The Marvel Cinematic Universe was a gamble before releasing their first team-up movie Avengers. Nowadays, all their films are assured of hitting a considerable number at the box office. At least most MCU movies earn 500-600 million in their entire run.
MCU’s first superhero was played by Robert Downey Jr., which was a gamble for them because of his discomfiting history. But after accumulating massive success from his solo flick, they started to build a shared cinematic universe. This strategy became a master stroke for them and created one of the most successful Cinematic Universe’ of this time.
The most achievable thing for the Marvel studios was releasing the greatest movie ever, Avengers: Endgame, with a long list of stars in just one movie.
After Downey Jr’s superhero boom, they focused more on casting lesser-known actors like Chris Hemsworth, Chris Pratt, Tom Hiddleston, and Tom Holland. They also signed some more prominent names like Benedict Cumberbach, Scarlet Johansson, Brie Larson, and Paul Rudd, who had a decent fan base before jumping in. Not to mention, The studio also saved some actors’ careers.
Marvel Studios always offer decent pay to the actors at the beginning of their projects. But after achieving success, the salary starts to become enormously lofty. Their first significant actor Robert Downey Jr. is a prime example of that. Marvel gave him one of the biggest paydays in the history of Hollywood in his final films.
Today, we will thoroughly study all the Marvel actors’ salaries and how they grew film by film. So, Here are the top-paid Marvel actors.
#12 Brie Larson
Marvel Role: Captain Marvel
Brie Larson had many controversies during her promotion to Captain Marvel. But luckily, she did not become a victim of the boycott culture. She has successfully landed her role and won a lot of fans to her side.
There is no doubt that Captain Marvel is one of the strongest female superheroes, but we know who can defeat her in a battle in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unfortunately, she did not appear much outside of her solo movies.
|1||Captain Marvel||$5 million|
#11 Chadwick Boseman
Marvel Role: Black Panther
Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther also first appeared in Captain America: Civil War. But sadly, we will not see the main star of one of the first major Black superhero movies, as Boseman passed away in 2020 because of stage III Colon Cancer. His last work with the Marvel Studios was voicing T’Challa in ‘Marvel’s What If…?’
Boseman was initially set to feature in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever movie, but that will not happen. Marvel has planned big to pay tribute to Chadwick in the Black Panther sequel, and T’Challa’s Black Panther will not be replaced by any actor.
|1||Captain America: Civil War||$700,000|
|2||Black Panther||$2 million|
|3||Avengers: Infinity War||$4 million|
#10 Chris Pratt
Marvel Role: Star-Lord
The former Parks and Recreation star was a surprise pick for Marvel’s lesser-known superhero Star-Lord. His body transformation is quite a story for gym enthusiasts.
Pratt’s comedic role paid off heavily, as he became the face of the New Jurassic World franchise. In the MCU, Star-Lord teamed up with the Earth’s Avengers at the end of the Infinity Saga. He, with his other Guardian members, is in search of Gamora. But the fans loved the duo of Star-Lord and Thor and will love to see more of them.
|1||Guardians of the Galaxy||$1.5 million|
|2||Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2||$3 million|
|3||Avengers: Infinity War||$5 million|
#9 Paul Rudd
Marvel Role: Ant-Man
Paul Rudd has maintained his comedic role in the MCU version as Scott Lang, aka second-generation Ant-Man. Paul’s Ant-Man brought the first full-time comedic theme to the MCU (without being lame).
Paul Rudd’s role in bigger Marvel movies always remains limited, and he mostly appears as a comic relief. But his role was very vital in the Avengers: Endgame. Ant-Man introduced the Quantum realm, and this will be the central theme of Phases V and VI. Rudd has received $8 million from the final Avengers film.
|2||Ant-Man and the Wasp||$4 million|
|3||Avengers: Endgame||$8 million|
#8 Tom Holland
Marvel Role: Spider-Man
Tom Holland’s casting as the wall-crawler was suggested by Chris Hemsworth himself. Tom first made his surprise cameo in Captain America: Civil War. In the MCU, Ironman took the New Yorker superhero under his wings to go against Team Cap.
Spider-man’s role in the MCU is quite intriguing. They developed the character from scratch, and he is about to take over a part of Tony Stark’s role. Tom Holland Spider-man is allowed to appear in the MCU because of the Disney and Sony deal, and fans are uncertain about the character’s future.
|1||Captain America: Civil War||$250,000|
|3||Avengers: Infinity War||$3 million|
|5||Spider-Man: Far From Home||$4 million|
|6||Spider-Man: No Way Home||$5 million|
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#7 Benedict Cumberbatch
Marvel Role: Doctor Strange
It was exhilarating when fans heard that modern Sherlock Homes would play Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme. Doctor Strange is one of the essential characters in the comics. MCU has maintained the same status as Stephen Strange, and this is truly one of the cinematic moments you’ll fall for. The details of his salary in Avengers: Endgame haven’t been revealed yet, but it will probably be around $6 million.
It is quite visible that Strange has taken over the mentorship role of Ironman. Benedict Cumberbatch has already introduced Multiverse in his Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. So, His multiverse journey has already begun.
|1||Doctor Strange||$3.5 million|
|2||Avengers: Infinity War||$5.1 million|
|3||Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness||$6.4 million|
#6 Jeremy Renner
Marvel Role: Hawkeye
Jeremy Renner first made a cameo role in the Thor movie but never received his solo film in the MCU. He appeared extensively in almost all the Avengers films except Avengers Infinity War.
Renner did not get as popular as the other cast members of the Avengers, but his salary did not affect this. Rumors suggest that the Hawkeye actor bagged a vast $15-million paycheck in the Avengers: Endgame. Eventually, the purple superhero without superpowers received his solo Disney Plus series Hawkeye in 2022.
|1||The Avengers||$3 million|
|2||Avengers: Age of Ultron||$6 million|
|3||Captain America: Civil War||$500000|
|4||Avengers: Endgame||$15 million|
#5 Mark Ruffalo
Marvel Role: Hulk
The story of the Hulk is more troublesome than the character in the MCU. Edward Norton first portrayed the role of the green monster superhero in The Incredible Hulk in 2008, but Feige did not prefer bringing him back in The Avengers. Norton did not want to reprise his role because of the lack of diversity in character.
Then came Mark Ruffalo. Fans adored him when he first appeared as Bruce Banner, aka Hulk, in the first major team-up movie of Marvel superheroes. Ruffalo also overcame his brain surgery and reprised his role again. The 54 years old actor is still playing the role of Hulk and recently had a cameo in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
|1||The Avengers||$3 million|
|2||Avengers: Age of Ultron||$3 million|
|3||Thor: Ragnarok||$3 million|
|4||Avengers: Infinity War||$15 million|
|5||Avengers: Endgame||$15 million|
|6||She-Hulk: Attorney at Law||$200,000/per episode|
#4 Chris Evans
Marvel Role: Captain America
Before making his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Chris Evans was no stranger to comic book movies. He previously played the role of Human Torch and won hearts as the most charming member of Marvel’s first family.
Later on, Chris Evans took on the role of the first Avenger, Captain America. He was incredible in his role, but his arc in the MCU ended with a cliffhanger. That makes his fans guess about his possible future return if the plot demands. Evans also bid his farewell to the Marvel Studios alongside Robert Downey Jr. at the end of Avengers: Endgame.
|1||Captain America: The First Avenger||$300,000|
|2||The Avengers||$3 million|
|3||Captain America: The Winter Soldier||$3 million|
|4||Avengers: Age of Ultron||$15 million|
|5||Captain America: Civil War||$15 million|
|6||Avengers: Infinity War||$15 million|
|7||Avengers: Endgame||$20 million|
#3 Chris Hemsworth
Marvel Role: Thor
No one knew Chris Hemsworth as an actor before his debut as Thor in Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s safe to say the role of Thor made him a big star in Hollywood.
It was reported that Hemsworth was paid around $20 million for his latest Thor: Love and Thunder appearance. The God of Thunder was not a very bewitching role before Taika Waititi took over the franchise. He changed the approach to the movie and brought comedic elements to the character. At this moment, Thor is one of the strongest superheroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hemsworth is chasing Hugh Jackman’s record appearance as Wolverine for the longest time in the Cinema world, but he’s back too in Deadpool 3.
|2||The Avengers||$3 million|
|3||Thor: The Dark World||$3 million|
|4||Avengers: Age of Ultron||$5 million|
|5||Thor: Ragnarok||$15 million|
|6||Avengers: Infinity War||$15 million|
|7||Avengers: Endgame||$15 million|
|8||Thor: Love and Thunder||$20 million|
#2 Scarlett Johansson
Marvel Role: Black Widow
Scarlett Johansson was not even the first choice for playing the Russian spy. She first appeared in Ironman 2 and shared screen time with RDJ and Samuel L. Jackson. But that was just the beginning. She reprised her role of Black Widow again in MCU’s first team-up movie, Avengers, and continued playing it until her recent solo film.
Though she was one of the biggest actresses ever appearing for Marvel Studios, she never got her solo film until Phase IV. Nowadays, there are several female superheroes in the MCU, but she was the first female superhero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the first female member of the Avengers to get that.
|1||Iron Man 2||$400,000|
|2||The Avengers||$6 million|
|3||Captain America: The Winter Soldier||$6 million|
|4||Avengers: Age of Ultron||$20 million|
|5||Captain America: Civil War||$20 million|
|6||Avengers: Infinity War||$15 million|
|7||Avengers: Endgame||$15 million|
|8||Black Widow||$20 million|
#1 Robert Downey Jr.
Marvel Role: Iron Man
Robert Downey Jr. was the first prominent actor to feature in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though he did not have a good history, Marvel kept faith in him. He was handed over the role of Tony Stark, aka, Ironman, and the rest of history.
RDJ just took the character to a whole new level. He made the character an icon in our popular culture, and no one can even imagine Ironman without his face. Downey Jr. was the one who made Ironman receive worldwide recognition. He is the central pillar of what Marvel Studios has built. Even though he has stopped playing the role of Ironman on screen, fans are still dreaming of his return.
|2||Iron Man 2||$10 million|
|3||Marvel’s The Avengers||$10 million|
|4||Iron Man 3||$10 million|
|5||Avengers: Age of Ultron||$40 million|
|6||Captain America: Civil War||$50 million|
|7||Spider-Man: Homecoming||$10 million|
|8||Avengers: Infinity War||$50 million|
|9||Avengers: Endgame||$75 million|
Marvel Role: Vision
Paul Bettany, one of the first cast members, still appears in the MCU and has been with Marvel from its beginning. Bettany gave voice to Ironman’s A.I. “J.A.R.V.I.S.” His fictional character eventually became the consciousness of Ultron’s creation Vision.
Bettany as Vision first appeared in Avengers: Age of Ultron and was last seen in Marvel’s Disney Plus series, WandaVision. Vision’s current status is unknown right now in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Reportedly, Bettany earned $100,000 in Iron Man, $200,000 in Iron Man 2, and $500,000 in Ironman 4 for voicing Tony Stark’s A.I. in the film. His earnings as Vision is not disclosed yet.
Marvel Role: War Machine
Don Cheadle took over the role of Colonel James Rhodes in the Iron Man 2 movie. He was not a regular character in all the Marvel movies until Captain America: Civil War.
Don Cheadle has made a brief appearance in Falcon and The Winter Soldier and is set to appear in Secret Invasion. War Machine will receive his solo series, Armor Wars.
Marvel Role: Loki
Tom Hiddleston’s Loki can be compared with Marvel Comics’ Jean Grey, as they both died numerous times and were resurrected on the fans’ demand. To be accurate, Loki’s demise in any movie has no emotional effect on the fans. He somehow tricked his death one way or another.
Without spoiling Loki’s fate, Loki got his solo Disney Plus series in 2021, which was one of the best shows of that year. Fans just loved time traveler, self-loving Loki. Nowadays, fans cannot think about Loki without Hiddleston’s face. He is still playing the God of Mischief from the first Thor movie.
Despite acting skillfully in the role of Thor’s treacherous brother, Hiddleston made just $160,000 and $800,000 in the first two films of the MCU. But he earned a massive salary of $8 million for his brief screentime in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame.
Marvel Role: Winter Soldier
Sebastian Stan appeared as Bucky Barnes in Captain America: The First Avenger and reappeared as the brainwashed Winter Soldier who worked for Hydra. His reemergence was the main plot point in Captain America: Civil War.
The Winter Soldier appeared in both Infinity War and Endgame.
Though Sebastian Stan was not a recurring character in the MCU, he will feature in the upcoming movie of anti-heroes, Thunderbolts. Reports suggest that the actor has earned over $10 million for playing The Winter Soldier for such a long time.
Marvel Role: Falcon
Though Falcon never became Steve Rodger’s best friend, he was his most trusted friend. Anthony Mackie picked up the role of Falcon by making an email to Marvel Studios, Thus, making his debut in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
After Chris Evans left the Captain America role, Mackie took over the title of Cap. The latest Disney Plus series, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, talked about racism and racial discrimination in the fictional world of Marvel. Anthony Mackie is set to appear in Captain America: New World Order.
Marvel Role: Gamora
Zoe Saldana is one of the most underpaid actors in Hollywood. But the fun fact is that she has featured in four mega-franchise movies, which earned billions of dollars. Her appearances in four of the five highest-grossing films of all time indicate how talented she is. No one other actor has achieved this rare feat.
Her role in the MCU of The Deadliest Woman in the Universe, Gamora, is still active, and she is the boss of the Ravagers. She will play a vital role in the final Guardians movie.
Marvel Role: Groot
When it comes to voice acting, Vin Diesel has earned more than any other actor. The Fast and Furious star will almost make 67 million from all Marvel movies when he finishes Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. He has never appeared in the MCU. But we all love his voice as Groot’s one-liner: ‘I am Groot.’
Fun Fact: Vin Diesel has dubbed ‘I am Groot’ in different languages himself.
Marvel Role: Drax
Dave Bautista is the second WWE star to feature in the MCU. His role as Drax is very different from the comic book version. But he acts more as comic relief than a brutal supergalactic superhero, and he is expected to leave the franchise with the last GOTG film.
Marvel Role: Scarlet Witch
Fans thought Scarlet Witch’s appearance in the MCU would bring Magneto and his fellow mutants to the Marvel movies. Elizabeth Olsen has played the role of one of the most tragic superheroes in the MCU. Olsen made his debut as Wanda Maximoff in the mid-credits scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Though Olsen did not receive any solo movie, she has received a Disney Plus series with Paul Bettany’s Vision. Her anti-hero persona came out in the horror fantasy superhero film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Olsen earned $2 million for her latest appearance in the MCU.
Marvel Role: Yelena Belova
Florence Pugh featured as Yelena Belova in the solo Black Widow film, is one of the best things in that film, and she graced our screens again in the Hawkeye Disney Plus series.
Pugh is set to appear again as Yelena Belova beside Stan’s Winter Soldier in The Thunderbolts movie. Yelena’s role in the film is to lead the anti-hero group, but she won’t likely replace Natasha Romanoff, aka Black Widow, in the MCU.
Marvel Role: Shang-Chi
Simu Liu is just a newcomer to this cinematic universe. He made his debut in 2021 with Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. This movie also solved all the mysteries regarding the MCU’s terrorist organization, Ten Rings.
Though Simu Liu’s Shang-Chi became a member of the Avengers, he will not appear as an avenger soon. Marvel Studios has not revealed any plan for the character’s next appearance, but he is a fan favorite. So, Better keep an eye on the young Asian.
Marvel Role: Thena
Angelina Jolie is a big name in Hollywood. She became a part of the multi-starrer superhero film, Eternals. Though all the Eternals did not survive the events in the movie, Jolie’s Thena was shown as a badass sword-wielding immortal superhero.
According to Forbes, Jolie earned a massive US$35.5 million for playing the role of Thena. But that did not come out as accurate. Several rumors suggest that Jolie took 1 million dollars for the part, and we still don’t know about it.
Marvel Role: Moon Knight
Oscar Issac’s Moon Knight was like Indiana Jones meets Batman. But the series was more than impressive, with great CGI. Issac played the unique role of a split-personality superhero competently.
Moon Knight will return. But when? We don’t know. But he will soon be a part of supernatural heroes.
Marvel Role: Ms. Marvel
Iman Vellani is a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and her character Ms. Marvel is also a Captain Marvel fan. MCU changed something big about Ms. Marvel’s origin; her next project should get the ball rolling for real now.
Marvel Role: Kate Bishop
Hailee Steinfeld’s acting and comic sense brought charm to the character of Kate Bishop. She is heavily featured in the Hawkeye series, but her next movie or series in the MCU is still unexplored.
Marvel Role: Echo
Alaqua Cox’s Echo played an antagonistic role in the Hawkeye series. The Disney Plus series just introduced the character with little backstory details. Its been reported that Alaqua Cox will return in her solo Disney Plus series in the summer of 2023.
Analysis Of All Marvel Actors’ Salaries
Generally speaking, Marvel actors earn more from their bonuses which makes their earnings double their base salary. The most intriguing case happened with Scarlet Johansson when her solo film became available on Disney Plus. The actress filed a lawsuit against Disney and earned more than $40 million from Disney. So, all the actors saw a significant pay rise when Marvel movies became more popular.
In this study, it looks like Vin Diesel is one of the overpaid actors for his brief role in the MCU. But Diesel’s voice as Groot, has become a major hit among fans. Marvel also earns a massive amount by using that character in marketing.
The first MCU actor Robert Downey Jr. earned more than 255 million from Marvel films. His first pay in the Iron Man movie was only 500K, but his farewell film made him stand as one of the highest earners with a $75 million wage.
We are talking about excluding all the film bonuses. RDJ’s earnings rose 150 times after his movie salary. It is quite straightforward to say that RDJ achieved the most and helped the Cinematic Universe grow.
In the case of the MCU’s first female superhero, Scarlet Johansson is the highest earner as a female actor. Her debut as a cameo in Iron Man 2 helped her to earn around $400K, and now she has risen to $20 million. From her debut film in the MCU, she enjoyed a rise of 50 times her salary at the end of her journey. The Prestige actress earned more than 60 million in salaries combined from all 8 Marvel flicks.
Chris Hemsworth’s Thor is not dead in the MCU, and he has already earned more than 76 million as a salary from all the Marvel films. He debuted as one of the lowest-paid actors at $150K, and his final reported salary from Thor: Love and Thunder was $20 million. Yes, Hemsworth’s salary increased 133 times which is only next to RDJ.
Chris Evans’s debut salary was just $300K, and his earnings hit $20 million from Avengers: Endgame. His wages increased more than 66 times, and he earned more than 71 million for playing the MCU’s the First Avenger.
Mark Ruffalo is one of those few actors who never received a solo film in the MCU, but his earnings are as impressive as the other actors. He began his Hulk journey with a $3 million salary, and his last known remuneration numbers are around $15 million from Endgame. Ruffalo’s wage grew 5 times over the years, costing more than $39 million for the Hulk.
Jeremy Renner also earned $3 million from the Avengers movie and saw a total growth of 5 times in wages over the years. His total earnings are more than 35 million, as most of his work payments still need to be made public. The Hawkeye star’s highest salary was $15 million from Avengers: End Game.
Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man has never been very close to the Avengers, but that does not mean Marvel studios will bring diversity to pay the 53-year-old actor. Rudd received a paycheck of $300K for his first Ant-Man movie. But in the Endgame, it rose to $8 million. His salary increased more than 26% before the release of Quantmania. His total income is still $12 million from the Ant-Man and the Avengers.
Our modern Sherlock Homes, Benedict Cumberbatch, has earned more than 15 million salaries for playing Marvel Sorcerer Supreme. He bagged around $3.5 million on his debut. But in the recent film, he reportedly earned $6.4 million. As per the study, his renunciation grew just 1.8 times.
Chris Pratt, for his role as the comedic superhero in the first Guardian movie, helped him to earn $1.5 million of wags. According to reports, he recently received a $5 million paycheck from Marvel Studios for the Infinity War movie. He has earned more than $10 million from the MCU. His salary growth is more than 3 times that of his debut Marvel film.
British actor Tom Holland had to fight a lot to land the Spider-Man role. His stardom grew because of Marvel films, and so did his salary. Holland’s small cameo role in the Civil War earned him $250K. But his final reported salary rose to $5 million in his last movie. His total compensation earnings in the MCU are more than $15 million.
Late Chadwick Boseman earned $700K for his first Black Panther cameo scene in Civil War and rose to 4 million in the Infinity War movie. In this brief moment, his salary rose more than 5 times with Marvel Studios before his unexpected passing away.
According to our study, RDJ and Chris Hemsworth’s salary growth was humongous, and no other Marvel actors were near them. Among the original Avengers cast, Mark Ruffalo earned the most as a debutant in the MCU. But recently, that record was taken by Angelina Jolie. Previously, Brie Larson broke that record in her Captain Marvel film.
Highest Paid Actor In The MCU?
There is no doubt that Robert Downey Jr. is the highest-paid actor in the MCU. He earned a total of $255.5 million as his salary. But his actual earnings exceeded $453 million with all the bonuses he received from his film’s massive success.
Lowest Paid Actor In The MCU?
Sadly, Zoe Saldana is the lowest-earning superhero in the MCU, with a salary of $100,000 for Guardians of the Galaxy.
MCU Actor With The Most Growth In Their First & Last Salary
Robert Downey Jr. is an actor with an enormous difference between his first and last salary. Most of the original Avengers members are indeed gone, but the new actors have the potential to break all the records in salaries. If Marvel wants to change their reputation of paying big to the actors, they are now looking for a change by replacing the old Avengers with new ones.
In our case study, some actors appeared in the Endgame movie, but their salaries were not revealed to the public. Because their scenes were already done when the Infinity war was being shot, so, they probably did not receive any significant remuneration.
No matter what, MCU is one of the biggest movie franchises, and Disney acquired them after seeing their potential. Most actors nowadays dream of getting a single role, whether it is for salary or fame.
Well, Who is your favorite MCU Actor, and did you find out their total salaries from our breakdown?