twilight_cast

Not even a day after word came out on the talented-but-unknown Andrew Garfield making minuscule earnings for the Spider-Man reboot, there’s a report of less-talented-but-better-known stars scoring a huge payday. This might not be so frustrating to read if the stars in question didn’t happen to be, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner, the leads of the Twilight series.

According to NYMag, Stewart, Pattinson, and Lautner will each be earning $25 million for the two-part The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, and that’s in addition to the 7.5 per cent they’re making against its gross revenue — so likely around $41 million total. This is well over three times what Pattinson and Stewart earned on New Moon, the second film in the franchise.

This news is slightly ridiculous, sure, but it does make financial sense. The Twilight movies have always been huge moneymakers (the first Twilight grossed over $190 million domestically, and New Moon added another $100 million to that number with a $290 million intake), and based on the current track record of Eclipse ($175 million in its first week of release), it doesn’t look like the studios have much to worry about with the final two entries in the series. And it’s not like the cast wasn’t an integral part of these films’ success. All three leads have served the franchise very well in bringing in viewers, with Stewart appropriately filling the role of a blank slate in which young girls can envision themselves, and the competing love interests of male hotties Pattinson and Lautner being the reason why they’d want to. Andrew Garfield, meanwhile, is completely unknown to mainstream audiences, and is not likely to draw in many viewers when Spider-Man hits theaters. Hollywood isn’t paying these actors relative to their acting ability; they’re paying them relative to their box office draw.

It’s unfortunate, but sensible.

Even so, the amount they’re getting paid seems pretty extreme. Summit had an amazing thing going with the Twilight franchise’s budget to gross ratio, with all three films costing less than $70 million to make. Now, the actor salaries alone exceed that.

At a whopping $25 million each (not counting what they’re earning in addition), the three young actors are already among the highest paid of all time. They’re comparable even to the Harry Potter cast, who had previously earned that same title following the most recent Potter outings. Emma Watson commanded $15 million each on the last two released films, and Daniel Radcliffe reportedly made around $50 million for the upcoming Deathly Hallows films.

Let that sink in a moment. These kids are still in their early 20s, and they’ve already made more than any of us will make our whole lives. Depressing, isn’t it?

[via The Vancouver Sun]

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