Hudson gets scary payoff for ‘Skeleton’

Pic's scribe Kruger wrote surprise hit 'Ring'

Following the box office success of “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” Kate Hudson will get a big salary boost to appear in Universal’s “Skeleton Key.”

Hudson and U are in final negotiations for the actress to receive around $7 million to star in the New Orleans-set gothic thriller.

Neither the studio nor Hudson’s reps would confirm her salary.

By comparison, Hudson was paid $4.5 million to appear opposite Matthew McConaughey in “How to Lose a Guy.” The film has grossed $103 million in its U.S. release.

“Skeleton Key” is scribe Ehren Kruger’s follow-up to last year’s surprise hit “The Ring.”

Hudson will play an in-home caretaker to an elderly couple in New Orleans when spooky things commence.

“K-PAX” director Iain Softley has a pay-or-play deal to direct “Skeleton Key.”

U acquired spec script “Skeleton Key” as part of a two-pic deal with Kruger last October. (Daily Variety, Oct. 21) The pact was inked shortly after “The Ring” reaped $15 million in its opening weekend, on its way to a $128 million domestic B.O. take.

Production is planned to start in September.

Pic is being produced by Daniel Bobker, with U execs Scott Stuber and Holly Bario overseeing.

Hudson is repped by CAA.

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