It seems fitting that the man who started the Marvel Cinematic Universe would also be paid the most.
Robert Downey Jr., who kicked off the MCU with “Iron Man” back in 2008, took in at least $75 million on “Avengers: Endgame,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. It’s a long way from what he got for playing the superhero in the first movie.
Disney is historically stingy in paying its actors, and RDJ is no exception. Just how tight can the studio be with its cash?
Here’s how much Downey Jr. and 5 other actors have been paid during their time in the MCU:
Chris Hemsworth — $150,000 for “Thor” (2011)
- Marvel Studios
It makes sense that this Chris got so little. The actor didn’t have many credits to his name when he came on to play Odin’s son in the first movie. But he’s got leverage now. Hemsworth has been earning at least $15 million paydays since “Thor: Ragnarok.”
Robert Downey Jr. — $500,000 for “Iron Man” (2008)
Yeah, Marvel got RDJ cheap in 2008 (following box-office milestones for the first “Iron Man,” Downey’s end pay was $2.5 million). An Oscar-nominated actor and arguably one of the best of his era, Downey Jr. was still repairing his career following a tough stint with substance abuse at the time he was cast in the movie that would launch the MCU. And he has been rewarded since, earning $50 million for the first “Avengers” movie, $80 million for “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” and $10 million for the handful of scenes in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” Then, on the latest Marvel movie, “Avengers: Endgame,” he took home at least $75 million.
Chris Evans — $1 million for “Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011)
Evans got more than his fellow Chris on his first outing because he had better name recognition when he agreed to play Steve Rogers. In fact, he had already played a superhero. He was Johnny Storm in the early 2000s version of the “Fantastic Four” franchise. And since “Captain America: Civil War,” like Hemsworth, he’s been scoring at least $15 million checks.
Chadwick Boseman — $2 million for “Black Panther” (2017)
- Disney/Marvel Studios
By Disney standards, starting out at $2 million isn’t bad. And being part of one of the biggest Marvel hits of all time meant Boseman got a nice bonus. He’ll definitely be looking at bigger pay days playing T’Challa going forward.
Brie Larson — $5 million for “Captain Marvel” (2019)
- Marvel Studios
The newest addition to the MCU, Brie Larson as Captain Marvel, walked away with more than Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chadwick Boseman earned on their first MCU movies – $5 million!
Scarlett Johansson — $15 million for Untitled Black Widow Movie (TBA)
- Marvel Studios/Disney
It sure was a long time coming. After seven movies in the MCU, Johansson’s character finally gets a standalone movie, which is currently in early stages. And because of that Disney is going to give her a worthy contract. She earned a low seven-figure check starring in the first “Avengers” movie.
Moral of the story: the longer you stay in the MCU, the more you’ll eventually make.