Even among the mega-rich in Hollywood there is a disturbing gender pay gap: In 2013, Angelina Jolie—the highest paid Hollywood actress—made roughly the same amount as the two lowest paid male A-list actors of the year. As the highest paid actor, Robert Downey Jr. dwarfed Jolie’s $33 million by raking in $75 million from the Iron Man franchise. Now it looks like Sandra Bullock may be single-handedly responsible for lessening that gap. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bullock is set to earn at least $70 million for Gravity, thanks to a lucrative deal that gives her a high percentage of the film’s revenue streams.
Sources say that Bullock will earn $20 million upfront against 15 percent of the first-dollar gross (essentially once her advance is covered she gets 15 percent of whatever box-office gross Warner Bros. collects). She’ll also get a percentage of home video, TV, and ancillary revenue. It’s an unusually lucrative deal for a performer; one similar to what Downey Jr. has on the Iron Man films. THR speculates that Bullock was able to negotiate it because the film’s original female lead (ironically, Angelina Jolie) dropped out and the studio was in desperate need of a female star to carry the film.
Luckily for Bullock, Gravity is on track to be the most profitable of this year’s best Oscar nominees; it’s already made more than $700 million worldwide. At 49-years old, Bullock—who is nominated for an Oscar for her work in Gravity—is knocking down barriers both for the kind of roles available for women over 40 and the amount of money they get paid for them.