Netflix reportedly paid $55 million (about Rs. 409 crores) for the combined talents of Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence for its upcoming sci-fi sci-fi comedy Don’t Look Up, from Oscar-winning writer and director The Big Short, Adam McKay. This includes a salary of $30 million (about Rs. 223 million) for DiCaprio and $25 million (about Rs. 186 million) for Lawrence, up from the normal $20 million (about Rs. 149 million) they usually use receive. That’s probably because, unlike movies that are released in theaters, Netflix doesn’t offer performance-based bonuses (box office) – referred to as the backend – and therefore must pay more upfront to get the biggest Hollywood stars.
DiCaprio and Lawrence lead the cast of Don’t Look Up, which also includes the likes of Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Ron Perlman, Timothée Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Himesh Patel, Matthew Perry and Chris Evans . When Don’t Look Up first appeared in February of last year, the budget for the Netflix movie was estimated to be around $75 million (about INR 558 million).
Variety is behind DiCaprio and Lawrence’s salary figures as part of a report on the highest salaries earned by Hollywood stars. Surprisingly, these are not the highest individual values. Will Smith and Denzel Washington received $40 million (about Rs. 297 crores) in payday for their respective HBO films Max, King Richard and The Little Things, to compensate for reduced box office due to daily releases. Dwayne Johnson is receiving $30 million upfront for Amazon Prime Video’s worldwide action-adventure comedy Red One, but this could rise to $50 million (about Rs. 371 crores) once the back-end payments go finalized, adds Variety.
Meanwhile, Daniel Craig is guaranteed similar amounts for his participation in two Knives Out sequels, with a combined payout north of $100 million (about Rs. 743 crores), the report states. This is courtesy of Netflix again, which reportedly paid $450 million (about Rs. 3,345 crores) to acquire Knives Out 2 and Knives Out 3 in April, with the assurance that Craig would star in both chapters. This puts the James Bond star at the top of the pile, who also earned $25 million for his final play as 007 in the upcoming No Time To Die, currently slated for release in late September in the UK and early October in India and the USA.
Don’t Look Up, led by DiCaprio and Lawrence, is also expected to be released in late 2021 on Netflix.