Robert Downey Jr. really made it big when he landed the role of Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). He’s been playing the CEO of Stark Industries since he starred in Iron Man, the very first film to roll out. After over a decade of bringing Tony Stark to life, Downey Jr. is bidding the role adieu.
Fans may be devastated at him leaving Marvel behind, but the Oscar-nominated actor has done more than his fair share of appearances, and has made insane amounts of money to boot! Perhaps reminiscing about the steady hefty paychecks and the allure of playing the magnate can reel him back in. That is of course if Avengers: Endgame even leaves the leeway for such a move!
It all started with ‘Iron Man’
Iron Man debuted back in 2008 with Downey Jr. nailing the titular role. Since it was the first movie, the beloved actor didn’t make much for the part. Word on the grapevine is that he pulled in $500,000. Sure, half a million dollars may seem like a lot, but it’s a drop in a bucket when you start looking at the paydays he had in the later films.
Why do people speculate the NYC-born actor made so little? Despite Downey Jr. growing into the role and becoming an iconic casting choice, he was not the director’s ideal pick. Considering his sordid past filled to the brim with rehab visits and drug charges, Marvel took on a significant risk casting him. Thankfully it was more than worth the risk!
Note: That’s probably not all Downey Jr. took home for Iron Man. Stars often cut deals with the big wigs to get a percentage of a film’s profits. Given the average rates released by Money Nation, it’s estimated that his full payout was closer to an impressive $2 million.
Robert Downey Jr. got a raise with ‘Iron Man 2’
The sequel, Iron Man 2, dropped just two years after the original film. Considering the success of its predecessor, it’s no surprise Downey Jr. walked away with a pay raise. It’s speculated that he made $10 million for the highly anticipated film. Add in the potential 2.5% from the film’s profits and you end up with a number that decimates his first MCU paycheck: $13 million.
Ten million became the actor’s magic number. Unverified sources have said this was his base pay for several more Marvel films: phase one’s The Avengers and Iron Man 3, and phase two’s Avengers: Age of Ultron. If you tack on the additional 2.5%, that puts his estimated earnings at $39 million, $32 million, and $35 million respectively.
‘Captain America: Civil War produced Robert Downey Jr.’s biggest payday
Civil War wasn’t written into his contract like the other films were. Initially, he was meant to have a smaller part. After some insane rewrites, Tony Stark became a crucial player in the movie. The controversial actor had to do some pushing to grow his bit part into a central role — a move that wasn’t appreciated at first. Thankfully Kevin Feige was all about the fantastic deal resulting in a $40 million salary. He also got a bonus of $5 million for taking out Winter Soldier.
Add in the 2.5%, and that makes Downey Jr.’s biggest Marvel payday of $63.75 million. That’s a pretty crazy amount for just a single part and is light-years ahead of anything he’s made in the MCU both past and present!
How much did Robert Downey Jr. make off Marvel?
Before you can do the math, there are a few more films to take into account! The 54-year-old superstar made an estimated $15 million for his appearance in Spiderman: Homecoming, roughly $20.25 million for Avengers: Infinity War, and will make about the same for Avengers: Endgame.
If all of these estimates are in the ballpark that puts the wildly successful actor’s income at over $200 million from the comic giant. Since he was the man who started it all, it’s safe to say he is without a doubt the highest-earning actor on their roster!