Fair warning: This article contains Star Wars: The Force Awakens spoilers.
The new Star Wars installment has shattered previous box office records, raking in $247.97 million domestically and $529 million worldwide as of Dec. 20.
Thousands of fans are probably curious to know how much the blockbuster’s cast was paid. The staggering figures will surely leave you astonished.
Harrison Ford: A previous report in the Daily Mail claimed the actor playing Han Solo received a $23 million paycheck, but a Disney insider said it's untrue. However, there is no dispute that Harrison Ford walked away with the biggest check of them all.
The actor was paid between $10 million to $20 million for reprising his role as Solo and in addition to this eight-figure paycheck, will also get a percentage of the profits for Force Awakens. With the movie scoring the world’s biggest box office opening, that can add up to quite a hefty amount on its own.
So, why exactly is Ford earning so much? It’s probably because his character had to die in the film, but it also undeniably had to do with the level of his experience as compared to his co-stars. That’s a tremendous payback compared to his first Star Wars movie in 1977 when he got only $1,000 per week and ended up with a total of $10,000.
Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher: The two actors were paid in millions for reprising their roles as Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, respectively, although not as much as Ford. Their low seven-figure pay scales might be because neither of them had a lot of screen time this time around. Their salaries likely will grow as their involvement in the sequels of the franchise grows.
Considering Mark Hamill was already a career actor when he was selected to play Luke Skywalker, his salary for the original Star Wars was a cool $650,000 — not a bad deal in 1977. The unusual bit is that Ford is being paid several times more than him this time around.
Carrie Fisher’s salary was never disclosed but she revealed she was unable to benefit from the merchandize deals. This time around, you can bet she negotiated a much better deal for Episode VII.
Daisy Ridley and John Boyega: The two lead actors were paid in the low six-figure range between $100,000 and $300,000, but for these unknown actors scoring big roles in the franchise is considered a huge success in itself.
Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac: The actors who played Kylo Ren, the movie’s main antagonist, and Poe Dameron, Leia’s trusted X-Wing pilot, have appeared in a number of movies and TV serials, so they earned the right for a mid-to-high six-figure salary.
These salary figures are expected to be renegotiated for their roles in the upcoming Star Wars sequel.
All that dough helped contribute to pressure on J.J. Abrams, who directed The Force Awakens, to create a money-making movie.
The new @StarWars film has to make $1.5 billion+ to be considered a success on Wall Street. "J.J. is terrified," says Steven Spielberg— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) December 14, 2015
With the current numbers, however, business analysts believe Abrams will easily meet his goal. Last week, Goldman Sachs raised the film total box office sales forecast to $1.95 billion. If this target is achieved, The Force Awakens will be the third highest-grossing film of all time after James Cameron’s Avatar and Titanic.