth that amount, then let them take the deal of a percentage of the profits.  Then if they are worth it, they will get it, if not, then they will be humbled by the lack of money they get.

Now, lets do the same to sports stars.

15th May 2006 17:55  #21

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
Stephen Etherton wrote: Long time over due.  If a star really thinks they are worth that amount, then let them take the deal of a percentage of the profits.  Then if they are worth it, they will get it, if not, then they will be humbled by the lack of money they get.

Now, lets do the same to sports stars.


Uhm.  Most of the stars that make outrageous salaries make them by getting a portion of the profits.  So I am not sure what your point really is?

Also, who's to say that they aren't worth it.  Evidentally, studios have not had a real qualm with coming up with this kind of money to pay stars.

15th May 2006 19:32  #22

Stephen Etherton Member Join Date: October 2003 Location: United States Posts: 706
Maybe it was to hard to understand, so I will explain my point in easier terms.  Example is Chris Tucker in Rush Hour 3.  There is no way he'd come back for the sequal if he took a very low paycheck and then take a percentage of the profits.  He is only coming back because of a huge upfront salery, because he knows it may or may not be a blockbuster.  He also knows that just because his name is on it, there is no guarantee blockbuster.  To further the example, in case you are not sure as to the point, Jack Nicholson walked away with approx. $50 million from the back-end proceeds from Batman, because he knew that is where the money was waiting to be earned.  My point was, if they believe in the movie, put their paycheck on the line, and if the movie is solid, then they will earn it by making a good movie, not just by being a big name celebrity, and showing up to the set and making a turkey (i.e. Will Farrel & Nicole Kidman in Bewitched).

15th May 2006 20:05  #23

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
Stephen Etherton wrote: Maybe it was to hard to understand, so I will explain my point in easier terms.  Example is Chris Tucker in Rush Hour 3.  There is no way he'd come back for the sequal if he took a very low paycheck and then take a percentage of the profits.  He is only coming back because of a huge upfront salery, because he knows it may or may not be a blockbuster.

Isn't this all just speculation?  Does anyone actually know how the contract is structured?

15th May 2006 20:48  #24

Stephen Etherton Member Join Date: October 2003 Location: United States Posts: 706
Quote: Isn't this all just speculation?  Does anyone actually know how the contract is structured?

Specualtion...?  Heck no, I read it on the 'net, so it must be true!!!  (lol)

On a lighter note, and this is just my personal opinion here, movie stars have begun to be way overpaid for a while, just like sports stars.  Big name star does not a good movie make. (Batman & Robin). Just having a Oscar Winner Star does make a good movie (Catwoman) either.

15th May 2006 21:07  #25

Adrian Senior Member Join Date: September 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,305
Stephen Etherton wrote:
On a lighter note, and this is just my personal opinion here, movie stars have begun to be way overpaid for a while, just like sports stars.  Big name star does not a good movie make. (Batman & Robin). Just having a Oscar Winner Star does make a good movie (Catwoman) either.


But they do have a high chance of success.  Chris Rock's rant at the Oscar's on star power is still pretty true.  Most people still go to see stars more than anything else.  (I mean how else can you explain Martin's Pink Panther making $80 million?)

I'll never begrudge talent from making money.  After all, there is a lot of money to be made.  The only thing that happens if you pay the talent less is that the studios make more.  At this point, thinking that it would make better movies or lower movie ticket prices is a bit naive.

23rd May 2006 5:34  #26

David Blackwell Senior Member Join Date: February 2004 Location: United States Posts: 2,615 Send a message via MSN to David Blackwell
The problems with paying actors big salaries upfront is that their next movie may be a flop.   Also some people come to expect certain type of movies from many actors/actresses.  If they do something out of the range, many times it means box office detah.

4th June 2006 17:21  #27

stanton heck Member Join Date: June 2005 Location: United States Posts: 1,098
Actors should only get $100,000 for filming  a movie.  Then they can make a % of the box office after the studio makes its money back.

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