ByRicky Derisz, writer at
Staff Writer at MP. "Holy cow, Rick! I didn't know hanging out with you was making me smarter!" Twitter: @RDerisz.
Ricky Derisz

Money makes the world go round. Don't you know? And when it comes to money, actors are in an extremely privileged position. They often make multi-millions for less than half a year's work.

But, just for a second, I want you to forget how astronomically absurd the numbers are, and join me on planet Hollywood.

On planet Hollywood, stars are expected to earn a shedload of cash. Especially for the pedigree of box office smash hits like the films these stars have been in. Combined, their films have generated over $6 billion.

With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the surprisingly low paid actors involved in some of the biggest grossing films of 2015:

1. Jamie Dornan & Dakota Johnson - $250,000 Each For 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

Considering the duo playing Ana Steele and Christian Grey were relative unknowns, it's not the biggest shock in the world that they were paid a modest upfront fee.

Still, the erotic 'romance' was set on whipping up a frenzy due to the success of the book, and didn't disappoint by making $570 million at the box office.

Dornan and Johnson are set to see a big payday in future installments though, having signed a three picture deal.

Yes, there will be two further sequels.

2. Daisy Ridley & John Boyega - $100,000/$300,000 for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'

Boyega and Ridley
Boyega and Ridley

According to Variety, the newcomers were paid in the 'low-six-figure-range' despite their integral roles as Rey and Finn in J.J. Abrams reboot.

Although they are another duo set to cash in on the upcoming sequels, their salary for Episode VII was dwarfed by veteran Harrison Ford; Han Solo himself made $25 million. That's around 250 times more than the two youngsters.

3. Jessica Chastain - Around $1.75 Million for 'The Martian'

The two time Oscar nominee spoke out about the issue of gender inequality for her salary on this year's sci-fi epic, after it was falsely reported she made $7 million.

In an interview, she revealed it was "less than a quarter" of that sum. $2 million is far from small change, but that figure is dwarfed by the $15 million male co-star Matt Damon made for the movie, which had a budget of $108 million.

4. Mark Ruffalo - $2 Million For 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'

Don't make him angry. You won't like him when he's angry. Especially when he realizes he's been paid $2 million for a film which made $1.4 BILLION at the box office this year.

Compared to the other Avengers, The Hulk is also cut adrift in comparison to his co-stars. But more of that later.

5. Chris Pratt - Less Than $10 Million For 'Jurassic World'

Okay, okay. I know most of us would love to earn 'less than $10 million' for half a year's work, but this is planet Hollywood, after all.

In comparison to the mammoth box office success (the film made $1.6 billion) plus the hefty budget of $150 million, Pratt's earnings are significantly lower than expected.

And The Big Winner...

6. Robert Downey Jr. - $40 Million for 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'

Having donned the metallic armor for a long time, RDJ's hefty pay cheques have been notorious for a while now.

Such success has catapulted him to the top of the Forbes Rich List for actors - the 50-year-old made $80 million in 2015 alone.

Also, psst - don't tell the Hulk, but Scarlett Johansson was paid twenty times more than Ruffalo. She made $20 million for her role in Age of Ultron.


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