Some researchers have said money can buy happiness (although the amount you’ll need depends on your location), and it seems like one way to hit the jackpot is to make a blockbuster movie. (It seems so easy. Right, internet commenters?) It’s why Michael Bay has half a billion dollars and Robert Downey, Jr. reportedly made a princely sum on Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War and will make even more on the next two Avengers movies.
But those are outliers. How much money does the average cast and crew member on a big budget blockbuster really make? Vanity Fair crunched some numbers and made the tongue-in-cheek video above, using end credits format to break down everyone’s paycheck on a hypothetical $200+ million movie. (That’s a lucky cat.)
Of course, this doesn’t take into account that some of these workers are on set for only one day, while others (like the VFX team) work long hours for several months. And clearly, these are all estimates based on average union rates as calculated by a consultant whom — the video reveals — was paid $500 for their time.
Most of these wages can vary widely based on the length of production, prior experience, etc. Case in point, $75,000 for a cameo from an Academy Award winner is probably way too low unless this is a small independent movie where the Oscar winner is giving a discounted cameo to help get the movie made. They’re not going to give out a cameo to a $200+ million movie unless you cross their palm with silver (or have photos of them passed out on my rec room floor hugging an enormous bong isn’t that right, Mrs. Mirren?).
Anyway, check out the video above if you want to see how $200 million can disappear so quickly…