Stick around the Marvel Cinematic Universe long enough and you’ll start to make real money.
Scarlett Johansson, who has appeared in six movies as Black Widow, is finally landing a $15 million payday for an upcoming stand-alone film centered on the Marvel superheroine, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
That salary is what Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth each earned for playing Captain America and Thor, respectively, in this year’s Avengers: Infinity War. Evans and Hemsworth also nabbed that same $15 million payday for Captain America: Civil War and Thor: Ragnarok, respectively, as well as the upcoming fourth Avengers film.
Marvel typically doesn’t open up its wallet for first outings — Robert Downey Jr. included, as he took home only $500,000 for the first Iron Man. Johansson pulled down a low-seven figure salary for the first Avengers movie in 2012 (compared to Downey’s $50 million) after making her debut in 2010’s Iron Man 2. Still, Chadwick Boseman nabbed a seven-figure paycheck to star in Black Panther ($2 million, according to sources, which well tops Downey’s first showing). Boseman’s salary is expected to go up significantly for a Black Panther sequel. And Brie Larson, whose Oscar win for 2015’s Room figures into her deals, will be paid some $5 million for next year’s Captain Marvel movie (Larson landed a generous payday but in exchange signed a seven-picture deal that locks her into multiple franchises).
Although the numbers would be astronomical, even debilitating, for most studios, they make sense when factoring in the appeal of Marvel movies, now 10 years into their cinematic universe. While talent deals add up to more than $100 million of Infinity War‘s budget, it helps business affairs executives sleep easier knowing each Avengers movie easily crosses the $1 billion worldwide mark, with Infinity War grossing an astounding $2 billion. And Marvel typically allows its actors to share in the upside of a film, including bonuses of up to several million dollars based on the film’s performance.
Multiple knowledgeable sources confirmed Johansson’s Black Widow pay figure to THR. A Marvel spokesperson, in response to this story, said in a statement: “Marvel Studios disputes the accuracy of these numbers, and as a matter of policy, we never publicly disclose salaries or deal terms.”
Ultimately, it appears that Evans, who announced that Avengers 4 will be his last film as Captain America, is leaving while the going is good.