Iron Man 3 has made $700 million at the worldwide box office, and Deadline is reporting that Robert Downey Jr. has already pocketed over $35 million with his eventual payday set to rise even higher.
Remember those reports about him making $50 million for The Avengers? Well, the site believes that it was actually closer to $70 million – $80 million. But wait there’s more!
According to Nikki Finke of Deadline: “Marvel and therefore owner Disney are going to run into big trouble on that sequel because the upfront pay, backend compensation, break even points and box office bonuses aren’t pinned down yet for several big stars and castmates.
“This is major hurdle which Walt Disney Company Chaiman/CEO Bob Iger hasn’t even mentioned to Wall Street or shareholders although he’s already hyping Avengers 2 like crazy for more than a year now.”
While most of the cast are signed for multi-picture deals, they are all said to be, “counting on at least $5 million upfront and better back ends for Avengers 2″.
Deadline also reveals that The Avengers was only nominated for one Oscar “because Marvel refused to pay for an awards season campaign for the picture. And even when Disney offered to foot the bill, Marvel still wouldn’t budge”.
The article is very detailed and states that both Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth clashed with Marvel Studios over their returns in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Thor: The Dark World:
“Calling it the ‘weirdest experience’, one rep still can’t believe Marvel offered ‘only a $500,000 raise and then would pay another $500,000 when the movie hits $500m’. Are they out of their minds?” When it was pointed out to Marvel that Hemsworth already had received $5M for his starring role in Snow White And The Huntsman, the studio shot back, ‘I don’t know why you’re complaining when Marvel only has hit movies’. To which the response was: “‘He’s happier working at a place like Universal’.”
While Marvel has threatened to sue or recast anyone who doesn’t play ball with them, many of those same cast members have responded with a very nonchalant:
“Go ahead! Hemsworth especially wasn’t anxious to go back into that arduous diet and training regimen and subsist primarily on egg whites for Thor: Dark World which hits theaters November 8th. I also understand that Scarlett Johanssen told castmates she’s ‘not going to cut her quote’ for Marvel’s Avengers 2.”
The main problem going forward is how many of the Avengers stars are still bound by early contracts and longterm options which Marvel can continue to exploit individually. In order to combat this the site says:
“The Avengers cast are becoming united behind Robert Downey Jr who is seen as the “leader” – like “a big brother” in the words of one rep – for all the younger actors in the ensemble. “He’s the only guy with real power in this situation. and balls of steel, too. He’s already sent a message that he’s not going to work for a place where they treat his colleagues like shit.”
Another rep told the site: “I have four words for Marvel – ‘F@ck you, call Robert.’”
Deadline also got a chance to ask director Joss Whedon if he thinks any of this would create problems for Avengers 2:
“I don’t, because that would make me sad and I tend to be a bit Pollyanna. I tend to think these roles can alter the course of a career. Not that Mark Ruffalo needs this or is in pursuit of this. That man will always work. But it doesn’t suck. We had an amazing time making the movie and that kind of recognition doesn’t hurt, if it’s not with Marvel or the next guy. It’s useful.”
Stay tuned hopefully this turns out to be Loki’s fault or else this could get real messy!