Per the report, movie streaming has dramatically increased the salaries for the top film stars. Streaming services such as HBO Max, Disney +, and Netflix tend to “[compensate] movie stars for the projected back-end box office participation they would reap if their movies were released exclusively in theaters,” as reported in the article. Also, in-demand actors who appear in film franchisees reap the benefits of the success of the series with significant salary bumps.
According to the report, Dwayne Johnson, Will Smith, and Denzel Washington are the top three Black movie stars on the list, with Johnson earning $50 million and Smith and Washington both drawing $40 million.
Other Hollywood A-listers who made the list include Leonardo DiCaprio ($30 million), Mark Wahlberg ($30 million), Jennifer Lawrence ($25 million), Julia Roberts ($25 million), Sandra Bullock ($20 million), Brad Pitt ($20 million), Ryan Gosling ($20 million), and Tom Cruise ($13 million).
Variety reports that a $20 million salary for a film has been the industry benchmark ever since Jim Carey received the amount for The Cable Guy in 1996. Now with streaming deals that offer new revenue streams, actors’ salaries have expanded exponentially.