Any one actor who headlines a multi-billion dollar franchise should expect to make millions of dollars for their work. That math is relatively easy to do. But Robert Downey Jr. isn't just any actor and he isn't just the face of any old franchise. This to say, he's going to make a truly unbelievable amount of money for his work in Avengers: Endgame, since the movie is breaking records at the box office and is poised to become one of the highest-grossing movies ever.
Warning: minor spoilers ahead for Avengers: Endgame. According to a new report, Robert Downey Jr. made approximately $75 million for his work in last year's Infinity War. That is an astonishingly high salary, but it isn't as though that number was arrived at arbitrarily. RDJ became the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man in 2008, which helped to make this 22-movie behemoth that climaxed with Avengers: Endgame into the $20 billion box office monster that it is today. As such, he worked out a unique deal with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige that gives him a percentage of the backend grossed by the movies.
Taking that into account, we can assume he'll make at least as much for his work in Avengers: Endgame, depending on how much it winds up making at the box office. As it stands, the follow-up to Infinity War has already made $1.3 billion in less than a week. Its predecessor grossed $2.04 billion total. It's expected that Avengers: Endgame will have a shot at passing Avatar to become the highest-grossing movie ever. James Cameron's sci-fi epic grossed $2.78 billion in 2009.
If we scale that up, let's say Avengers: Endgame makes $2.8 billion worldwide. Based on the $75 million he reportedly made for Infinity War, he would stand to make, roughly speaking, $104 million. Basically, the math breaks down to Robert Downey Jr. making $1 million for every $26.7 million one of these movies makes at the box office. Again, this is relatively rough math, but it's not hard to imagine RDJ will clear $100 million for this movie alone. That's pretty amazing considering that the man was nearly unemployable before Iron Man came out.
As for his co-stars? Scarlett Johansson is set to make around $20 million to star in and produce her Black Widow solo movie. Which, given what happened with the character in Avengers: Endgame, is almost assuredly going to be a prequel. Chris Evans (Captain America) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor) also are said to have negotiated salaries in the $15 to $20 million range. For actors not named Robert Downey Jr., bonuses don't kick in until the movies gross $1.5 billion these days, since Marvel has such an amazing track record at the box office.
Actors such as Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, who are set to star in shows like Falcon and Winter Soldier and WandaVision on the upcoming streaming service Disney+, are said to have negotiated separate deals for the shows. So future movie deals will require different negotiations. Robert Downey Jr., meanwhile, concluded his arc in Avengers: Endgame and, most likely, is done with the MCU. But he's going to walk away with one final, very fat paycheck. This news was previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter.