Forget Kristen Stewart. Scarlett Johansson has just become the highest paid actress in Hollywood. She'll reportedly bank a staggering, jaw-dropping, eye-popping $20 million for zipping up her Black Widow jumpsuit in The Avengers sequel *. It's the most ever paid for a female star (right behind her is Angelina Jolie, who reportedly got $19 million for The Tourist -- Ange edged out by only one million!). KStew was last year's highest paid actress, but she got the relatively paltry sum of $12.5 million for each Twilight sequel. Johansson's salary leaves her in the dust. Guess there's no recession in Hollywood! Is ScarJo really worth this kind of loot?
It's unusual for an actor to get such a big salary in an ensemble film like The Avengers. The first movie also starred Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson and Gwyneth Paltrow. If big salaries were paid out to multiple stars in an emsemble film, it would bust the budget, so it's usually not done unless it's a HUGE film.
Which this one is. The Avengers has raked in over half a billion dollars worldwide since May. Once DVD is released, that will no doubt top a billion. Plus, there's TV rights, merch, etc. This thing is a CASH COW. Hell, it's a cash BULL. The studio obviously decided it was better to bite the bullet and pay out the big bucks rather than pull a switcheroo with a lower paid actress and possibly muck up the formula.
Additionally, ScarJo must have a large role in the sequel. There's no way she's getting $20 million for a few days work. She's probably going to be in nearly every scene.
That said, the usual train of thought in Hollywood with big budget franchise movies is that people go to see the storyline or the special effects, NOT the star. This is why you can make another Spider-Man movie, but without Tobey MacGuire. You can make a bunch of Batman movies and have a different Batman each time.
But sometimes switching out a star can be the death of a lucrative series. James Bond never quite recovered from losing Sean Connery. The Avengers' studio must have thought Scarlett was worth every penny, and who am I to disagree? Anyway, it's about time that female stars began raking in the kinds of moola the guys do.
Poor ScarJo may have lost her gorgeous ex-hubby Ryan Reynolds, but between $20 mil and her hot bodyguard, I'd say she's not crying!
* Savvy readers have pointed out that both Julia Roberts and Cameron Diaz reportedly received $20 million payouts for movies. So why is ScarJo's amount being hailed as "record breaking"? Answer: Because Hollywood has a short memory. And so do writers.
What do you think about Scarlett Johansson's $20 million?