Actors Who Cashed In On Their Box Office Bombs

Steve Carell looking confused in a late night interview
youtube | The Late Show With Steven Colbert

Movie executives know that they're taking a big risk any time they make a movie — even if it has an all-star cast. That risk, of course, is the possibility that the movie might bomb at the box office.

Still, even when a movie completely flops, actors still get paid. In fact, they often get paid a surprising amount, given the failure of the movie they were in.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Schwarzenegger was at the tail end of his successful '80s and '90s run of action movies when he starred in 2000's The 6th Day. It turned out to be box office poison, but Schwarzenegger made an impressive $25 million for his role.

Johnny Depp

If you don't remember Mortdecai, that's probably because it was entirely forgettable, a failure with critics and audiences alike. The flop made $47 million against a $60 million budget, and Johnny Depp was paid an eye-watering $18 million to appear in the flop.

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie raising her eyebrows

Jolie is a consistently bankable star, but not everything she touches turns to gold. The Robert De Niro-directed The Good Shepherd made just $10 million over its $90 million budget at the box office. Jolie, who starred in the movie, took home $10 million.

Mark Wahlberg

All the Money in the World failed to make all the money in the world, and was surrounded by negative press after the revelation that Michelle Williams made just $625,000 while her co-star, Mark Wahlberg, was paid $5 million.

Reese Witherspoon

The romantic comedy How Do You Know had a dismal box office performance, grossing just $48 million on a budget of $120 million. One of the many stars who appeared in the film, Reese Witherspoon, made $15 million.

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson in 'Ghost in the Shell'
Giphy | #VR

Ghost in the Shell was a movie with lots of buzz leading up to its release. On release, however, it fizzled out at the box office. The movie's star, Scarlett Johansson, was paid $10 million for her role.

Robert Downey Jr.

Robert Downey Jr. was a hot commodity after finishing up his Marvel roles, and he cashed in big-time to play Dr. Dolittle in Dolittle. Execs paid Downey $20 million to star in the movie, which was a critical and commercial flop.

Vin Diesel

Earlier in Vin Diesel's career, he found a big payday for his role in 2003's A Man Apart, making $2.5 million. His role wasn't enough to save the movie from being a box office bomb, as it barely broke even on its budget.

Steve Carell

Actor Steve Carell
youtube | The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Carell and fellow funnyman Paul Rudd both appeared in Dinner for Schmucks, a comedy that should have done better than it did. Even though it was a failure with audiences, Carell was paid $12 million to star in the film.

George Clooney

Actor George Clooney
youtube | GQ

Tomorrowland was a big-budget Disney production with big names and a big promotional budget. It seemed too big to fail, but it just didn't resonate with viewers. One of the film's stars, George Clooney, made $25 million for his role.

Julia Roberts

Roberts played a supporting role in Mother's Day, a 2016 film with some big names including Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, and Timothy Olyphant. The movie bombed big time, but Roberts' rate of $750,000 a day, combined with limited time on set, ensured that she took home $4 million for her limited role.

Halle Berry

You all remember Catwoman, right? The movie was roundly mocked when it came out, and the passage of time hasn't made it look any better. The film's star, Halle Berry, took a risk when she accepted the role — but the fact that it resulted in a $14 million paycheck certainly didn't hurt.

Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy making a shocked face

Eddie Murphy is a big star who's also been a part of some big flops during his career. One of those, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, lost more than $90 million at the box office. Despite this, Murphy earned $17 million for his starring role in the film.

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise in a headband, looking through a pair of legs, in 'Rock of Ages'
IMDb | Warner Bros.

Cruise might be one of the most bankable stars of the past few decades, but even he isn't immune to starring in films that fail at the box office. Cruise had a supporting role in Rock of Ages, which was a major flop that actually lost money at the box office, but his pay was a cool $5 million.

Sylvester Stallone

Stallone's style, in which he plays a similar character in each movie, seems like a recipe for success. But his 2012 movie, Bullet to the Head, was a total failure. It only took in $22 million at the box office. Stallone, on the other hand, made $15 million for the role.