It pays to be the founding member of the Avengers. And it pays really well. Roberty Downey Jr. portrayed Tony Stark/Iron Man for 11 years in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and quickly became the highest paid actor in the franchise, over Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow), Jeremy Renner (Clint Barton/Hawkeye) and Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk.)
It all makes sense since Downey was in more MCU movies than any of his co-stars and his star-studded appeal didn’t hurt. Downey received an incredible base salary for his role in Avengers: Endgame, but his backend deal is earning him a heck of a lot more. The actor earned a base of $20 million to play Iron Man for the last time, but now that Endgame has amassed over $1.7 billion overseas, his backend is up to $55 million according to Forbes.
That’s an astounding $75 million salary for one movie. Endgame has amassed pretty much all it can at this point in the box office, meaning Downey won’t bring in a whole lot more to add to that total, but it’s safe to say he’s not disappointed with his payday. The actor’s backend deal earns him eight percent of the movie’s gross after a certain milestone is hit, putting him higher than any other co-star.
Let's give it up for Robert Downey, Jr., who got an 8% back-end deal on the profits of #AvengersEndgame – to the tune of $55 million. His salary on the original #IronMan was just $500,000. What a story. @Forbes pic.twitter.com/pvAxljzKmr
— LightsCameraJackson (@LCJReviews) July 11, 2019
Forbes also reported that six stars of Endgame were among the highest paid celebrities in 2018 including Downey, Evans, Hemsworth, Johansson, Bradley Cooper, and Paul Rudd. Despite only lending his voice to Rocket Raccoon in Endgame, Cooper also had a backend deal that earned him an additional one percent of the movie’s gross, which brought in another $7 million for the actor.
Downey earned the same payday for Avengers: Infinity War, with his base salary and backend pay combined earning him $75 million. The Tropic Thunder actor was third on the highest paid actors list Forbes just released as well. Just behind Dwayne Johnson and Chris Hemsworth, Downey brought in $66 million for the year off base salaries. The actor has certainly come a long way since earning just $500,000 for his role as Tony Stark in the 2008 Iron Man film.
The list has six actors from Avengers Endgame which is also the highest-grossing film of all time.https://t.co/M4xEor9vCW
— News18 (@CNNnews18) July 12, 2019
Those mega paydays might be the last for Downey, who is not set to appear in any more Marvel Cinematic Universe films. He will be reprising his role as Sherlock Holmes in an untitled 2021 film, with other upcoming projects including The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle, All-Star Weekend, and an untitled John Brinkley biopic.
Avengers: Endgame is still in select theaters.