There’s millions of dollars to be made in Hollywood and actors Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Will Smith and Denzel Washington appear to be making the bulk of it. The award-winning trio ranked second, third place, and fourth place, respectively, on the 2021 list of the industry’s top-paid actors.
This week, Variety released its list giving a look “Inside the Biggest Movie Stars’ Salaries,” which had Smith and Washington correspondingly bringing home $40 million. Smith’s pay comes from his upcoming film “King Richard.” The star from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” portrays the father of tennis icons Venus and Serena Williams. Meanwhile, Washington earned his dollars for his role in the Oscar-winning crime thriller “The Little Things.”
Johnson’s role in Amazon Studios’ acquisition of his holiday adventure “Red One” drew in $50 million. The former pro wrestler came behind English actor Daniel Craig who topped the chart with a salary of $100 million for sequels to “Knives Out.” (Some episodic salaries may include producing fees. The sum incorporates streaming back-end buyout, and has not incorporated streaming back-end buyout.)
The outlet revealed that streaming companies such as Netflix and Amazon played a considerable role in the increase actors saw in their paychecks. In addition, most high-profile actors’ contracts now have tiered salaries, with multiple bonuses granted when the movie reaches various milestones at the box office.
Last month, HBO released its trailer for streaming platform HBO Max’s “King Richard.” Warner Bros. said the highly anticipated film would focus on the upbringing of the Williams sisters, played by Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton, but from the perspective of “an undeterred father” with “relentless drive and unapologetic vision to change the game” who is “instrumental in raising two of the most extraordinarily gifted athletes of all time,” who will end up changing the sport of tennis forever.
Early chatter of a potential Oscar nomination quickly flooded the comment section of various social media pages. The “I Am Legend” star has only been nominated twice in his career for his role in “Ali” and then in 2007 for “The Pursuit of Happyness.” This is Smith’s first major release since the 2020 sequel “Bad Boys For Life.”
“King Richard” is directed by “Monsters and Men” director Reinaldo Marcus Green. Venus and Serena, along with their sister, Isha Price, are executive producers. The film opens on Nov. 19 in theaters and HBO, where it will stream for 31 days after the release.