The convention circuit used to be the place where once famous celebrities went once they’d been put out to pasture — full of washed up pro wrestlers and actors from quirky horror and science fiction movies. But with geek culture exploding, conventions are big business and many of the biggest names are pocketing six figure sums for a weekend’s worth of autographs and fan photos.
The Hollywood Reporter takes us behind the scenes for a look at the kind of money being made by actors on all the different tiers of stardom. In general, the convention pays a flat guarantee and then takes $5 per autograph and $10 per photo. The rest of the money is left for the celebrity. Guarantees start at $5,000 to $10,000, but quickly shoot up to over $30,000 for popular shows and six figures for A-listers from Marvel movies, the Star Wars franchise, and The Walking Dead.
According to the article, The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus gets a $200,000 guarantee and often walks away with over a half million dollars after all the palm pressing, hover hands, and occasional biting is done with. He charges $100 a pop for a fan photo at the Walker Stalker conventions, and with their attendance varying between 20,000 and 50,000 people over a weekend, it’s not hard to see how the money adds up fast.
Don’t get too intimidated by how much it costs to breathe in the scent of Norman Reedus for a few fleeting moments, though. There’s something for everyone at these events … for instance, Norman’s show brother Michael Rooker only charges $20 for a photo, plus all sorts of great extras.
“He was seriously the sweetest dude ever,” a Reddit user gushed in a discussion thread about getting pictures with various Walking Dead castmates. “He picked up my bag for me and then when seeing how heavy it was, he seriously rubbed my shoulders for a full on minute, then we took the pic and he was like ‘Do you like that one? Want to get another?” And gave me a long hug.”