Netflix reportedly paid $55 million (roughly Rs. 409 crores) for the combined talents of Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence for its upcoming sci-fi black comedy Don’t Look Up, from The Big Short’s Oscar-winning writer-director Adam McKay. That includes a $30 million (roughly Rs. 223 crores) salary for DiCaprio and $25 million (roughly Rs. 186 crores) for Lawrence, up from the standard $20 million (roughly Rs. 149 crores) they usually get. That’s likely because unlike with movies that release in theatres, Netflix doesn’t offer bonuses based on (box office) performance — referred as to backend — and hence must pay more upfront to get Hollywood’s biggest stars.
DiCaprio and Lawrence lead the ensemble cast of Don’t Look Up that 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 came together in February last year, the budget for the Netflix film was reported to be around $75 million (roughly Rs. 558 crores).
Variety is behind the salary figures for DiCaprio and Lawrence, as part of a report on the biggest salaries earned by Hollywood stars. Surprisingly, these are not the highest individual amounts. Both Will Smith and Denzel Washington were handed $40 million (roughly Rs. 297 crores) paydays for their respective HBO Max movies, King Richard and The Little Things, to make up for the lowered box office grosses due to day-and-date releases. Dwayne Johnson is getting $30 million upfront for Amazon Prime Video’s globe-trotting action-adventure comedy Red One, but that could balloon to $50 million (roughly Rs. 371 crores) once backend payments are finalised, Variety adds.
Meanwhile, Daniel Craig is guaranteed similar sums for his participations in two Knives Out sequels, with a combined payday north of $100 million (roughly Rs. 743 crores), the report claims. This is courtesy of Netflix again which reportedly paid $450 million (roughly Rs. 3,345 crores) to acquire Knives Out 2 and Knives Out 3 back in April, with the guarantee that Craig would star in both chapters. That puts the James Bond star at the top of the pile, who also earned $25 million for his final turn as 007 in the upcoming much-delayed No Time To Die, currently slated for a late September release in the UK and early October in India and the US.
DiCaprio and Lawrence-led Don’t Look Up is also due later in 2021 on Netflix.