MCU’s Highest Salary Rankings: Where Does Your Favorite Star Rank?

Split image of Doctor Strange, Iron Man, and Captain Marvel in the MCU

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has delivered many of the biggest movies in recent memory while also building its own collection of movie stars. The superhero adventures have made stars out of the likes of Chris Pratt and Tom Holland while turning actors into icons nearly as big as the heroes they play.

Given the amazing success these movies have had, it is not surprising that the stars of the MCU command some of the biggest paydays in Hollywood. Of course, some of these names are bigger and have been around longer, leading to some truly astonishing salaries that prove how massive the MCU has become.

Chris Pratt – $5 Million

Star-Lord/Peter Quill

Chris Pratt's Star-Lord in Ravager jacket in Guardians of the Galaxy

While he was known as the lovable doofus Andy Dwyer in Parks and Recreation, Chris Pratt’s casting as Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy turned him from a sitcom sidekick to a box office king. This initial role saw him paid $1.4 million according to US Weekly, which is by itself a pretty strong paycheck given the movie focuses not on just Star-Lord, but rather the Guardians Of The Galaxy team, though Peter Quill is certainly at their core. This would not, however, be the highest pay the actor would reportedly receive.

Given that Pratt has a number of high-grossing movies to his name like the Jurassic World movies, $5 million might seem like a relatively low price for the actor. However, Business Insider reports that this was his pay for his supporting role in Avengers: Infinity War.

When taking into account the actor’s appearance in Avengers: EndgameThor: Love & Thunder, and the other Guardians Of The Galaxy movies, it’s clear this number is likely far higher – with IGN estimating his overall earnings to be around $20-25 million, especially given the considerable popularity of the Guardians’ film series. That said, exact numbers are not known at this time, leaving the overall reported result at a lower – but still high – overall number.

Brie Larson – $5 Million

Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers

Captain Marvel destroys the Kree fleet in Captain Marvel

It has been said that Marvel initially signs its actors in their first outing with a relatively low rate for a big blockbuster. With more sequels and appearances, that salary then rises to the higher levels. However, as Brie Larson was already an Oscar winner when she was cast in Captain Marvel, she commanded a big payday right out of the gate.

The Hollywood Reporter claims Larson received a solid $5 million salary for playing Carol Danvers in her first solo movie. While how much Larson received for appearing in Avengers: Endgame, cameoing in Shang-Chi and The Legend Of The Ten Rings, and playing the lead role in The Marvels is currently unknown, it’s unlikely to have been a world away from this initial paycheck, even though both roles shared the spotlight with other heroes a little more than Carol Danvers’ MCU debut.

If these later roles included an increased paycheck – as has historically been the trend for MCU actors – then Larson would be among the very highest paid actors in the franchise. Even if this isn’t the case, however, she still ranks among the most financially successful in Marvel’s media empire.

Benedict Cumberbatch – $6.4 Million

Doctor Strange/Stephen Strange

Doctor Strange about to walk through a Sling Ring portal at the end of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Benedict Cumberbatch is another actor who had found considerable popularity before he joined the MCU. However, it seems as though Doctor Strange is becoming one of the key heroes going forward in the universe, and Cumberbatch’s growing salary reflects that.

After appearing in the Avengers movies and Spider-Man: No Way Home, Cumberbatch returned as Doctor Strange in his second solo movie, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness while getting a pay bump of over $6 million.

Given it increasingly appears as though Stephen Strange will the hero replacing Iron Man as the figurehead of the franchise during the Multiverse Saga, this makes a lot of sense, especially since Cumberbatch’s acting career has continued successfully outside of the MCU. This includes the actor’s lead role in Wes Anderson’s The Wonderful Story Of Henry Sugar, his appearance in the television adaptation of Good Omens as the voice of Satan, and his vocal performance as Smaug in The Hobbit, which combine with his prior success to see him remain a decidedly in-demand actor.

Paul Rudd – $8 Million

Scott Lang/Ant-Man

Paul Rudd as Ant-Man immediately after returning from the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man (2015)

Given his reputation for more comedic roles like Anchorman in the past, few people envisioned Paul Rudd in a superhero role. That is part of what makes him so lovable as Scott Lang aka Ant-Man in these movies.

It was especially fun to see him play around with some of the bigger Marvel heroes in the team-up adventures. After playing a small role in Captain America: Civil War, Ant-Man became part of the remaining Avengers team. It served as a promotion for both Scott and Rudd as he earned $8 million for Avengers: Endgame, according to Forbes.

It’s likely Rudd received a higher paycheck for Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania, as both the third movie of the series and the introduction of Multiverse Saga lead antagonist Kang. However, what amount the actors may have been paid for their roles in the Phase 5 film is currently unknown to the public, meaning that the actor’s reported Endgame payment is the highest known amount he’s been paid during his run in the MCU thus far.

Jeremy Renner – $15 Million

Clint Barton/Hawkeye

Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye firing an arrow in Captain America: Civil War

With just a bow and arrow as his contribution to the team, Hawkeye always seemed like one of the more forgotten members of the Avengers. Among the original six heroes, he was the only one to not receive a solo movie, although he eventually got a Disney+ series.

But while his popularity might not have been as big as some of the other heroes, that didn’t stop him from earning similarly huge salaries in the end. Forbes reports that Jeremy Renner’s return as Hawkeye in Avengers: Endgame earned the actor an impressive $15 million.

Mark Ruffalo – $15 Million

Bruce Banner/The Hulk

Mark Ruffalo as Hulk looking angry on Sakaar in Thor: Ragnarok

In one of the most prominent examples of recasting in the MCU, Mark Ruffalo took over the role of Bruce Banner aka Hulk in The Avengers. Despite the abrupt changing of actors, Ruffalo became another beloved part of the universe.

Though he missed out on Hulk’s only solo movie to date, he has been a big part of the Avengers adventures and managed to get the same $15 million pay for Avengers: Endgame that his other colleagues received, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Chris Evans – $15 Million

Steve Rogers/Captain America

skinny Steve Rogers prepares to get the super soldier serum in Captain America The First Avenger

In many ways, Captain America is the heart of the MCU and a lot of that has to do with Chris Evans’ endearing performance in the role. What could have been a laughable character, was made into one of the defining movie heroes of the 21st century.

As such a huge figure in the overall cinematic universe, it makes sense that Evans nets one of the biggest salaries. Though his run as Captain America has seemingly come to an end with Avengers: Endgame, Forbes says the farewell earned Evans $15 million.

Chris Hemsworth – $20 Million

Thor Odinson

Chris Hemsworth's Thor powered up with lightning in Thor Ragnarok

Chris Hemsworth was another actor who was not very well known before joining the MCU. Not only did he become a star as Thor, but he also helped to redefine the character over time and turned the God of Thunder into one of the MCU’s funniest characters and most popular heroes.

Hemsworth also reached a significant milestone in the MCU as the first of the actors to headline four solo movies. And it was a lucrative return in Thor: Love and Thunder as Variety reports Hemsworth was paid $20 million.

Scarlet Johansson – $20 Million

Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow

Scarlett Johansson as Natash Romanoff, standing among rubble and smoke in the MCU's Black Widow

Scarlet Johansson is one of the longest-running actors in the MCU with her performance as Natasha Romanoff going all the way back to Iron Man 2. Incredibly, it still took a decade before Johansson and her character got her own solo movie.

However, with the release of Black Widow on Disney+ instead of theaters, it ignited controversy around the MCU actors’ salaries as Johansson claimed it broke her contract. In response to Johansson’s claims, Disney made it publicly known that she was paid $20 million for Black Widow.

Robert Downey Jr. – $75 Million

Tony Stark/Iron Man

Tony Stark wears headgear and stands with his Iron Man suit in Iron Man 3

Robert Downey Jr. was not only the actor who helped to launch the MCU with Iron Man, but without his winning performance, the MCU would likely not exist as it does today. With all that in mind, it is not surprising that he commands the biggest salary.

Though he was seen as a risky casting choice initially, Downey Jr. eventually became the face of the MCU. This resulted in a series of not inconsiderable paychecks for the actor, which began with an initial $500,000 for his role in the 2008 Iron Man, and quickly grew to far, far higher numbers, as the franchise grew to previously unfathomable heights and did so with Tony Stark in the main seat as arguably the lead character of the entire Infinity Saga.

When it came time for him to step away from the role in Avengers: Endgame, Downey Jr. received $20 million upfront as well as a percentage of the box office which Forbes suggests resulted in a $75 million payday altogether. This is a testament to both the success of the MCU itself, and of the actor and his iconic performance as Iron Man, which remains one of the most well-regarded in the genre’s history even years after the character’s story came to an end.

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