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How many actors Earn Per Movie and What Aspects Can Affect It

One of the inevitable questions, when you are watching a movie, is how many these actors and actresses earn per movie. Well, we will say ‘it depends’. Actors get various amounts of money and normally they don’t call it salary, hence to replace the word, they use ‘pay per job’. If you think they are paid a huge sum of money, you’re half right. The point is actors are paid differently after considering several aspects. One of them is their popularity. Also, as some actors work for an agency, there is another minus to their actual wage. Alright, here is some information about how much an actor earns per movie.

How many actors Earn Per Movie: An Approach to Count Their Income

Before knowing how many actors earn per movie, you must know that in the film industry there are several categories of actors. Some of you might have known this, but it’s never been bad to read once again.

Background actors

They are performing to appear in background or scenes to make the movie looks more natural and authentic.


This one will most likely be performed by famous personnel. They appear on minor scenes and may have lines; playing as a supporting character to bring another highlight from an ‘unexpected’ scene.

Supporting actors

These actors may play a pivotal role, although they shouldn’t upstage the leading category.

Leading actors

Simply known as lead, actors in this category perform in the majority of scenes. 

Now let’s jump into the main topic: how many actors earn per movie and what aspects can influence their rate? Several aspects affect an actor’s rate.

Actor’s popularity

For beginner actors, it is very unlikely that they’ll get a massive amount of money. This is because of their lack of experience as well as their ‘low’ popularity. In short, actors who have starred in many movies will surely earn more than those starting ones.

Roles they are playing

FYI, the average rate for the world’s highest-paid movie actors ranges from US$ 20-30 million. Now let’s take an example of a famous actor: Will Smith. While in Men in Black 3 he pocketed $100 million from a total $600+ million gross, his role in Aladdin only gave him the one-eighth from that sum. Still, a huge amount of money, isn’t it? That’s how the role makes one’s income different.

Previous plays

The more appearances one makes, the higher the ‘salary’ they will get as they will grow more popularity. This also depends on which movie the actor played in and how major the role was. The more prominent roles an actor had performed, then it’ll likely be easier for them to get high payment.

Contract with the agency

Since many actors work for an agency that houses them and finds them gigs, their earning will be cut based on the preliminary agreement. They’ll also discuss with the movie production team about how much they’ll get paid after being cast.

Then, what about those cameos and background actors? Through the same process, background actors are normally paid just a few bucks as they only played little role in the movie, while cameos – for sure – get a higher payment.

Now, you know the information regarding how many actors earn per movie. Also, the actor’s professionalism and credibility play an important role in how the producer sees them play in the movie. That seems trivial, but that doesn’t.