Robert Downey Jr. made $75 million from June ’12 to June ’13: crazy or amazing?

Forbes published their “Highest Earners in Hollywood” list, and you won’t be surprised who #1 is. Robert Downey Jr., of course! I should note: this is just the list of Top Five earners, not the best bang for your buck actors, or the most hyped actors or anything like that. This is just ranking based purely on how much money they’ve made. And Robert Downey Jr. has made A LOT of money. RDJ took a flat, relatively modest (for a movie star) salary for The Avengers with one of the best back-end deals ever. Meaning that if the film made crazy money, RDJ would get a percentage. Tom Cruise used to get those crazy backend deals too (that’s not a double entendre). So, when The Avengers made more than a billion dollars, RDJ scored big-time. Plus, he still made crazy money for Iron Man 3. Here’s more:

Robert Downey Jr. is a hit machine. He’s starred in six movies that have each grossed over $500 million at the box office worldwide. Two of those films, The Avengers and Iron Man 3, each earned over $1 billion. Every studio in town would love to cast him, and now they’ll pay big buck for the privilege. Downey tops our list of Hollywood’s Highest-Paid Actors with an estimated $75 million in earnings between June 2012 and June 2013.

It’s hard to remember that just a few years ago, Downey was box office poison, and regarded by the studios as damaged goods. The promising young actor burst onto the scene in the late ’80s with movies like The Pick-Up Artist and Less Than Zero. But drugs quickly dragged him down until he became all but un-insurable. Directors like Robert Altman and Oliver Stone gave him work but for the most part, his career seemed to be a lost cause.

Downey turned that around with Iron Man. The first film in the franchise earned $585 million at the global box office. Overall the franchise has brought in $2.4 billion.

And then there’s The Avengers. The 2012 movie is the third highest-grossing of all time with $1.5 billion at the box office. While the film was nominally an ensemble piece, there was no doubt about who was the real star of the show. As Tony Stark, Downey mixes arrogance, humor and a hint of vulnerability to create a modern-day superhero everyone loves. While it’s probably possible to replace Chris Evans as Captain America, no one else could possibly play Tony Stark.

So Downey was able to secure a nice chunk of the film’s profits for himself. He earned more than anyone else on the movie, including director Joss Whedon. And he’ll get a huge upfront payday once the sequel starts filming in February.

[From Forbes]

The rest of the list is: Channing Tatum ($60 million), Hugh Jackman ($55 million), Mark Wahlberg ($52 million) and Dwayne Johnson with $46 million. Can you believe that Channing made that much money? And how about Jackman? I always wonder why Jackman is so committed to playing Wolverine over and over and over, and now I know why: because it pays. Handsomely.

Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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31 Responses to “Robert Downey Jr. made $75 million from June ’12 to June ’13: crazy or amazing?”

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  1. Jane says:

    GOD I love this man…he is worth every penny!!!!!

    • Collar says:

      RDJ married very well. The smart deals are down to her business acumen and connections. I wish I dated women, I would be trying to steal that lady right out from under his nose. Get her to fix my bank situation.

      Heres hoping that RDJ doesnt go the stereotypical route and ditch her for some young starlet/star now that hes the biggest thing in Town.

    • MOPine says:

      Interesting. I can’t stand him. In my opinion he’s the same obnoxious guy in every movie. That said, good for him for getting himself together and coming back in a big way!

  2. markymark says:

    Hey, he’s proof that you can do well if you are given a second chance at life. I’m glad Hollywood let him back in after he got his life together–I can’t imagine anyone else as IRON MAN

  3. Bijlee says:

    Crazy and ridiculous.

    • Pandy says:

      All of these $ figures are revolting … we should be ashamed of ourselves for supporting these industries – really!

  4. ClaireB says:

    It is crazy. But not as crazy as Channing Tatum making 65 millions.

  5. Mia 4S says:

    Well he got paid relative to the money the films made, that’s captialism. No one deserves that much…but that’s the system.

    For some reason that line about Chris Evans made me laugh. Ouch Forbes! Harsh! ;-)

    • Grandizer says:

      But you know what? I would rather see that money go to the actors and the cast and the best boy grips and everyone else who worked and toiled on the film then too the fat cats that sat in an office and just pushed X amount of money at the film. If a film cost 250 Mil to make, and has already cleared 6 times that, I am glad he is taking from them.

  6. Anna says:

    Now that HP and Twilight are over, Charming Potato is the only yung’n on the list. Goes to remind us that the biggest stars are still the oldies – even if half of them are not-so-goodies.

    • Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

      Most Excellent (speaking of oldies wonder what Keanu is up to these days) thanks for the chuckle :)

  7. Reece says:

    I’m surprised Dwayne Johnson made that much money. WTF?!
    Tatum held control over everything in Magic Mike so nope 60 mil doesn’t surprise me at all.

    • Grandizer says:

      I am surprised as well? Fast and Furious? I know he is a star in it, but think that others in the film are the franchise stars. Vin Diesel and Paul Walker come to mind.
      I know he isn’t pulling that much down from his voice work? Or his “Hero” TV series…
      Hmmm how many movies did he have come out in the last year? 5 movies could do that…

      • Anna says:

        Five movies in the last year, including 3 very $$$ franchises – Fast Furious, GI Joe and Journey 2. Plus, in FF, he probably pulled the biggest paycheck than everyone aside from Diesel, bc he’s the bigger name.

  8. homegrrl says:

    Sobriety! This is a case for sobriety. He looks better and made a sh*ton of cash. I mean Sh*ton.

    There. Now get clean.

  9. lucy2 says:

    It is crazy and ridiculous, but when your franchise, which cannot go on without you, can earn BILLIONS…why shouldn’t he get a big cut of it?
    I hope he and his family enjoy his success and save for the future, and then are generous with the rest. He strikes me as that kind of guy.

    • Shoe_Lover says:

      Exactly! He should get a large percentage considering that its essentially his name everyone else is making money off of.

  10. Jazz says:

    This is great news! So glad and grateful that he turned his life around.

  11. marie says:

    Amazing.. good for him, he’s an awesome actor

  12. Maria says:

    its crazy but deserved. we all here spent time of our lives with news about celebs. if we and the other people wouldnt do it they wouldnt make that much money, so no one here can complain.
    capitalism is really simple and if people wouldnt buy everything they are told to customers would have all the power in the world. why can apple charge so much? because people want to pay that much. if they wouldnt do it the prices were way lower.

    actually next to channing tatum it doesnt even seem that much but thats because i dont think anyone thought he would earn so freaking much.

  13. Grandizer says:

    He was a great actor in his early years and I thought he was a goner when he went down the road of alcohol and drugs. Insert standard “Drugs are bad, Mmmkay” meme here.
    But he came back and did even better. I wonder if his memory of how far he fell helps him now and keeps him on the straight and narrow.
    Seems that is a ridiculous statement. I am sure it does.

  14. All Mark says:

    Part of me looks at that and says “F my life” – but thanks to RDJ we all see people can do well with their second chances. Kudos Robert!

  15. JJ says:

    Well RDJ (and Jon F and Joss W) was the main reason those movies made that much money, so he deserves his fair share. Plus the first IM, Tropic Thunder and Avengers were all cool movies, so no complaints. He is one of the few A-listers who is actually very talented. Pitt, Cruise DiCaprio and Co are grossly overpaid considering they have little talent compared to RDJ.

    • Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

      It seems that RDJ has consistent talent to entertain;Pitt,Cruise,Dicapleo have shined in some movies (Pitt in Legends of the fall, Cruise in Born on the fourth of July, leo in Titanic) and flopped in others.

    • Kim1 says:

      He is talented too bad he waste that talent on franchise fluff .He reminds of Depp ,money over art

  16. India says:

    God, I love RDJ!!!! He is so darling, hot and now super rich! You go Boy Friend!

  17. eliza says:

    Sobriety rules.

  18. Anguishedcorn says:

    Good Lord in Heaven, I love that man.

  19. Trashaddict says:

    I admit to being terribly superficial, I want to kiss those crow’s feet and that slightly greyish beard. But alas, the only married man I date is my husband….

  20. Ginger says:

    Dayumn! RDJ is fine!