10 actors who secured bumper earnings in box office gross

  • 10 actors who secured bumper payoffs in box office gross

For his Oscar-winning work on The Revenant, Leonardo DiCaprio banked a reported $20 million - which put him among the top earners in Hollywood.

But while DiCaprio is one of the best in the business and most actors will never come close to earning those staggering salaries, if he'd have gone for a portion of box office gross, he'd have earned a lot more.

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10. Adam Sandler has raked in over $100 million for terrible movies

Also getting in on the producing racket is Adam Sandler, the comedian formed his Happy Madison production company in the late 1990s and since then he has been raking in vast swathes of the box office profits of the films he has starred in.

Despite his films having grossed over $4 billion worldwide, the comedy star regularly appearing in the upper parts of the Hollywood's most overpaid actor list with his standard $20million per picture deal, he also secured 20% of the gross for Little Nicky and Mr. Deeds, plus cashing in $25 million for Just Go With It and $20 million for Jack and Jill - both widely-panned movies.

In late 2014, Netflix had announced it had agreed a deal with Sandler to produce four movies exclusively for the streaming site, the numbers of the deal weren't disclosed, but we'd bet that it was more than Sandler's usual $20 million salary.

9. Jim Carrey makes $35 million off one of his most forgettable films

While Jim Carrey has somewhat fallen off the film radar in the past few years, the energetic comedian was the biggest film star of the '90s.

When the Canadian actor starred in 1996's The Cable Guy, he became the first actor to earn a basic salary of $20 million, and continued his lucrative film career for the better part of two decades.

With his career somewhat floundering, when he signed on to star in Yes Man, Carrey gambled with forgoing his salary for a very specific 36.2% of the movie's profits.

The gamble paid off as the film grossed an unexpected $226 million worldwide, netting the star $35 million.

8. Marlon Brando earns an actor salary record - sues because he wanted more

The legendary actor and headache for directors, Marlon Brando agreed to play Superman's father Jor-El, with his contract stating that Brando would only work 12 shooting days for $3.7 million and a percentage of the profit.

Trying to avoid appearing on screen, Brando tried to convince director Richard Donner that his character should appear as either a suitcase or a glowing green bagel, which was understandably refused because they were bonkers.

Securing a %age of the profit was a master stroke for Brando as the movie grossed $300 million, and for appearing for less than 15 minutes on screen, Brando bagged $19 million, which is well over $50 million in today's money, and a record at the time.

Despite this, Brando sued producer Ilya Salkind because he believed that Salkind hadn't paid him the fair share of the movie's profits.

7. Sandra Bullock cashes in over $50 million for being thrown around in a room

When she starred in Alfonso Cuarón's space epic Gravity, Sandra Bullock spent up to 10 hours a day being flung around in a custom-built rig during filming, and was well compensated for her efforts.

Bullock was given $20 million upfront as well as 15% of the movies gross - as well as all of the rentals and home entertainment purchases - it was estimated that she'd take home a $70 million windfall, but with her 2014 earnings clocking up $51 million, she fell rather short.

6. Tom Cruise earns over £200 million just for Mission: Impossible

Despite his personal life and religious ideas, Tom Cruise is one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood - every film the actor stars in turns into box office gold.

Cruise has obviously noticed this, as he's opting for a box office share to supplement his earnings, which they are doing very handsomely indeed.

The actor has added to his $20 million salary with profit shares on Vanilla Sky, Knight and Day and The Last Samurai, while he decided to forgo his War of the Worlds salary for 20% of the profits, which netted him around $100 million.

As well as that, Cruise has wrangled himself a producer credit on the hugely-successful Mission: Impossible series, which earned him $70 million from the first film and a subsequent $75 million on both Mission: Impossible II and III and $70 million off the fourth; it hasn't be revealed Cruise's earnings for the fifth film in the series, but it will certainly be as substantial as his previous pay checks.

5. Tom Hanks is the shrewdest multi-millionaire in Hollywood

Tom Hanks has starred in some of the greatest films of the last few decades including Philadelphia, Cast Away, Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile and lending his voice to Woody in the Toy Story films.

On the back of winning the '93 Best Actor Oscar for Philadelphia, Hanks agreed a portion of box office earnings for his next role as Forrest Gump.

Grossing over $680 million worldwide, Forrest Gump earned Hanks over $60 million, as well as his second consecutive Best Actor Oscar win.

These days, Hanks picks his projects and salaries well - if he doesn't feel the project will be a big earner, he takes his $20 million upfront salary, but he agrees a box office share if he feels strongly about it.

This approach earned him over $40million for Saving Private Ryan after taking no salary but a 20% share, as well as banking $18 million for The Da Vinci Code and for its sequel Angels and Demons, he took home over $50 million.

4. Jack Nicholson holds the single-movie record for an actor's salary

Back in 1989, Nicholson was such a huge Hollywood star that when he was cast as The Joker in Tim Burton's first Batman film, he was given top billing above Michael Keaton - who was actually Batman.

Years before comic book movies became big film business, Nicholson had to agree to take a pay cut from his usual $10 million to $6 million to play the clown prince of crime.

Nicholson instead agreed a deal for a percentage of the film's total earnings, including video and merchandise sales, and it worked out well for himillion as Batman grossed over $411 million (about $500 million in today's money) worldwide

Nicholson was laughing, and not just because of the joker make-up, because he ended up banking more than $60 million (over $100 million in today's money) for his performance as The Joker - which is still a single-movie record for an actor's salary.

3. Alec Guinness is still earning millions of dollars off Star Wars despite hating it

Throughout the years, English thespian Guinness has made his contempt for Star Wars very well known, labelling it "fairy tale rubbish" and ridiculing George Lucas' script, but masterfully negotiated for 2.25 % of gross profit from the original Star Wars trilogy.

One its theatrical release, the deal netted Guinness around $3 million (around $20 million these days), but by the time it came to the release of Episode 1-3, it was alleged that Guinness had raked in around $81 million (£56m) of Star Wars money - which is more than he made from his next 40 biggest movies combined.

Also cashing in on Star Wars box office gross was Steven Spielberg, who bet Lucas 2.5% of Star Wars gross against 2.5% of Spielberg's Close Encounters taking - which has earned Spielberg around £40 million.

2. Bruce Willis back the unknown M. Night Shyamalan, gets rewarded with $100 million

Back in 1999 Bruce Willis was convinced to star in the directorial debut by a young M. Night Shyamalan for the thriller about a kid who can see dead people, and also agreed to lower his salary from $20-25 million to a paltry $14m, but negotiated a 17 % gross of the box office and video sales.

A wise move indeed as The Sixth Sense became a breakout hit and grossed nearly $700million at the box office, and went on to become the most-rented movie of 2000.

All of this meant that John McClane took home an estimated $100 million as a result of Shyamalan's success from ripping off the story of an episode of 'Are You Afraid of the Dark?

1. Keanu Reeves earns over a quarter of a BILLION dollars for playing Neo

While The Matrix blew audiences' minds away in 1999, Keanu Reeves was picking up a truckload of cash from the mind-bending sci-fi adventure.

With a 10% box office take on top of his $10 million salary for the first movie, Reeves was looking at a pay check around $56 million.

But when he came back for the overblown sequels, Reeves secured himself some serious power with regards to his earnings.

With 15% of the gross for both The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions on top of his $30 million basic salary for both, despite the films not being as good as the original, they were still massive box office blockbusters.

So for Reloaded, Reeves banked almost $126 million, while the lesser earning Revolutions paid him over $78 million - which means that Ted "Theodore" Logan raked in a staggering 260 million dollars - over quarter of a billion dollars.

And one which didn't go as well...

John Travolta bets on Battlefield Earth to not be terrible, loses big

When John Travolta got the wheels in motion for L. Ron Hubbard's 1982 novel Battlefield Earth to be made into a film, he was expecting the world would love the space saga created by the man behind Scientology.

Travolta had so much faith in Battlefield Earth that he halved his usual $20 million fee to $10 million with the proviso that he would get a further $15 million if the film's domestic gross exceeded $55 million.

While promoting the film, Travolta declared it was: "like Star Wars: A New Hope, but better" and "the Schindler's List of science fiction films." Unfortunately no-one told the cinema-going public, as the film bombed, hard.

In the US the film grossed just $21 million against a reported $93 million budget - putting it in the annals of one of the most expensive box office bombs of all time, and failing to make Travolta that fortune that he was expecting.

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