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Shia LaBeouf Didn’t Even Make $1,000,000 for a Transformers Movie That Made Almost 1000X His Salary

Shia LaBeouf Didn’t Even Make $1,000,000 for a Transformers Movie That Made Almost 1000X His Salary

Actor Shia LaBeouf is now known for his dramatic performances in acclaimed films such as Fury, The Peanut Butter Falcon, and Lawless. These films have been a departure from the actor’s initial stages of his career which were filled with mainstream and blockbuster films.

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While LaBeouf had an appearance in the extremely divisive Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, he is best known for starring as Sam Witwicky in Michael Bay’s Transformers films. However, despite the fame, LaBeouf barely earned a million for the first Transformers film, which earned almost a thousand times his salary in box office and home video sales.

Also read: “Which was just f**king nonsense”: Shia LaBeouf’s Greatest Regret isn’t Transformers 3, It’s a $3.4M Critical Gem He Wrote Himself That Destroyed His Dad’s Reputation

How Much Did Transformers Earn?

Shia LaBeouf in Transformers
Shia LaBeouf in Transformers

Based on the toy line created by Hasbro, the Transformers franchise has had only one iteration in live-action. The creative direction of the live-action films was chiefly handled by Michael Bay, who directed five of the seven Transformers films. 

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The franchise was first brought to ace director Steven Spielberg who then hired Bay to helm the film, while Spielberg himself served as the executive producer. Bay had initially rejected the project as he felt that it was a ridiculous toy film, but he reportedly changed his mind due to Spielberg’s insistence, and after visiting the Hasbro office. 

Michael Bay apparently revised the script in order to make it edgier and increased the role of the American military in the film (a trademark of Michael Bay). The film was made at a budget of $150 to $200 million. Transformers was the first live-action adaptation of the IP, which had only seen toys and an animated adaptation of the fight between the Autobots and the Decepticons. The film starred Shia LeBeouf, and Megan Fox, and the voices of actors Hugo Weaving and Peter Cullen. 

Also read: From $750,000 Payday to $15 Million Salary- Shia LaBeouf’s ‘Transformers’ Journey Is No Less Than a Dream

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How Much Did Shia LaBeouf Earn For Transformers?

Shia LaBeouf
Shia LaBeouf

Actor Shia LaBeouf had his Hollywood breakthrough with the Transformers films. He appeared in three out of the seven films that were produced, his last one being Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The films in which he starred are still considered to be the best of the franchise, as from the fourth part, the story shifted to Mark Wahlberg’s Cade Yeager, which was heavily criticized. 

The Transformers film franchise is the thirteenth highest-grossing film franchise of all time, earning over $5.2 billion at the box office alone. The first three films of the franchise had an exponential increase in their earnings, with the third film earning over $1.12 billion at the global box office.

Also read: “It’s like having five dudes on a date with one girl”: Shia LaBeouf Claimed Brad Pitt’s Presence Had a Strange Effect on the Cast of David Ayer’s $212M Film ‘Fury’

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Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox in Transformers
Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox in Transformers

While the first film of the franchise is widely considered to be the best of the lot, lead actor Shia LaBeouf’s salary for the 2007 film seems to be pretty low compared to what the film ended up making. Transformers was a huge success upon release earning over $709 million at the global box office and according to The Numbers, it earned over $303 million in home video sales.

But according to Marca magazine, Shia LaBeouf only made $750,000 on the first Transformers film. Taking the collective earnings of the film into account, which amounts to almost $1.12 billion, the film earned a thousand times more than LaBeouf’s salary. The low paycheck could be due to his resume before the films being a kids’ TV show on the Disney Channel and the thriller Disturbia. The actor redeemed himself in subsequent films when he reportedly earned $5 million for the second film, and a generous $15 million for Transformers: Dark of the Moon. He even reportedly demanded a salary of $18 million for the fourth film, which was refused by the studio.

Also read: “Shia drove everyone mad”: Shia LaBeouf’s Self-Mutilation and Bad Hygiene on $212M Movie Set Pushed Brad Pitt and David Ayer Over the Edge

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Source: Marca, The Numbers

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Written by Nishanth

A big time Nolan and DC fanboy, Nishanth is a Media, English and Psychology graduate from Bangalore. When he's not fixating on the entire filmography of a director, he tries to write and direct films.