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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

October 2, 2014 at 10:45 AM

Hollywood salaries revealed

The Hollywood Reporter has some interesting numbers this week in its Money Issue, full of details as to how much money people (or, for that matter, animals) earn in the movie business. We all know about the big numbers earned by movie stars (Robert Downey Jr., for example, reportedly made around $50 million for “Iron Man 3”); I was more intrigued by some lesser-known numbers. A sampling:

  • Even movie-star salaries have an absurdly wide range: Leonardo DiCaprio made $25 million for “The Wolf of Wall Street” while costar Jonah Hill made $60,000. (Hill, it should be noted, had agreed to do the role for scale.) The average Screen Actors Guild member, however, makes about $52,000/year, with many earning less than $1,000/year for acting work.
  • The day rate for a dog or cat actor is $400.
  • The dozen or so A-list cinematographers in the business command up to $30,000 a week during a movie’s production. TV rates for cinematographers are lower; about $5,000-$8,000/week.
  • Film directors making studio movies earn from $250,000 (for a little-known first-timer) to $20 million (reportedly what Christopher Nolan will take home for “Interstellar”). TV directors get a base rate of $25,145 for a half-hour episode and $42,701 for an hour.
  • Extras on a movie set make $148/day, with $50 extra if they have to wear a hairpiece or are working in challenging weather conditions.
  • The day rate for a stunt person is $889. Top stunt persons can make a half-million dollars or more per year, but most make less than $100,000 annually.
  • The top names in commercial voice-over work (Morgan Freeman, Tim Allen, Jon Hamm, etc.) can make up to $1 million per ad.
  • Ever wondered what all those movie stars on TV are earning? Apparently the going rate for a big-name actor in a TV show is $150,000 per episode (lesser-known actors get $15-25,000 for a series regular role).

Strangely fascinating, right? Read the whole story here.

 

 

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