Among plummeting DVD sales, box-office flops and penny-pinching studios, actors who used to get $20 million a picture can only get a fraction of that price.
The New York Times’ Michael Cieply takes a look at the top 10 Oscar nominees, and concludes that the combined total of their upfront pay is only a “little larger than the $20 million that went to Julia Roberts for her appearance in Erin Brockovich, a best-picture nominee in 2001, or to Russell Crowe for Master and Commander, nominated in 2004.”
Of course, that might have something to do with the main actors in nominated films like Avatar, Up and The Hurt Locker being relatively unknown. Some of the three-dozen or so top-billed actors worked at or near the Screen Actors Guilds’ minimum payments, which is $65,000 for a feature film, according to the Times.
The star with the biggest payday at the Oscars? Brad Pitt for Inglourious Basterds. He got $10 million up front, with profit royalties on the way. Lucky bastard.
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