These Insane Paychecks are Causing Actors to Leave Studios and Head to Netflix
So, why is Netflix dominating the streaming space? Because content is king. The site releases 90 original movies per year. Which means that subscribers can watch over 200 hours of films without ever leaving their homes.
And they are actually movies that people want to see, featuring big-name stars like Sandra Bullock, Will Smith, and Jake Gyllenhaal.
But how does a streaming site land such prominent actors to work on its projects?
Cold, hard cash.
How much does Netflix spend on projects?
Netflix knows that the better their content is, the more people will subscribe. So they aren’t afraid to dole out the big dollars for their projects. In fact, some of their films have had budgets of $200 million.
Last year, the streaming site spent over $12 billion on content and that number is only expected to increase.
How much does Netflix pay stars?
Netflix knows that big names sell. So they are more than happy to pay famous actors ridiculous amounts of cash.
According to Variety, Ryan Reynolds will be getting $27 million to star in the new Michael Bay film, Six Underground. Denzel Washington was also offered $30 million to work on a project but passed it up in order to focus on other things and Will Smith is set to make $35 million for the upcoming film, Bright 2.
When you look at how much actors traditionally make for normal box office movies, the numbers don’t compare.
For instance, Tom Cruise once earned $20 million for films, but now to reprise his role in Top Gun, he’s only making $12 to $14 million. Gal Gadot is set to earn $10 million for Wonder Woman 1984 and Tom Holland only earned $1.5 million for his role in Spider Man: Homecoming.
According to Yahoo Finance, the typical salary for an actor in a studio movie is between $15 million and $20 million.
How much are stars making for shows?
Series’ actors are also getting paid big bucks, depending on how well their shows do. Just look at the cast of Stranger Things. For season one, the kids each earned $20,000 per episode of the show and acclaimed actress Winona Ryder received $100,000 per episode.
Now that the show is a proven success, Netflix has become quite generous with their paychecks. Most of the kids on the show now earn $250,000 per episode while Millie Bobby Brown, Ryder, and David Harbour earn $350,000 per episode of the acclaimed show.
What is the downside of working with Netflix?
While Netflix may shell out some serious cash on the front end, stars don’t earn any residuals on their films. Even if the movies do well and are streamed millions of times, it doesn’t affect how much the actors are paid. For most traditional projects, actors are given a percentage of the profits that the film generates.
So the higher upfront payment from Netflix may be beneficial if a movie flops, but if the film is a hit, actors will miss out on the back-end deals that are commonly offered otherwise.