Now, the cast of 2012's The Avengers may well, as a whole, have been paid a whole lot less than you'd think - but that doesn't mean that all of them emerged from the movie with a surprisingly low level of compensation. Y'see, one star had, by the time negotiations for The Avengers began, already proven himself to be a huge box-office draw, and was thus able to negotiate a distinctly gigantic payday.
Robert Downey Jr. was already the star of the surprisingly profitable Iron Man franchise when he negotiated his contract for The Avengers and, as such, made an absolute killing - a trend that didn't end in 2012. The big question that raises, though?
Just How Much Was Robert Downey Jr Paid For His Avengers Appearances?
Well, to a certain extent, that's something that's a little tough to nail down. Y'see, the precise details of Downey Jr's deal with Marvel Studios have never been officially confirmed - leaving us with only leaked murmurings, industry rumor and - sometimes credible-seeming - speculation.
With that firmly in mind, though, let's take a look at just how much it seems that Robert Downey Jr. has made from Marvel and The Avengers. First up?
RDJ Made A LOT Of Money From The Iron Man Trilogy
Though, that being said, his salary reportedly increased dramatically from one film to the next. For 2008's Iron Man, for instance, Downey Jr reportedly 'only' pocketed around $500,000 - a salary that would likely have seemed fairly generous at the time, considering he'd largely been jettisoned by Hollywood casting agents at that point.
By the time 2010's Iron Man 2 came along, though, Downey Jr's stock had soared - right alongside Iron Man's box office takings - and he apparently raked in a much more substantial $10 million. Even that, though, was dwarfed by his reputed salary for 2013's Iron Man 3 - a frankly enormous $50 million. Which, assuming the figures are roughly correct, leaves RDJ with a total Iron Man-related income of roughly $60.5 million.
That, though, is only the tip of the iceberg...
RDJ Made A Huge Amount Of Money From The Two Avengers Movies
And by a huge amount of money, I really do mean huge. Reports of RDJ's final salary for 2012's The Avengers - for which he negotiated a substantial initial fee, as well as a percentage of the back end - vary from $50 to $100 million, for instance.
For 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron, though, RDJ's initial salary was reportedly $40 million, even before any profit-sharing derived from the movie's grand box office haul was added to the total. Which most likely means he raked in a similar amount to his The Avengers earnings - somewhere in the region of $50 to $100 million.
That, though, wasn't the end of Downey Jr's Marvel earning...
RDJ Made A Ton Of Money For Captain America: Civil War, Too
Y'see, it seems that Downey Jr cut a similar deal for Civil War to the one he had for Age of Ultron - ending up with a $40 million dollar pay check up front, with back end bonuses added on later. With Civil War, though, that deal reportedly relied on the film making more money than its predecessor, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, on the basis that any increase in revenue could be directly linked to RDJ's presence in the movie.
With Captain America: Civil War having thus far made over $1.15 billion worldwide, versus Winter Soldier's $714 million lifetime haul, then, it seems reasonable to assume that Downey Jr is set to add a whole lot of money to his final total before the financial year is through. Let's say another $50 to $100 million?
So, Just How Much Has Robert Downey Jr. Earned From His Time With Marvel, Then?
Well, adding together his Iron Man total ($60.5 million), and his Avengers and Civil War earnings, we end up with a total of somewhere between $200 million and $350 million dollars, depending on how much credence we give to the idea that he made close to $100 million for some of his appearances.
Which is...a ridiculously large amount of money. Though one which, if reports are to be believed, may well be set to double in the next few years, with RDJ rumored to be set to pocket an additional $200 million (after box office bonuses and such) for the upcoming pair of Avengers: Infinity War movies.
Which in turn means that between 2008 and 2018, there's a pretty solid chance that Robert Downey Jr. will have made upwards of half a billion dollars from working with Marvel. Now just imagine how much he could make for Iron Man 4...