Iron Man got one amazing sendoff in Avengers: Endgame, and it was fitting for the Avenger that started it all back in the first Iron Man that launched the MCU. The actor behind the character Robert Downey Jr. also got quite a sendoff in the way of a big-time paycheck for Endgame, and that was on top of his $20 million dollar salary. As one of the veterans of the MCU, Downey has an additional way to make money from the film thanks to a contingent compensation, which allows him a percentage of the film's profits. Endgame has so far made $2,773,357,309 billion at the box office, so you can imagine even a small percentage turns out to be quite a lot (via Forbes).
That is definitely the case with Downey. Downey's cut of the back-end profits is around 8%, and when you do the match that means Downey has made an additional $55 million from that deal thanks to the ridiculous profits Endgame has pulled in, and it's not even out of theaters yet.
That makes his entire pull from the movie around $75 million, and that's just for Endgame, as Downey also had a similar deal in place for Avengers: Infinity War. Not a bad payday at all.
“Celebrities such as Downey and Johansson currently have extreme leverage to demand enormous compensation packages from studios investing hundreds of millions of dollars in making tent-pole films, such as The Avengers series," says entertainment lawyer David Chidekel of Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae.
You might think that method would be a bit cost-prohibitive for Marvel, but it's quite the opposite. While Downey made $75 million on his own, the film still made $36.90 for every dollar he was paid of that, and that is only magnified for the newer members of the MCU like Paul Rudd, who managed to produce $100 dollars for every dollar he was paid.8comments
“A studio’s incentive to grant contingent compensation to various actors, writers, directors and other key personnel is simple. Movie studios depend upon tent-pole films to support their financial performance,” says Chidekel.
Endgame's box office total is good enough to cement it at the #2 spot all-time, though it's still 10 million shy of Avatar's record of $2,788 billion. We'll have to wait and see if it can reach it before it leaves theaters, but the later it gets the more unlikely it looks.