12 Shocking Secrets of Movie Stars' Salaries

by Zach Seemayer 9:09 PM PDT, October 02, 2014

We all knew celebs make big bucks for appearing in films, on TV, in commercials, in video games, and for just showing up at night clubs. But according to this recent comprehensive examination of Hollywood salaries by THR, some stars make way more than we ever realized, while others make significantly less.

Here are 12 of the most surprising things we learned from the report…

Robert Downey Jr.'s 'Iron Man' Payday Is Bonkers

The Iron Man series is one of the most successful film franchises ever, so it shouldn't come as a shock that he would get good money. But $75 million is a lot, no matter who you are. How did he make that much? Part of his deal included getting 7% of the film's total gross.

Leo Made WAY More Than Jonah On 'Wolf Of Wall Street'

While they both got Oscar nominations for their role in The Wolf Of Wall Street, they didn't both take home the same paychecks. Leonardo DiCaprio made over $25 million for his performance, while Jonah Hill – who wanted to be in the movie so badly he agreed to work for the union minimum – only took home $60,000. This means Leo took home a paycheck 416 times larger than Jonah's.

One Jennifer Makes A Lot More Than The Other

Jennifer Lawrence and Jennifer Aniston are two of the most successful actresses in Hollywood, and certainly the two highest-paid Jennifers. However, Lawrence's appearances in The Hunger Games means she earns $20 million more than the former Friends star. Lawrence took home $35 million last year, while Aniston snagged $15.

Endorsements Pay Crazy Amounts

Movies can make you money, but product endorsements can make you buy-an-island rich. Aside from the $75 million from Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr. took home $12 million from an HTC endorsement. Meanwhile, Jennifer Aniston reportedly makes as much on her endorsements from Aveeno and Smartwater as she does for starring in a major film. And, don't forget TV host Bethenny Frankel who landed a deal with Skinnygirl that earned her $100 million.

We Now Understand Why Liam Neeson Will Be Making 'Taken' Sequels Forever

People really love watching 62-year-old Liam Neeson kick vaguely-foreign looking people in the face. And the studio is willing to pay big. For Taken 3 – spelled TAK3N because of course it is – Neeson reportedly got $20 million.

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Ashton Kutcher Makes The Average American's Salary Every 60 Seconds

TV Stars can make bank! For his role on Two And A Half Men, new dad Ashton Kutcher is said to make $750,000 an episode, which equals out to $34,000 per minute. Meanwhile, NCIS star Mark Harmon reportedly makes $500,000 an episode, and the main cast of The Big Bang Theory, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, all make $1 million per episode.

Alex Trebek Is Swimming In Cash

As it turns out, hosting a TV show for 30 years can pay off. While most primetime game show hosts make around $75,000 a week, Trebek is clearing $10 million per year.

Jon Stewart Is The King Of Late Night Paychecks

Jimmy Fallon is reportedly making around $15 million a year. Currently, Stephen Colbert makes around the same amount, but could move up when he replaces David Letterman in a few months. And Seth Meyers apparently only clears $3 million a year. Leaving Jon Stewart, host of the wildly popular and influential Comedy Central series The Daily Show, as king of the late night mountain with his $25 to $30 million annual salary.

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Reality TV Pays Nothing, Unless You're A Kardashian Or A Member Of The Duck Dynasty

Sure, Kourtney and Kim Kardashian reportedly signed a three-year deal with E! for a solid $40 million, and the Robertson family, featured on the popular A&E series Duck Dynasty allegedly make $200,000 an episode. But they are reality royalty. You average contestant on a reality competition show, or even those who appear on a docu-series, make close to nothing.

The Sad Stat About An Actor's Average Earnings

Are you an aspiring actor? If so, you might want to skip this one, because it's only going to make you sad. Let's just quote THR, "According to the most recent SAG statistics, the average member earns $52,000 a year, while the vast majority take home less than $1,000 a year from acting jobs." Ouch.

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Everyone Short On Cash Should Try To Be An Extra

Extras, those people who just sort of mill around in the background of shots and often mess up continuity, often make $148 a day. Also, they get a $50 bump if they have to work in uncomfortable conditions. And, if the shoot goes over 16 hours (which isn't uncommon), they get a whole day's pay for every hour after.

A Monkey Makes WAY More Than Most Regular People

Remember that monkey on that very short-lived NBC show Animal Practice? Its name is Crystal, and it reportedly made $108,000 for appearing in nine episodes. Just try to read that and not get mad. Who does that money even go to? Does Crystal have a wild $1000 per day banana addiction?