Downey, who first played Iron Man in 2008, quickly became the de-facto head of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, routinely earning more money that his Avengers co-stars. According to The Hollywood Reporter, while Downey’s base salary in the later Marvel films was in the vicinity of $20 million, he negotiated a deal with the studio that saw him receive a cut of the profits. This unique arrangement resulted in Downey earning a reported $75 million for Avengers: Infinity War.
His Avengers co-stars such as Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans made between $15 and 20 million for the Avengers films, but didn’t have such a lucrative backend deal in place. Marvel reportedly increased the thresholds after which actors could claim a share of the profits from $500 million worldwide gross to $700 million worldwide, and $1.5 billion worldwide for Avengers films.
And such was Downey’s value that the actor was brought in for a supporting role in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Tom Holland’s first solo movie as the popular character, for a reported $15 million. Downey worked three days on the movie, which translates to $5 million per day. With 15 minutes of screentime, the actor essentially made $1 million per minute for his work on the film.
Homecoming was budgeted at a reported $175 million. And its sequel, Spider-Man: Far From Home, was made for a reported $165 million, mostly because Downey wasn’t involved. Downey concluded his MCU run with Endgame in 2019, although rumours of his return in Black Widow persist.
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