8. Jim Carrey – Yes Man (2008)
It’s fairly common knowledge that Jim Carrey was the first actor to receive a basic salary of $20 million for a single movie, 1996′s underrated dark comedy The Cable Guy. Despite inadvertently becoming the poster-boy for overpaid actors, the Canadian funnyman would remain one of the most bankable stars of the 90s. What’s less-well known is that this forgettable comedy represents the biggest payday of his career.
Coming off a decade of mostly critical and commercially disappointing comedies (with the notable exception of Bruce Almighty), for the first time Carrey opted against taking a salary, instead negotiating a deal for 36.2% of the movie’s profits after production and marketing costs had been recouped. Many in the industry saw this as a risky move and a reflection of Carrey’s fading box office clout, especially with the project’s $70 million budget and the actor’s patchy recent form at the box office.
Despite the movie’s central concept wearing thin awfully quickly and the end result amounting to nothing more than a standard Jim Carrey vehicle, Yes Man was a financial success and grossed almost $226 million worldwide, which entitled the actor to the tidy sum of $35 million.
This article was first posted on November 10, 2013