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Top 5 Highest Paid DC Actors: Jason Momoa Earned $19,500,000 Less Than Dwayne Johnson Despite His Highest Grossing DC Movie, Aquaman

Jason Momoa Earned $19,500,000 Less Than Dwayne Johnson Despite His Highest Grossing DC Movie, Aquaman

Many actors have come and gone from the DCEU over the years, each bringing their flair and charisma to their various roles. These actors have made indelible marks on the DC film canon as heroes and villains. Others have made a name for themselves while still earning substantial paychecks, while still others have achieved meteoric success and commanded top dollar for their performances.

Dwayne Johnson: The Rock Reigns Supreme

Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne Johnson

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s position atop the list as the District of Columbia’s highest-paid actor is hardly surprising. Johnson’s star power has earned him massive paychecks throughout his career thanks to his larger-than-life persona, undeniable charisma, and box-office appeal.

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Eventually, in 2022, he landed the starring role in Black Adam, a much-anticipated DC film. Variety reports that Johnson earned $22.5 million for playing the villainous anti-hero. Johnson did more than just star in the film; he also produced and promoted it heavily on social media.

Johnson has established a new standard for DC actors with his unrivaled star power and undeniable work ethic, and his salary reflects this.

Joaquin Phoenix: From the Joker to a Big Payday

Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix

In the 2019 film of the same name, Joaquin Phoenix performed as the villain, the Joker. His mesmerizing performance won him the Academy Award for Best Actor and widespread critical acclaim.

The investment in Phoenix’s talent and hard work was rewarded with a reported salary of $4.5 million. The worldwide box office for Joker was over $1 billion, far exceeding projections. Phoenix’s salary for the upcoming sequel Joker: Folie à Deux, riding high on the first film’s success, has reportedly skyrocketed to an astounding $20 million.

Fans of this dark and gripping story will surely be pleased by this rise, which cements Phoenix’s place as one of the DCEU’s highest-paid actors.

Jason Momoa: Riding the Wave of Aquaman’s Success

Jason Momoa
Jason Momoa

The 2018 film Aquaman, starring Jason Momoa, made waves in the DCEU thanks to Momoa’s charismatic performance as the title character. Despite being the highest-grossing DC film, Momoa’s starting salary as the underwater hero was only $3 million.

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However, Aquaman exceeded $1 billion at the worldwide box office, which was unexpected. Momoa rode the success of Aquaman to renegotiate his contract for the film’s sequel, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.

Variety reports that Momoa’s paycheck for the upcoming film has increased to a whopping $15 million. Momoa’s star is on the rise, and the success of Aquaman has established him as a major player in the DC Extended Universe, even if his salary is lower than that of some of his fellow DC actors.

Will Smith: A Star’s Steady Rise

Will Smith
Will Smith

Will Smith joined the DCEU as Deadshot in Task Force X, he is an established star who can demand high wages for leading roles in blockbuster films. The reported $13 million salary may seem lower than Smith’s previous blockbuster earnings.

However, the actor’s willingness to take creative risks and subsequent successes in other projects have increased his pay to unprecedented levels. Variety reported that Smith earned $35 million for Emancipation and an impressive $40 million for King Richard.

Smith’s career trajectory and ability to deliver exceptional performances continue to make him one of the most sought-after actors in the industry, even though his role in the DCEU did not earn him the highest paycheck.

Ben Affleck: From Batman to Box Office Success

Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck

Acclaimed actor and filmmaker Ben Affleck made his DCEU debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Affleck’s participation in the DCEU warranted a substantial salary due to his impressive resume, including films like Good Will Hunting and Gone Girl, and an acclaimed directorial portfolio of The Town, Argo, and Gone Baby Gone.

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Affleck’s reported eight-figure salary for his debut in the DCEU is based on estimates rather than hard data. As an added bonus, it has been reported that Affleck made $12.5 million for his role in Suicide Squad, a clear indication of his market value and the premium studios are willing to pay for his services.

Source: The Numbers

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Written by Mabel Andrady

Mabel, aka MJ, is a FandomWire Sr. Writer, pop-culture fanatic, and an MA in Health Demography holder. When she's not indulging in her guilty pleasure of penning everything Hollywood, Marvel & DC, she writes academic essays on COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS. With 2500+ articles published online, she brings a unique twist to entertainment writing. A jack-of-all-trades, MJ enjoys movies, writes/acts in plays, writes music, and dreams of being a successful actress. She offers a fresh perspective, making her writing a must-read for those seeking knowledge and entertainment.