Actors received $ 188.3 million in residual payments for film and television work in 1992, pushing the total for the last five years over the $ 1 billion mark, and $ 2 billion for the last 40 years, according to exex from the Screen Actors Guild.
In addition, SAG officials estimate that residuals from commercial work–which are not paid out by SAG, but represent nearly 40% of actors’ income–are also in excess of $ 2 billion, which would raise the entire amount paid to actors for film, TV and commercial work to $ 4 billion since 1952.
Not surprisingly, the bulk of the money received in ’92 came from TV reruns. Of the $ 188.3 million, 58% was earned in the TV arena, with the remainder coming from supplemental uses of theatrical films.
While resids were up, with union officials sending out 1.2 million checks during the year, the economy continued to hit hard on actors’ earnings.
In 1991, film and TV earnings fell 2.2% to $ 1.08 billion and have been projected to possibly slip another 2% by the end of fiscal ’92-’93.
Yet residual payments, especially in the area of TV reruns, has continued to be a bonanza for actors. TV resids have brought in an accumulated $ 1.52 billion since the union first won them in 1952.
That is compared to the $ 480 million collected on supplemental sales of feature films since the union first began collecting those residuals in 1960.
SAG did not break out figures for the various resid categories during ’92. However, for the last 40 years, the largest amount of TV residuals comes from domestic reruns: $ 1.168 billion, compared to $ 216 million from foreign sales of TV product and $ 155 million for TV broadcasts of theatrical films.
Since 1952, cable and homevideo paid out $ 104 million while theatrical exhibition of TV movies has generated $ 32 million.
The $ 188.3 million garnered during 1992 is nearly $ 10 million more than what actors earned in residuals in 1990.
In 1987, when SAG reached the $ 1 billion mark in resids, it was the first entertainment union to do so. Not surprisingly, the union’s residuals department has grown from a one-member department to nearly 50 people who, over the past 40 years, have processed 12.5 million checks.