How Robert Downey Jr. made $80 million in one year
The actor behind Iron Man is box-office gold.
Robert Downey, Jr., who has played the suited superhero in five movies (with a sixth, Captain America: Civil War, coming in 2016), is the highest-earning actor of the last year, according to a Forbes list that measures the money Hollywood’s finest made from June 2014 to June 2015.
In that time, Downey appeared in only two films: The Judge and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Those two paydays alone, plus the back-end royalties from previous movies, scored him $80 million, according to the report. (Forbes notes that Disney agreed to give Downey “a favorable deal on any movie the character appears in.”) That’s $5 million more than the year before.
Downey may top the list again next year: he will be paid some $40 million for his role in the third Captain America installment, and is rumored to be starring in a third Sherlock Holmes film as well.
The actor and futurist, who consulted with Elon Musk (the real-life Tony Stark, some like to say) before playing Iron Man, graced the cover of Fortune in 2013 as part of an exclusive interview:
Jackie Chan, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, and Adam Sandler round out the rest of the top five on the list. Tom Cruise, whose fifth Mission: Impossible film comes out this week, is No. 6.
One notable star just missed the top ten: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who came in at No. 11, may not be the highest-paid star, but he is often among the highest-grossing, meaning that the movies he stars in make the most money. In 2013, he was the No. 1 highest-grossing actor in the world.