Three Film Stars Get $1,000,000 a Year Each

Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks were earning a then- staggering $1 million per year in 1917. $1 million in May 1917 would be worth $17.5 million today. How does that compare to the highest-grossing movie stars now? That would only make Chaplin the 24th-highest paid movie star in the world last year.

Forbes ranked Dwayne Johnson as the highest-paid actor of 2016 at $67.5 million. Chaplin would be sandwiched between Matthew McConaughey at #23 with $18 million and Chinese film star Chan Bingbing with $17 million.

What’s fascinating look at the last is how many of the top 25 highest-paid actors may not be worth the salary. Many just in the past year alone have starred in box office domestic underperformers, relative to studios’ pre-release hopes:

  • #3 Matt Damon with The Great Wall
  • #5 Johnny Depp with Alice Through the Looking Glass
  • #7 Ben Affleck with Live By Night
  • #8 Vin Diesel with xXx: The Return of Xander Cage
  • #13 Brad Pitt with Allied
  • #19 Scarlett Johansson with Ghost in the Shell
  • #20 Will Smith with Collateral Beauty
  • #23 Matthew McConaughey with Gold

Three Film Stars Get $1,000,000 a Year Each: Motion Picture Business, at Pinnacle of Success, Sees No Sign of Waning Popularity — Tax Talk Stops Boasting of Profits

From Sunday, May 27, 1917

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