A new report by Variety revealed a very sad truth about the biggest salaries in Hollywood.
The outlet reports that the actor who got the biggest payday in Tinsel Town was none other than Daniel Craig. The current James Bond received more than $100 million for the “Knives Out” sequels, which are being directed by Hollywood heavyweight Rian Johnson. And there’s a reason Craig is getting this heavy salary: the “new deal” that’s available to many Hollywood stars.
“Netflix compensates movie stars for the projected back-end box office participation they would reap if their movies were released exclusively in theaters. Add to that salary bumps Craig would’ve received for second and third films in the murder mystery series, and the outgoing James Bond is sitting on a nine-figure check,” explains Variety.
And there’s more to the biggest salaries in Hollywood, too. In a nutshell, actors who are involved in the business of streaming can expect a bigger payday than those who limit their efforts to more traditional outlets. That’s why Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson got an upfront payday of $30 million for his most recent film, but could end up taking home north of $50 million when his deal finalizes.
But, of the movie stars listed who make the biggest salaries in Hollywood, only four of them (out of 17) are Black men. Not one Black woman made the list. This, once again, proves that we still have a long way to go in order to get equity and equality in Hollywood.
Let’s take a look at the four Black actors who made the list, what their payouts were for, and why.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Payday: $50 million
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson got a $30 million upfront payday for Amazon’s acquisition of “Red One,” but that payday could go as high as $50 million once the backend is squared away.
Payday: $40 million
Will Smith made an exclusive deal with Warner Brothers as part of the movie house’s efforts to release its entire slate on the HBO Max premium streaming service. His $40 million payday for “King Richard” includes his backend payout.
Payday: $40 million
Like Smith, Denzel Washington made a deal with Warner Brothers to release “The Little Things” exclusively on the HBO Max premium streaming service. And, like Smith, Washington’s $40 million payday includes his backend payout.
Michael B. Jordan
Payday: $15 million
Finally, Michael B. Jordan got a $15 million payday from Amazon Studios for his Paramount-produced flick, “Without Remorse.” This payday also includes the streaming back-end buyout.