How Much Is Leonardo DiCaprio Earning for ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’?

It’s hard to build the type of fortune Leonardo DiCaprio has over the course of his acting career. Since he broke into the scene in the 1970s, he has amassed a net worth of more than $200 million. Even some of the industry’s biggest names can’t match that figure.

DiCaprio’s earning power has hardly diminished in his 40s. In 2016, he celebrated a $29 million year just before he collected his first Best Actor Oscar. With films like Revenant grossing hundreds of millions worldwide, the investment is well worth it.

However, DiCaprio can’t expect to work on less bankable projects and still get his highest fee. When he signed on to star in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the gig involved a significant pay cut.

According to a Variety report, DiCaprio’s salary for this picture — which is headed to theaters in July — amounts to about half what he ‘d earn in a big-budget movie.

The uncertain box-office fate of ‘Once Upon a Time’ factored into his pay.

Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, Leonardo DiCaprio, and director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, pose onstage during the 2016 Academy Awards. | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

According to reports, the production budget for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood approached $100 million. That’s a high number these days for a film that does not have clear formula for box-office success.

Tarantino’s story revolves around a veteran actor (DiCaprio) and his stuntman (Brad Pitt) who navigate a changing Tinseltown in the late 1960s. Margot Robbie, the female lead in the film, plays Sharon Tate, the wife of Roman Polanski murdered by the Charles Manson gang.

Al Pacino, Lena Denham, Damian Lewis, and Kurt Russell also appear in the film (as do many other brand-name actors). Clearly, no studio could make such a film if every actor were to demand top dollar.

To recoup its investment, the film will have to make about $150 million worldwide. With that in mind, it makes sense why DiCaprio would accept a lower paycheck.

DiCaprio will earn $10 million for his part opposite Brad Pitt.

Leonardo DiCaprio waits on the set of ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ on July 24, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. | BG010/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Variety reported that DiCaprio earned $10 million for his role in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. These days, it’s rare for stars to get a guaranteed $20 million per film like Bruce Willis and Will Smith did in past decades. It takes a proven franchise to hit that number in 2019.

The list Variety compiled backs that up. Of the three actors making over $20 million for a film, two worked on film institutions. In the case of Vin Diesel (Fate of the Furious), it was the eponymous car-chase series. The top earner on the list (Daniel Craig, $25 million) worked on the James Bond franchise.

With a net worth that could top $250 million in 2019, DiCaprio won’t be any worse off for taking his Once Upon a Time paycheck. By May, when we get the first reviews from the festival circuit, we’ll know what critics think.

Film lovers everywhere should be rooting for Tarantino’s new picture. If it flops at the box office, it’ll be that much harder for the next big-budget film featuring real people to get made.

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!