About Your Privacy on this Site
Welcome! To bring you the best content on our sites and applications, Meredith partners with third party advertisers to serve digital ads, including personalized digital ads. Those advertisers use tracking technologies to collect information about your activity on our sites and applications and across the Internet and your other apps and devices.
You always have the choice to experience our sites without personalized advertising based on your web browsing activity by visiting the DAA’s Consumer Choice page, the NAI's website, and/or the EU online choices page, from each of your browsers or devices. To avoid personalized advertising based on your mobile app activity, you can install the DAA’s AppChoices app here. You can find much more information about your privacy choices in our privacy policy. Even if you choose not to have your activity tracked by third parties for advertising services, you will still see non-personalized ads on our sites and applications. By clicking continue below and using our sites or applications, you agree that we and our third party advertisers can:
  • transfer your data to the United States or other countries; and
  • process and share your data so that we and third parties may serve you with personalized ads, subject to your choices as described above and in our privacy policy.
Entertainment Weekly

Article

The biggest movie payoffs

Posted on

Everybody and his agent seem to be getting $20 million a picture these days, but which actor got the biggest payday ever? It comes down to a battle between a joker, a man with an impossible mission, and a friendly Southerner with an IQ of 75.

Although Jack Nicholson was guaranteed a paltry $6 million to play the Joker in 1989’s Batman, he wound up with much more, thanks to a formula that’s standard practice among A-list stars. He cut his normal fee, then around $10 million, in exchange for a piece of Batman‘s earnings — notably the toys that bore his likeness. All told, Nicholson was said to have made more than $50 million after the movie earned in excess of $411 million worldwide.

That’s a box of choc’lates compared with what Tom Hanks got on Forrest Gump. Playing a simpleton — and shrewdly taking a cut of the box office gross — was one of the smartest business moves in Hollywood history. After Gump took in nearly $680 million worldwide, Hanks walked away with an estimated $60 million. A similar deal on Saving Private Ryan (which grossed $479 million worldwide) is said to have earned Hanks upwards of $30-40 million. The act-now, get-paid-later setup is likely to make The Green Mile that much greener for Hanks. The Oscar-nominated film has made $128 million domestically and is still in theaters.

But the king of back-end deal makers seems to be Tom Cruise. Viacom honcho Sumner Redstone recently disclosed that Cruise had pocketed $70 million for 1996’s Mission: Impossible. Reason: As both star and — more important, producer — of the film, Cruise negotiated a chunk of Mission‘s overall $465 million gross. With the same deal reportedly pending for the Mission sequel, scheduled to open later this year, Cruise could soon be officially considered his own country.

Outbrain