Sylvester Stallone’s Movie Salary: Stallone Did Not Earn His Biggest Hollywood Payday From Rocky or Expendables Franchise

Sylvester Stallone's biggest salary came from one of his forgotten movies.

Sylvester Stallone’s Movie Salary: Stallone Did Not Earn His Biggest Hollywood Payday From Rocky or Expendables Franchise


  • Sylvester Stallone's most successful franchises were Rocky and The Expendables.
  • His biggest paycheck, however, came from 1996's Daylight, one of his obscure movies.
  • Stallone clarified what he said about Daylight being his last action movie.
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Sylvester Stallone remains one of the most sought-after stars in Hollywood with his impressive filmography of action movies all throughout his entire career. He is widely known for his work on Rocky and the famed The Expendables franchise, although quite surprisingly, he did not take home a massive paycheck from doing these projects.

Sylvester Stallone in Rocky
Sylvester Stallone in Rocky

Stallone debuted in the acting industry in 1968, but his claim to fame took place in the 70s after he wrote the story of the underdog Rocky Balboa. With 78 films under his belt, the actor has built an impressive legacy in the field of cinema.

RELATED: Sylvester Stallone “Frolicked Around” With “Unemployed Pole Dancers” Who Passed Off as His Mother’s Wrestler Friends When He Was a Kid


Sylvester Stallone’s Highest Movie Salary Came From One Of His Forgotten Films

Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky marked his humble beginnings in the movie industry. He was paid $35,000 for writing the script and portraying the role of the main character. However, the actor revealed he received a generous cut from the movie sales after it earned $225 million against a budget of $1 million. He ended up taking home $2.5 million.

As he worked on the succeeding installments of the Rocky franchise up to his last appearance in Creed 2, Stallone’s salary also increased. He was paid $15 million for Rocky V and $10 million each for the first two Creed movies.

Stallone was already at the height of his career when he did Rambo: First Blood. Surprisingly, the actor thought the film would be disastrous and would end up ruining his career, only to receive the biggest paycheck of his life at the time. He brought home $3.5 million.


Interestingly, Stallone turned down the offer to do Rambo IV, which would have earned him $34 million, because he did not want to ruin the success of the third installment. Nevertheless, he still made a $16 million salary.

Sylvester Stallone The Expendables
Sylvester Stallone in The Expendables

The Expendables movies, which Stallone co-wrote, produced, and starred in, gave him $16 million pay for the first three installments. Since he had a smaller role in The Expendables 4, he only received $3 million.

The ‘90s brought Stallone a lot of attention as he had already established himself as a household name. The actor was offered a three-movie deal from Universal Pictures amounting to $20 million pay for each film.


The 1996 disaster epic Daylight was a moderate success, but the other two titles, 2001’s Driven and 2002’s Eye See You, were box office flops. Nonetheless, Daylight earned Stallone the biggest paycheck of his career.

RELATED: “You don’t see Italians in space”: Sylvester Stallone Thought He’d Be The Pizza Guy in Star Wars After Being Asked To Audition For Han Solo

What Sylvester Stallone Meant When He Called Daylight His Last Action Movie

sylvester stallone daylight
Sylvester Stallone in Daylight

Sylvester Stallone talked about his 1996 film Daylight via The Bobbie Wygant Archive and explained why he said the project was going to be his last action film. He admitted:


What I really meant is I didn’t want to do any more films that were insensitive or where it’s all pyrotechnics, where it’s just computer-driven that doesn’t really hold any emotional value… I would love to do something that is real. I mean, looks dangerous because it is dangerous, and there’s something at stake. There’s a story you can hook your heart to some kind of image.”

Daylight may have turned into one of Stallone’s forgotten films, but it surely gave the actor a very massive paycheck which he earned from a single role.

RELATED: Sylvester Stallone, Who Made $400M Fortune from Action Movies, Pissed at Hollywood: “When the time comes to give recognition, it’s dismissed”


Written by Ariane Cruz

Articles Published: 1931

Ariane Cruz, Senior Content Writer. She has been contributing articles for FandomWire since 2021, mostly covering stories about geek pop culture. With a degree in Communication Arts, she has an in-depth knowledge of print and broadcast journalism. Her other works can also be seen on Screen Rant and CBR.