The film industry is undeniably one of the most lucrative in the world. With blockbuster films regularly raking in billions of dollars at the box office, it’s no wonder that those involved in making them are handsomely rewarded. But just how much can you expect to earn if you work in Hollywood?
According to a recent study by Variety, the average salary for a film studio executive is $2.4 million. This number includes both salaried and freelance employees, and it’s broken down into four categories: production, development, marketing, and distribution. Interestingly, the study also found that men earn more than women in all four of these categories. It’s no surprise that top-level studio executives, such as movie producers and directors, earn the most. According to Payscale, a leading company specializing in salary information, these professionals take home an average of $97,000 per week — over $4 million annually — with some making as much as $23 million per year.
Movie stars constitute the next highest-paying position in Hollywood, and according to Payscale, they earn an average of $72,000 per week — over $3 million annually. This number is also likely to include not just movie stars but well-known television actors as well. As a result, it’s no surprise that leading men like George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio can command salaries upwards of $25 million per movie.
Acclaimed actress Emma Stone is one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actresses. The 2017 Forbes list of the world’s highest-paid celebrity 100 found that she earned an estimated $26 million from June 2016 to June 2017. Her leading male counterpart in this category, Mark Wahlberg, took in approximately $42 million during that same time period. Stone’s salary for her upcoming film “The Favorite” is said to be $15 million, so it’s clear that Hollywood still pays its top actresses very well.
But it’s not just the top earners who make a good living in Hollywood. In fact, many of the positions below the executive level pay quite well. For example, Payscale reports that producers earn an average of $55,000 per week, while editors take home $48,000. Cinematographers and sound engineers earn an average of $42,000 and $39,000 per week, respectively. And while it’s not a glamorous job, the lowly production assistant position pays surprisingly well: on average, these employees make over $27 per hour.
In conclusion, Hollywood salaries are high for good reason. The cost of making a movie is so astronomical that it’s impossible for production companies not to spend a significant amount on their employees.
So if you’re considering a career in the film industry, you might need to do some saving up for that first Ferrari. On the other hand, it’s definitely worth noting that Hollywood is one of the most lucrative industries around, and with so many different positions available, there are ample opportunities for advancement. Plus, even if you aren’t hitting (or even approaching) the high salaries of some of the top earners, there’s still plenty of money to be made in Hollywood.
Do you think Hollywood pays too much, or is it justified given the high costs of production?