$10m fee for a movie star? Yesterday’s news, says Brad

Sep 11, 2012

Film actors are felling the pinch like everyone else, says one half of Brangelina. Well, up to a point...

AUSTERITY has come to Hollywood, it seems. According to Brad Pitt, the days of actors getting multi-million dollar fees are over. Asked by the BBC whether a movie star could still command $10m or more for a film, he replied: "Yeah, that thing died. That arithmetic doesn't really work right now.”

And just to emphasise the point, he added: “That deal's not flying these days."

Pitt has been a regular fixture on Hollywood’s best paid lists, reportedly earning $25m a year. Today, however, the economic climate has proved challenging for the studios, causing them to hedge their bets on sure-fire hits that will make mega-bucks at the box office.

But it’s not all bad news, since profits from highest grossing films are being used to support smaller projects. And that, says Pitt, “opens up a vacuum for really interesting new film makers to come in."

Although salaries are not what they used to be, it seems that Tinseltown’s finest don’t yet have much reason to worry. There are still ways actors can rake in millions from a movie, if they agree a smaller upfront salary in exchange for a cut of the eventual profits.

Forbes’ annual list of Hollywood’s highest earners revealed that Pitt is still in a very fortunate position, ranking second below Scientology superhero Tom Cruise. Cruise’s earnings were estimated to top $75 million (£47m) between May 2011 and May 2012, following his appearance in the latest Mission: Impossible film, Ghost Protocol, which made than $700m (£446m) worldwide.

In compiling the list, Forbes says it considers a range of factors including pay, profit participation, residuals, endorsements and advertising work. Pitt and Cruise’s stratospheric salaries may take them into the big leagues, but there’s one man who can claim to have done even better out of Hollywood’s profligacy, economic crisis or no.

The Guinness Book of World Records has named Samuel L. Jackson as the highest-grossing actor of all time, earning an astounding $7.42 billion over the span of his film career.

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Oh boo hoo Brad. Now that you and your girlfriend have made millions.....