Over the course of its opening weekend, Avengers: Endgame earned more than $1.2 billion at the global box office. Domestically, it had already covered its entire production budget and was well on its way to being the highest-grossing movie of all time. Of course, the movie would be nothing without the actors bringing the Marvel characters to life, and one of those is Robert Downey Jr., who was so incredibly well paid for his efforts.
Please let it be known that there will be no spoilers for Avengers: Endgame in this article. While it has been out for almost a week now, there’s no need to ruin it for those who have not made it out to the theater yet.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has earned a ridiculous amount of money over the course of 22 movies and RDJ has appeared as Tony Stark/Iron Man in many of them. He was the first character in the MCU and Downey apparently negotiated a very shrewd contract with Marvel, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Not only did his financial arrangement with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige allow him to snag a hefty salary, but his backend pay is even better. According to reports, Robert Downey Jr. earned at least $75 million from last year’s release of Avengers: Infinity War.
Yes, that is $75 million for just one actor.
While the exact figures aren’t known, that is $75 million off of Avengers: Infinity War which earned $2.048 billion worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo. In less than a week, Endgame is only about $400 million from that cumulative total and could bypass it by this weekend.
The way that Robert Downey Jr. negotiated his contract with Marvel results in him getting backend pay which is a percentage of the film’s box office. That being said, he will likely earn even more from Avengers: Endgame with the way it is breaking records in theaters.
He also found a way to negotiate a great deal for his three days of work on Spider-Man: Homecoming, which hit theaters in 2017.
RDJ ended up earning a whopping $5 million per day for each of the three days he worked on that movie.
When looking at the amount of money earned by some of the other Avengers, it’s not like they made simple pennies. It’s just that Downey was able to negotiate a deal that ended up giving him a lot more money due to the overall success that the movies had at the box office.
Here is the amount of money that some of the others in the MCU have made and will make:
- Scarlett Johansson/Black Widow – Approximately $20 million for starring and producing in future Black Widow solo film
- Chris Hemsworth/Thor – $15 to $20 million per film
- Chris Evans/Captain America – $15 to $20 million per film
There is a threshold set in place by Marvel Studios as to how the financial bonuses work for stars after movies hit different benchmarks. Originally, bonuses kicked in after hitting $500 million globally but it was raised to $700 million and is reportedly now at $1.5 billion. As for Robert Downey Jr. and the contract he negotiated to star in Iron Man in 2008, things are entirely different and he’s been earning paychecks that would make even Tony Stark jealous.