Dwayne Johnson Gets Paid Record-Breaking Salary on Next Movie (Report)

By Klein Felt Updated:
Dwayne Johnson Salary

A new report seemingly revealed Dwayne Johnson's record-breaking payday for his next movie. 

Over the last decade and change, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has quickly become one of the most successful and beloved actors in Hollywood. 

The former WWE superstar has been a part of some box office titans, popping up in franchises like Fast and Furious and the DCEU

In a short amount of time, Johnson ascended to an upper class of big-screen action stars, with his films having totaled over $12.5 billion (via The Numbers) at the worldwide box office

Dwayne Johnson's Record-Breaking Payday

Red Ones, Dwayne Johnson and Chris Evans together

According to Puck journalist Matthew Belloni's latest newsletter, Dwayne Johnson earned a record-breaking payment for his upcoming movie, Red One.

Amazon Studios' holiday-themed action-comedy starring Johnson and MCU alum Chris Evans is set to debut sometime later this year, with the former Black Adam actor earning a reported $50 million. 

This $50 million payday is the most the actor has earned for a single role and the highest payday for any actor paid for a single role. 

For comparison, the most the actor had previously earned for a single movie role is a tie between Jumanji: The Next Level and Netflix's Red Notice, films of which Deadline and Forbes wrote he made $23.5 million working on. 

Other movies the actor has been in and what he made from them include Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw ($20 million), Jungle Cruise ($22 million), and Black Adam ($22.5 million).

This new benchmark set by Johnson comes in a full $10 million higher than the previous record-holder, which was a tie at $40 million between Robert Downey Jr. for his work on Captain America: Civil War and Will Smith for his Oscar-winning performance in King Richard

Here is a list of the other highest upfront payments that actors have earned for a single role (it is worth noting that many of these actors also earned additional income for these roles from various sources including box office earnings):

  1. Robert Downey Jr. - Captain America: Civil War: $40 million
  2. Will Smith - King Richard: $40 million
  3. Johnny Depp - Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: $35 million
  4. Will Smith - Emancipation: $35 million
  5. Keanu Reeves - The Matrix Reloaded/The Matrix Revolutions: $30 million
  6. Mel Gibson - Lethal Weapon 4: $30 million
  7. Leonardo DiCaprio - Don’t Look Up: $30 million
  8. Leonardo DiCaprio - Killers of the Flower Moon: $30 million
  9. Arnold Schwarzenegger - Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines: $29.25 million
  10. Robert Downey Jr. - Avengers: Endgame: $20 million

Why So Much for Dwayne Johnson? 

Looking at these numbers will leave some people gob-smacked. $50 million for a single movie. To put it into perspective, that would be a quarter of a movie like The Flash's production budget, just to have Dwayne Johnson. 

But Amazon wants to be in the business of the Rock. Despite some of his projects not necessarily hitting critically, it is hard to deny Johnson's gravitational pull when it comes to audiences. 

Look at a movie like Netflix's Red Notice. Despite the Johnson-starring heist film earning a dismal 36% on Rotten Tomatoes, it still set new viewership records on the streamer, becoming the platform's most-watch movie of all time (via CNN). 

So while that $50 million price tag may look a little shocking now, it would not be crazy to predict that Amazon will see some return on that investment when Red One hits its streaming platform this holiday season. 

And for Johnson himself, after topping the list as the highest-paid actor in Hollywood in 2019 and 2020, these sorts of massive record-breaking paydays may be the new norm. 

Red One is set to release on Prime Video this coming holiday season.

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.