You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Inside Move: ‘Shrek 2’s’ expensive voices

Trio eyes monster deal for sequel

Want to make $35,000 an hour? Just get hired to voice “Shrek 2.”

That’s about what the hourly rate could be for its stars — Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz — if all goes well with their negotiations for the sequel to DreamWorks’ summer smash.

No wonder ogres are green.

But if you think you can displace this trio, act quickly, because by the end of the week, negotiations will be underway to nail down Murphy, Myers and Diaz for the sequel at a price that could reach $5 million apiece. This would include a hefty upfront payment, unique for animated features other than “Toy Story 2.”

The three actors, who deferred their salaries to little better than scale upfront on the first film, made roughly $3 million apiece based on their share of the domestic gross, which is at $240 million.

Final negotiations are expected to take place between attorney Skip Brittenham, negotiating for Murphy, and DreamWorks’ Jeffrey Katzenberg later this week. The lynchpin in all of this is Murphy, whose deal will dictate what Diaz and Myers will get. The three thesps all have “favored nation status” on the first and second pics — industry parlance which simply means that each star will receive whatever best deal is on the table.

Still, cry no tears for DreamWorks. “Shrek” is likely to wind up one of the most profitable animated movies in history. With a no gross participants and a huge ancillary market income from toys, action figures, licensing and homevid, this is one ogre with layers aplenty.

It’s worth noting that even as these deals coalesce for the immense benefit of the talent involved, the negotiator in question must unintentionally be eliciting sweaty palms for animators everywhere: Brittenham sits on the board of another animation powerhouse, Pixar.

More Film

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

  • Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping

    Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping $60 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has become a destination for television visionaries like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, with deals worth $100 million and $250 million, respectively, and top comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle ($40 million and $60 million, respectively). The streaming giant, which just announced it’s added nearly 10 million subscribers in Q1, is honing in [...]

  • Roman Polanski extradition

    Academy Responds to Roman Polanski: 'Procedures Were Fair and Reasonable'

    UPDATE: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has responded to a lawsuit from director Roman Polanski that claimed he was unfairly expelled from the organization behind the Oscars. “The procedures taken to expel Mr. Polanski were fair and reasonable. The Academy stands behind its decision as appropriate,” a spokesperson said. The Academy’s statement [...]

  • Lorraine Warren dead

    Lorraine Warren, Paranormal Investigator Who Inspired 'The Conjuring,' Dies at 92

    Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigator and demonologist whose life inspired franchises like “The Conjuring” and “The Amityville Horror,” has died. She was 92. Warren’s son-in-law Tony Spera confirmed the news. Spera said on Facebook, “She died peacefully in her sleep at home.” He continued, “She was a remarkable, loving, compassionate and giving soul. To quote Will [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content