How Much Money People Really Make in Hollywood

The Hollywood Reporter surveyed salary ranges from actors to studio chiefs.

Jennifer Lawrence recently received a $20 million pay stub for her Hollywood film Red Sparrow.
Jennifer Lawrence walks the red carpet ahead of the 'mother!' screening during the 74th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 5, 2017 in Venice, Italy. (Elisabetta A. Villa/WireImage)

The Hollywood Reporter surveyed the salaries of the entertainment industry, looking at everything from the highest grossing stars and directors, to make up artists, camera operators, and sound technicians.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, stars can still “get paid like its 1999.” A-listers are around $20 million per movie. Jennifer Lawrence just made that for Red Sparrow, for example, and Will Smith made $20 million for Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. They also get paid tens of millions more on the backend. Then there are the A-listers like Harrison Ford or Robert Downey Jr. who make $15 million.

But then there are the middle and bottom dollar payments. Emma Watson made $3 million upfront for Beauty and The Beast, but ended up making nearly $20 million thanks to her backend. Actresses like Gal Gadot, who only had a few credits to her name but starred in her first franchise, can be expected to make between $150,000 and $300,000 writes The Hollywood Reporter. 

Meanwhile, a lot of producers make an upfront fee of $2 million, and then millions more in the backend. An average studio producer probably makes about $750,000 per film. First-time producers average $250,000.

Top dollar agents make a lot too. WME-IMG upped its valuation to $6.3 billion in August, writes The Hollywood Reporter. Veteran agents with high-earning clients can double their base salary with bonuses, which leaves them taking home anywhere between $300,000 and $500,000 a year.

Director Ridley Scott received $10 million to $12 million upfront for Alien: Covenant but took a smaller paycheck for All the Money in the World, reports The Hollywood Reporter. Patty Jenkins only got $1 million to direct Wonder Woman, but she will be making $8 million to $9 million for the sequel. This makes her the highest-paid female director ever. New or indie directors can make about $400,000 to $500,000.

Boom operators can make anywhere between $37,000 to $120,625, depending on experience. A typical studio pays an average of $72,000 a year, writes The Hollywood Reporter. 

A key grip is paid $25.50 an hour for low-budget films. TV shows pay about $35.87 an hour and movie studies pay $131,068 for experience talent, says The Hollywood Reporter. 

You can’t forget TV show stars. Big Bang Theory stars like Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki are some of the best-paid stars, racking in about $900,000 an episode, or about $20 million a year, plus backend. Game of Thrones stars make about $500,000 each per episode. Someone who has never had a series regular role makes about $30,000 an episode. That’s how much the kids from Stranger Things made.

A big-budget studio film might pay up to $124,000 for makeup artists. Camera operators on a big budget film can earn $154,000 a year.

See the whole list at The Hollywood Reporter

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