If Sandra Bullock doesn’t take home the statue for Best Actress at Sunday’s Academy Awards, the “Gravity” star will still be left with a $US70 million consolation prize.
The 49-year-old actress is set to earn her biggest paycheck ever for her challenging role as an adrift astronaut in 2013’s Alfonso Cuaron-directed space flick.
Studio sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Bullock will walk away with at least $US70 million for her role, when all revenue streams are factored in.
According to THR, Bullock earned “$20 million upfront against 15% of first-dollar gross,” meaning
that she got $US20 million upfront plus 15% of box office.
“Assuming Warners gets 45% of that, Bullock’s take would be more than $US50 million, including her upfront payment,” notes THR. “But theatrical revenue is just one part of what she’ll make, as she also gets a percentage from home video, TV and ancillary revenue.”
One veteran finance lawyer explained to THR, “The theatrical window is going to generate a third of the total revenue a movie will earn; it will get another third on DVD; and then the final third comes from pay and free TV.”
So even by a conservative estimate, Bullock will earn at least an additional $US20 million from the outside sources.
“Bullock’s first-dollar-gross deal is highly unusual in today’s marketplace, where studios insist on recouping costs before sharing profits with talent,” explains THR. The only other actor to score a similar deal is Robert Downey Jr., who earned $US50 million for “The Avengers.”
So how did Bullock pull off such a rare, lucrative deal?
There are a few reasons. First, Warner Bros was in desperate need of a female actress who would be able to carry the film. After Angelina Jolie dropped out of the role, the studio felt that Bullock’s recent success with “The Blind Side,” which won her an Oscar and grossed
$309 million globally, made her one of few stars who could carry so much solo screen time.
Secondly, THR reports that Bullock’s “reps at CAA and the Ziffren Brittenham law firm closed the pact in late 2010 before the belt-tightening [at the studio] now taking place.” And thirdly, with a cast of just two people [Bullock and George Clooney], the studio felt they could splurge on salaries — though it is still not clear exactly how much Clooney pocketed.
But it wasn’t just Bullock who benefited from “Gravity,” as the film’s profits are set to total more than all of the other Oscar-nominated movies combined.
Bullock’s rep has not responded to THR’s report.
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