TOP PAID ACTORS OF MARVEL UNIVERSE
1. ROBERT DOWNEY JR. – $260 MILLION
Robert Downey Jr. is the undisputed king of Marvel. His career went through a total renaissance after the first Iron Man, and his paydays rose as a result. For more than a decade now, Robert has been considered the lynchpin of the MCU. These movies wouldn't work without his quippy, abrasive Iron Man.
As a result, he's been able to leverage the success of these films to his personal benefit. Although there were plenty of stars in the latest Avengers film, he reportedly took in $40-50 million on his own. That's quite an epic payday, even by Tony Stark's standards.
2. VIN DIESEL – $200 MILLION
Vin Diesel has most of his money thanks to the Fast and Furious franchise, but it never hurts to collect a Marvel paycheck. As Groot, Vin has proved that he can provide quite a bit of emotional depth without using many words. Based on his net worth, it looks like he's been paid well for those efforts.
Vin has a very distinctive screen presence. Few people would call him a deeply charismatic actor, but he's managed to prove his worth as a franchise star. That's what's given him his financial success thus far. That, and a voice that no one else can replicate.
3. BRADLEY COOPER – $100 MILLION
Bradley Cooper is another actor that's earned most of his money outside of the MCU. Even so, his Rocket Raccoon is a special creation. What's more, Bradley doesn't have to wear any sort of funky costume or act in front of a green screen to play the part. Instead, he just has to go to a sound studio and do his crazy thing.
Now that he's ventured into prestige directing, it's even funnier to consider his work as Rocket. It's unclear exactly how much Bradley is getting paid for his work in the MCU, but he doesn't really need the money.
4. SCARLETT JOHANSSON – $100 MILLION
Scarlett Johansson was a star long before Marvel snatched her up, but her role as Black Widow has made her a superstar. She's been playing the part for a decade, since Iron Man 2. Although she doesn't always have a ton to do, she's been in enough of these movies to see some benefits in her bank account.
Of course, Scarlett is also a movie star outside the MCU. She's one of the few actresses left who can do a wide variety of work on original films and make them a success. She does everything from indies to action, and she's proved her abilities in every area.
5. CHRIS HEMSWORTH – $70 MILLION
Chris Hemsworth's Thor wasn't always a highlight of the MCU, but that's changed as of late. In Thor: Ragnarok, he proved that he's a lot funnier than these movies have often allowed him to be. As of late, it seems like this Chris is more than willing to pull his weight.
The MCU has made him a star, but he's used that stardom to take on plenty of roles in other projects. His charisma has proven to be an asset across these projects, and it's allowed him to build up quite a bit of cash. Even today, the Aussie actor's star is still rising.
6. GWYNETH PALTROW– $60 MILLION
The stardom of Gwyneth Paltrow is only tangentially related to her work in the MCU. Although she was one of the first actors to sign-on to the franchise, she's only appeared sporadically since Iron Man 3. Still, these movies are fairly easy paychecks because of how little time she has on screen.
Elsewhere, Gwyneth has increased her net worth through her lifestyle brand and appearances in other films. She's had an incredibly long career in Hollywood, and it's one that's set her up for a pretty wealthy life. Her money for playing Pepper Potts is really just the gravy on top.
7. CHRIS EVANS – $50 MILLION
Chris Evans has proven to be one of the biggest stars of the MCU, and he's got the funds to support that claim. He wasn't a huge star prior to being cast as Captain America, but since his debut as the character, his star has risen.
In the near future, it's like that Chris will leave the MCU, but that doesn't mean his career is over. He's got plenty of opportunities to pursue outside the MCU, and given the time commitments those movies take, he'll also have more time to chase after them. We could all use a little more Chris Evans in our lives.
8. BENICIO DEL TORO – $45 MILLION
You may be scratching your head at this one. After all, Benicio Del Toro is barely even in the MCU. He played the Collector in the first Guardians of the Galaxy, and he showed up briefly in Avengers: Infinity War. Most of his money comes from work outside the MCU.
Interestingly, Benicio is one of the few actors to have roles in both the MCU and the Star Wars saga. He doesn't play a huge part in either franchise, but I'm sure both of them pay pretty well. In addition to his lengthy career as a serious actor, franchises certainly help pay the bills.
9. CHRIS PRATT – $40 MILLION
Many of the actors on this list have been movie stars for some time, but Chris Pratt is more like an overnight sensation. He was on TV for years, but when he was cast in Guardians of the Galaxy, he proved he could be a leading man.
Since then, he's blown up both inside the MCU and in other films. As a result, he's accumulated quite a bit of money pretty quickly. The more important question, though, is where he ranks among the three Chrisses that are now part of the MCU. That's a debate that may never come to a solid resolution.
10. JOSH BROLIN – $35 MILLION
Thanos himself is the newest entry into the MCU if you don't count end credits teases. Josh does an excellent job introducing Thanos in Infinity War, and he's one of the main reasons for the movie's success. Arguably, that movie is about him more than it's about anyone else.
Most of the money he's accumulated in his career doesn't come from the MCU, but Thanos certainly can't hurt. It may be annoying to have to dress up in a suit covered in ping pong balls, but at least it pays off financially. Josh's career has been long, though, so Thanos likely won't be the end for him.
11. DON CHEADLE – $35 MILLION
Don Cheadle benefits from a lot of work. He's in way more stuff than you might realize, and that includes the Marvel films. His part was originally played by Terrence Howard but from Iron Man 2 on, the part's been Don's.
Outside the MCU, Don has had steady work both on TV and in a variety of films. He's a widely acclaimed actor who's also capable of remarkable versatility. As Roadie, he's a funny, compassionate friend for Tony, and a fun addition to the expanded Avengers team. Marvel movies give him a chance to experiment a little bit. Sometimes, those experiments pay off big time.
12. MARK RUFFALO – $30 MILLION
Mark Ruffalo doesn't really look or act like a superhero. That's what makes him the perfect Bruce Banner. He's a little schlubby and very nerdy, but he's also incredibly charming. Since he took over the part from Edward Norton in The Avengers, Mark has proven that he can be a great Hulk.
He's another actor with an extensive Hollywood career outside the MCU. His work in these films has likely made him wealthier, but it's also been pretty excellent. Bruce doesn't have to be as funny or complicated as Mark makes him. He may be collecting a paycheck, but he's also doing the work.
13. BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH – $30 MILLION
Benedict Cumberbatch has only been in two MCU films to date, but he's already made a strong impression. As Doctor Strange, Benedict has proven that he can carry the kind of snarky charisma that this franchise has been so reliant on in Tony Stark. Should Robert Downey Jr. decide to step away from the MCU, Benedict may be a perfect candidate to take his place.
Of course, the British actor has developed a promising career outside of the MCU as well. He played Sherlock Holmes in a BBC series, and earned himself an Oscar nomination as well. Like many actors on this list, he doesn't need the money. Still, it's nice to have.
14. IDRIS ELBA – $20 MILLION
The cast in the Thor films has not always been littered with huge stars, but Idris Elba has been a consistent factor in each of them. He's also done plenty of movies and television outside of the MCU, and it's doubtful that he's relying on his Marvel paychecks very heavily.
Still, like most of the actors on this list, Idris probably figured that it couldn't hurt to be collecting that money pretty regularly. Marvel movies are almost like a day job, one that allows actors to take on more adventurous projects in their free time. That's certainly how Idris Elba approaches it.
15. TOM HIDDLESTON – $20 MILLION
Loki is a mischievous god, and also a fairly wealthy one. Tom Hiddleston has been a presence in the MCU since the first Thor. He's the big bad in the first Avengers movie, and he shows up fairly often after that. Because of his lengthy history in the MCU, Tom has been able to cash quite a few paychecks.
Even as he's maintained his role as Loki, he's also done plenty of interesting work outside the MCU. He's proven himself to be an incredibly capable of actor, and something of a workhorse as well. On top of that, he might know the MCU better than any other actor in the franchise.