Since 2008's Iron Man, the MCU has gone on to become the most successful film franchise in history, having outsold everything from Star Wars to Star Trek. Granted, there's more money involved in the newest fare from Marvel Studios and Disney, but there's also the added benefit of putting out some two dozen movies and counting. Producing that many movies alone costs a lot, but MCU films are especially expensive to make, and a large chunk of that money goes directly to the actors and actresses who star in the films.
Robert Downey Jr. started out making half a million on his first Marvel movie, but by the end of his tenure as Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man, he was making more money than most non-MCU films cost to make. Most fans would argue he deserved that much cash, and in the past dozen years, he and the rest of the cast of the Avengers have amassed massive personal fortunes.
Check out the estimated net worth of the richest cast members of the Avengers. Their net worth is estimated as of 2020, and is ordered from wealthiest to least wealthy.
- Photo: Iron Man 2 / Paramount Pictures
Net Worth: $300 Million
Details: Robert Downey Jr. began his acting career in 1970, and for a long time, he was best known as a member of the Brat Pack, having appeared in Weird Science and Less Than Zero. He began receiving critical acclaim for his serious roles in movies like Chaplin, but substance use derailed his career for several years.
In many ways, 2008's Iron Man rebooted Downey's career, and as of 2020, he is among the highest-paid actors in the world. His films have grossed more than $14.4 billion in worldwide profits, which makes him the second highest-grossing box-office star of all time. For his first appearance in the MCU, he made $500,000, but for his last in Avengers: Endgame, he was paid $75 million.
- Photo: The Avengers / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Net Worth: $250 Million
Details: Samuel L. Jackson has been acting since 1970, and the man has been in so many movies over the years, Family Guy once joked that he had to be in everything, so they had him show up on the set of an adult film. His credits include more than 150 films, with his most prominent being Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, The Hateful Eight, and the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
Before he showed up in the MCU, Marvel Comics received his permission to model its updated version of Nick Fury on his likeness. Following that update, he was cast to play the character in the MCU, and did so in 11 films as well as the television series Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Jackson was declared the top-grossing actor of all time in 2011, thanks to his worldwide box office gross exceeding $16.7 billion. His estimated salary for each appearance in the MCU is around $4 million to $6 million.
- Photo: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol: 2 / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Net Worth: $200 Million
Details: Vin Diesel began acting professionally in 1990, and by the end of the decade, he was well on his way to becoming a star. He starred in Pitch Black in 2000, and that film launched a franchise, but his real money was made through his appearances as Dominic Toretto in the Fast and the Furious franchise.
Diesel was cast to give his voice to Groot in the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, where he only said "I am Groot" and "We are Groot." Despite having almost no lines, he recorded variations hundreds of times in numerous languages, always giving a different emotional feeling to each line, depending on the scene it would appear in.
Diesel's work for the MCU has landed him quite a bit of money over the years, though his actual salary hasn't been released to the public.
- Photo: Avengers: Age of Ultron / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Net Worth: $165 Million
Details: Scarlett Johansson began acting at an early age, and since her first film in 1994, she's gone on to become the highest-paid actress in the world. She's been nominated for two Academy Awards and has won multiple awards from other organizations. As of 2020, her worldwide box office gross was more than $14.3 billion.
Her salary for Iron Man 2 hasn't been disclosed, but she received a low seven-figure salary for the first Avengers film. By the time she appeared in Avengers: Infinity War, her salary had jumped to $20 million, and her salary for the Black Widow solo film has been reported to be $15 million.