Robert Downey, Jr. Got Paid $50 Million For 'The Avengers'

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Kevin Winter, Getty Images

'The Avengers' made over $1.5 billion (with a b) at the box office, which is enough to make it one of the biggest films of all-time. But Marvel executives weren't the only ones making money off the film. Star Robert Downey, Jr. confirms he made over $50 million to star in 'The Avengers' adding, "Isn't that crazy?" Yeah, pretty much.

We don't much like getting into the gossip-y world of celebrity salaries; it's none of our business and if that's what studios feel actors are valued at, more power to them if they can get that money. But there's something interesting about the fact that Robert Downey, Jr. made $50 million to star in 'The Avengers' and it starts with how honest he is about.

The actor was asked point blank by GQ whether the rumored $50 million number was true. Here is their exchange.

"Yeah," he says, smiling.

Is that number about right?

"Yeah." A broader smile.

That's amazing.

"Isn't that crazy?" he says. "They're so pissed. I can't believe it. I'm what's known as 'a strategic cost.'"

That's $50 million for 37 minutes of screen time.

Marvel, long known for penny pinching their way through actors' salaries and contracts, had to pay Downey what he wanted because he is a strategic cost; his participation in 'The Avengers' directly brought in business and improved the bottom line. Marvel can't be happy about giving him $50 million but let's be honest: paying him that $50 million probably made them another $300 million.

Downey notes later in the article that he's no longer contracted for any future Marvel movies after 'Iron Man 3' and while it's possible he could return for a 'Iron Man 4,' Marvel would certainly have to pay even more than this $50 million.

What do you think? Do you think Robert Downey, Jr. is worth it?

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