Avengers: Endgame was the swansong for many aspects of the MCU. It was the culmination of the franchise to that point, acting as the capper (with Spider-Man: Far From Home being something of an epilogue) for the first three phases, aptly titled “The Infinity Saga.”
It was also the final appearance for several stalwart Avengers, most notably Iron Man, as played by Robert Downey Jr. Ol’ Shellhead definitely got a hero’s sendoff, too, sacrificing himself to definitively stop the threat of Thanos and bringing back all those who got dusted at the end of Infinity War. And though it’s certainly bittersweet to know that everyone’s favorite billionaire, genius, playboy, philanthropist is gone, it’s nice that his storyline was able to come full circle in such a satisfying way.
But it’s not just Tony Stark that got treated with respect, as Downey Jr. is reported to have received approximately $75 million for his participation in Avengers: Endgame. He had a base pay rate of $20 million but factoring in his portion of the back-end profits, which is said to be 8%, that number shoots steeply upward.
Currently, the film sits at around $2.7 billion at the worldwide box office, and because of his compensation deal, Downey Jr. has earned an additional $55 million, pushing his grand total to the reported $75 million mark.
According to entertainment lawyer David Chidekel of Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae:
Celebrities such as Downey and Johansson currently have extreme leverage to demand enormous compensation packages from studios investing hundreds of millions of dollars in making tent-pole films, such as The Avengers series. A studio’s incentive to grant contingent compensation to various actors, writers, directors and other key personnel is simple. Movie studios depend upon tent-pole films to support their financial performance.
Avengers: Endgame is at the #2 position on the all-time box office chart, mere millions shy from the top spot, and given that it’s still in theaters, there is a possibility, however slim, that it could attain it, and as such, Downey Jr. could see that total go even higher. Not a bad way to close out his tenure as the MCU’s poster boy, eh?