Scarlett Johansson Earned Same Pay as Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth for ‘Avengers’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Avengers Age of ultron Movie
Courtesy of Marvel

Fans of Marvel’s “Avengers” series have long griped about the franchises’ ratio of male to female superheroes. Just earlier this year, while promoting “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Mark Ruffalo pointed out that he could still not find enough Black Widow merchandising in the likeness of Scarlett Johansson, the most prominent woman star of the series. But for this week’s cover story about pay disparity in Hollywood, Variety learned that Johansson earns roughly the same compensation from “The Avengers” series as her male co-stars Chris Evans (who plays Captain America) and Chris Hemsworth (Thor).

Previous reports suggested Johansson received more than twice the salary of Hemsworth and Evans for “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” But those statistics were not accurate, sources added.

Robert Downey Jr., who negotiated a rich deal after 2008’s “Iron Man,” with estimated earnings of $80 million this year from all his movie projects, still gets paid the most, according to sources familiar with the actors’ contracts. But the news about Johansson’s pay is at least a speck of hope for an industry that’s come under fire recently, with claims of sexism and reoccurring pay disparity for actresses compared to male movie stars. Last month, Jennifer Lawrence set the blogosphere ablaze with her essay about receiving less money than her male co-stars from the Sony Pictures comedy “American Hustle.”

“The Avengers,” distributed by the Walt Disney Co., is from the rare studio that’s been actively trying to balance the scales in recent years when it comes to women in film. “Audiences have proven that there’s an appetite and a market for dynamic female leads and female-driven stories, and as an industry, we have a responsibility to create those roles for women and compensate them accordingly,” Alan Horn, the chairman of Walt Disney Studios, tells Variety.

Disney has not only backed a slew of girl-power animated films, such as the juggernaut “Frozen” (co-directed by Jennifer Lee to the tune of $1.27 billion worldwide), “Brave” and “Inside Out,” but its live-action unit is also leaning in. Sources say that Angelina Jolie received one of the biggest paychecks of her career for “Maleficent,” which included a percentage of the film’s $758 million worldwide box office grosses. This year, Disney cast Cate Blanchett as the evil stepmother in “Cinderella” and Emma Watson will soon take on the role of Belle in the upcoming “Beauty and the Beast.” Even the poorly received “Tomorrowland” gave the bulk of its screen time not to George Clooney but to the spirited female newcomer Britt Robertson.

And it’s not just on the big screen that Disney is trying to make sure women receive equal face time. Geena Davis, who runs an institute for gender in media, serves as a consultant to their theme parks. “The goal of the rides is to be current and last for 20 years at least,” Davis says, adding that she encourages the engineers to expand female characters that may have smaller roles in films. “I’m always saying, ‘Maybe in 20 years, we won’t have a gender discrepancy.’”

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 11

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. joemuru says:

    Robert Downey Jr and Scarlett Johansson are way too overrated and overpaid. Aarrgh!

  2. asfj robbin says:

    ~(Y) —- My classmate’s step-mother makes $63 an hour on the computer . She has been without a job for six months but last month her pay was $17381 just working on the computer for a few hours. site link ►œ►œ►►►œ►œ► Click~Here~To~Read~More~Than.

  3. Liss says:

    Simple as this – Joss Whedon, the director, has a cause, equality for women over the world. OF COURSE she’d be paid the same.

  4. Kevin says:

    I’m confused–so you’re basically saying Scarjo made less than what she reportedly made by a lot thanks to the good ol’ “sources” while saying she still at least as much as two of the male avengers, who also reportedly were paid notably different amounts, and then saying “yay feminism!”. If Scarjo is making out like Hemsworth, something is seriously wrong at Marvel. He has a horrible track record at the box office, especially this year, and his Thor movies are the lowest grossing out of all of them–it makes no sense that a franchise veteran like Scarlett (and one of the allegedly highest paid actresses in the world) would get that kind of cut. Same rules for Ruffalo. Im not saying she definitely deserved the massive numbers I originally heard, but no way should she be paid in the way your headline is claiming she was. That is literally as ridiculous as calling American Hustle a comedy.

  5. The Kevster says:

    Perhaps Geena Davis, given her role as consultant to the Disney theme parks, might explore removing the section of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride where they are selling women?

  6. Chris Darling says:

    And yet, with Marvel fans clamoring, salivating for it, they STILL won’t make a Black Widow movie.

  7. Lisa says:

    Scarlett Johansson is much more famous than Hemsworth and Evans. So why is she ONLY getting as much pay as them… should be more.

  8. jillian bullock says:

    The thing is, this should be the norm, not news. But it’s good to see this and hopefully more studios will follow suit. Women in the film industry, and in other jobs, must keep fighting for what is fair until this is the standard, not the exception.

    • g2-e2ce660affa7fe05ebb86d095df2d689 says:

      Johansson isn’t the star of a solo franchise like Evans & Hemsworth are, so she’s not going to earn more than they do. I think that it’s wonderful that she earns nust as much as the male Avengers stars. And for the record, I always felt that the rumors of Johannson getting $20 million a picture from Marvel was ludicrous.

More Film News from Variety