“It was fun”: Dwayne Johnson, Mark Wahlberg Took Gargantuan Pay Cuts To Help Michael Bay Movie Make $60M in Profits

"It was fun": Dwayne Johnson, Mark Wahlberg Took Gargantuan Pay Cuts To Help Michael Bay Movie Make $60M in Profits
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The 2013 action-comedy, Pain & Gain, saw a truckload of talent come together to bring real-life events to the big screen. Directed by Michael Bay, the film has Dwayne Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, and Anthony Mackie in the lead roles as part of the Sun Gym gang.

Michael Bay's Pain & Gain (2013)
Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain (2013)

However, while Michael Bay is usually known for coming out with high-budget films, Pain & Gain was different. After Bad Boys, Pain & Gain is the lowest-budget film of Michael Bay’s colorful career. In order to keep the budget at a minimum, the lead actors of the film had to make do with extreme pay cuts from their respective cheques in order to successfully make the film, which they did.

Also Read: Michael Bay Decides Not to Settle After Accusations of Animal Cruelty, Claims “I’m a well known animal lover” After Being Called Pigeon-Killer


Michael Bay Lowered the Pay for Pain & Gain Actors

Michael Bay
Michael Bay

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Dwayne Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, and Anthony Mackie are some of the biggest actors in Hollywood. Therefore, they bring in chunky paychecks with each of their gigs. However, in order to make Pain & Gain achievable with the low budget that Michael Bay had, each of them took a huge pay cut.

Bay stated that the film was just him, his actors, and just pure acting with no visual effects. He looked at the budget problem as a challenge to overcome and that’s exactly what he did.


“It was just me with the camera, actors acting, and really no visual effects. It was fun. It was good to be constrained in that box. I don’t think the movie needed anything more.”

The budget for the film went just over $25 million and the movie made $86.2 million at the box office, bringing in a profit of about $60 million. Unfortunately, though, the real-life victim of the Sun Gym gang, Marc Schiller, filed a lawsuit against his portrayal in the film. Schiller stated that the film showed him as “unlikeable” and “sleazy” and the criminals were shown to be “nice guys who were just bumbling fools.” The complaint stated that Paramount Pictures, Viacom, Bay, Wahlberg, and others twisted the truth for the sake of their film.

Also Read: How Michael Bay Turned Transformers From a Box Office Beast to a Washed up Circus Lion

Michael Bay Talks about the Film’s Budget

Michael Bay and Mark Wahlberg
Michael Bay and Mark Wahlberg

Since his Transformers installment was made with a $200 million or so budget, Bay was forced to create something with just $25 million at hand. In an interview with Access Hollywood, the director talked about how he managed to successfully pull it off.


“[I went] back to by Bad Boys roots. It’s the lowest budget I’ve had since my first movie. I wanted to do a movie where it was just actors acting and me with a camera. It was just balls to the wall. We had to shoot very quick, because of the budget, but it was good. I liked the budget because it kind of restrained the whole movie. Great performance in the movie. It’s just this twisted tale.”

With a 50% Rotten Tomatoes score, the consensus states that while Pain & Gain is Bay’s most thought-provoking film, it loses the “satirical edge.” The film also faced a ton of controversy when The Associated Press interviewed the survivors and those close to the victims. A woman whose family suffered at the hands of the Sun Gym gang stated that she didn’t want America to sympathize with the criminals.

You can stream Pain & Gain on Paramount+.

Source: Straight


Written by Mishkaat Khan

Articles Published: 1052

Mishkaat is a medical student who found solace in content writing. Having worked in the industry for about three years, she has written about everything from medicine to literature and is now happy to enlight you about the world of entertainment. She has written over 500 articles for FandomWire. When not writing, she can be found obsessing over the world of the supernatural through books and TV.