'Hunger Games' Haul Promises Payday Bump For Stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth

 Joe Pugliese

With a record-breaking worldwide weekend haul of more than $214 million, The Hunger Games' prospects seem anything but anemic -- not just for the franchise but also for stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. Its domestic gross of $152.5 million ranks only behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and The Dark Knight in all-time opening weekends, which should also mean a big financial windfall for its three stars.

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Although Lawrence was paid only $500,000 to play Katniss Everdeen in the film, she is set to receive "escalators," bonuses that kick in when the movie crosses certain box-office thresholds (which by all accounts it already has crossed). She stands to bring in more than $1 million by the time the film finishes its theatrical run and can expect greater rewards going forward. By comparison, sources say she was paid scale -- somewhere in the range of $3,000 a week -- for her breakthrough role as Ree in Deborah Granik's Winter's Bone, so the payday marks a quantum leap from her previous salaries.

Salary information is unknown for Hutcherson or Hemsworth. But looking at the bump young actors and actresses have enjoyed on other franchises, all three of the stars' paychecks should grow significantly by the time they get to future installments Catching Fire and Mockingjay.

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So how do the Hunger Games cast members' salaries stack up to those of the stars of their book-to-big screen predecessors? As the star of the Twilight saga, Kristen Stewart received a reported $2 million for the first film, but according to Vulture, that number ballooned to $12.5 million each for Breaking Dawn Parts 1 and 2, plus 7.5 percent of the gross. Although Stewart’s co-star Taylor Lautner initially received only $1 million for his role in Twilight, he and Robert Pattinson took home the same paycheck as their leading lady for the final two films in the series.

The Harry Potter film series proved to be a major-league payday for its stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, especially since the franchise produced eight installments. Radcliffe took home $1 million for the first film, 2001’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but according to Vanity Fair, his salary ballooned to $20 million by 2011, when he reprised the role for the last time in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.

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Watson and Grint's paychecks didn’t grow quite as exponentially as Radcliffe's: He was earning $14 million for Order of the Phoenix while they received just $4 million apiece. But per the same Vanity Fair article reporting Radcliffe's salary both actors received $15 million apiece for each of the Deathly Hallows films.

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