Captain Marvel vs. Wonder Woman: Which Actress Makes More Money For Female Superhero Role?

Brie Larson and Gal Gadot have triumphed, proving once and for all that movies with female superheroes can be phenomenal hits too. Larson is enjoying the twin success of Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame, while Gadot is filming Wonder Woman 1984, which will come out next summer. 

When it comes to compensation for these actresses, though, the figures might seem surprising in a few ways First, in how Larson and Gadot compare to each other. And, second, in how the actresses compare to when their male counterparts first started out. At first, Larson at first outpaced her counterpart, but now the tables have turned.

How much did Brie Larson and Gal Gadot make?

Brie Larson
Brie Larson plays Captain Marvel in the MCU. | Mike Smith/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Business Insider reports that Larson made $5 million for Captain Marvel, which made more than $1 billion at the box office worldwide. By contrast, Gadot made $300,000 for the first Wonder Woman movie, which made $822 million worldwide. 

This might seem surprising, considering that Wonder Woman is generally a much better-known character than Captain Marvel, but there are other factors to consider. Marvel has a much better box office track record than DC: The MCU has grossed $8 billion at the worldwide box office, and DC only $2 billion.

Certainly, it helps that Marvel has 22 movies to DC’s 7, but Marvel is generally considered a more consistent performer. Only a handful of MCU titles are considered duds, while DC has struggled to make its universe catch on. Put another way, only one of the two companies has had to deal with digitally erasing Superman’s mustache.

How Gadot and Larson’s careers compare

Although Larson has been acting since she was a child, she herself told Ellen DeGeneres that she feels like her career has only taken off fairly recently. Her earliest IMDB credit is from a Jay Leno skit in 1998, “Roadkill Easy Bake  Oven” when she was 9, but she arguably didn’t break out until The United States of Tara in 2009. 

Since then, her career has risen slowly but surely. She earned rave reviews for her performance in the indie film Short Term 12 in 2013, then earned a smaller but prominent part in Trainwreck, where she played Amy Schumer’s sister. Shortly after that, she won a Best Actress Oscar for her work in Room, and her career has only gone up since. 

Gadot, by contrast, has had a shorter run. She first gained attention in this country playing Gisele in the Fast and Furious movies, starting with the fourth film in the franchise. Her appearance as Wonder Woman in Batman V Superman was seen as one of the few bright spots in that film, and her charisma helped make Wonder Woman DC’s first unqualified success with its Extended Universe

For that, she is being amply rewarded. While her $300,000 salary for Wonder Woman was decried as shockingly low in some quarters,. Warner Bros. has handed her $10 million for Wonder Woman, doubling even Larson’s salary for Captain Marvel.

Larson and Gadot are outpacing the men

Particularly after the “Me Too” movement, there had been much discussion over the pay gap of women receiving less pay than men for equal work. It can be argued that Larson and Gadot have made significant inroads towards closing that gap. They made much more for their debut superhero films than the MCU men did. 

Consider Robert Downey Jr., who only got $500,000 up front for Iron Man back in 2008. That was when Marvel was just starting out making its own movies, and when Downey was still trying to emerge from the shadow of his troubled past. He went on to pocket $75 for million Avengers: Infinity War.

Similarly, Chris Hemsworth got just $150,000 for the first Thor film, when he was relatively unknown. Chris Evans got $1 million for Captain America: The First Avenger. Even as recently as Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman made $2 million for that giant hit. 

And there’s one female left who may be topping them all: Scarlett Johansson made a reported $15 million for the Black Widow movie that is currently shooting.