Last week, Jennifer Hudson, Tom Cruise, and Hugh Jackman all appeared at Wal-Mart’s annual shareholder meeting.
These stars regularly command six-figure appearance fees, yet they appeared at the meeting for free, according to a tweet by Stephanie Clifford at The New York Times.
Other outlets have also reported that the celebrities performed for free at the big event in Bentonville, Ark.
Clifford speculated that Wal-Mart is powerful enough to get the hottest celebrities in the world to appear for free because it has customers the entertainment industry desperately needs.
“My guess: Wal-Mart’s one of the last DVD/CD sales behemoths,” Clifford tweeted.
Her theory makes sense: As America’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart has access to millions of American consumers who shop there multiple times a week.
If Wal-Mart decides to feature a DVD or album, sales could spike.
Tom Cruise gushed about Wal-Mart during his appearance onstage, calling the retailer a “role model.”
He also touted the retailer’s programs for sustainability and women.
Hugh Jackman served as master of ceremonies. Kelly Clarkson and John Legend performed for the crowd.
Past celebrities who have appeared at the meeting include Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, and Will Smith.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.