Black film stars are among the list of Hollywood actors who have some of the biggest salaries in the industry, according to a new Variety report.
The report details how deals for streaming projects have resulted in expanded salaries for movie stars. Streamers like Netflix tend to "[compensate] movie stars for the projected back-end box office participation they would reap if their movies were released exclusviely in theaters," according to the article. Stars who also make deals to star in film franchises also tend to get increases in salary, with Variety giving the example of Daniel Craig signing on for multiple Knives Out films.
While Craig leads the list at $100 million, 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 at $40 million. Johnson, Smith and Washington are also shown as out-earning stars who were once box office draws including 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).
However, Variety notes that Cruise could earn more if Top Gun: Maverick becomes a box-office success thanks to Cruise's contract that demands he gets paid "first dollar gross on their backend participation," meaning Cruise gets paid before the studio does. His contract also sets him up to receive bonuses for each milestone his films hit.
Also at the lower end include Chris Hemsworth ($20 million), Keanu Reeves ($12-$14 million), Chris Pine ($11.5 million) and Robert Pattinson ($3 million). Michael B. Jordan's salary falls in between both sides of the spectrum at $15 million.
A $20 million salary, Variety notes, used to be the industry standard since the mid-'90s. But thanks to streaming deals, salaries have ballooned far beyond what they used to be. Today, if you're making $20 million or less, a star could be tens of millions more on the table.