Which Avengers Got A-List Paychecks?

Quick: which Avenger do you think got paid the most for appearing in Avengers: Age of Ultron?

Robert Downey Jr, of course. That was a freebie.

But who got paid second-most? Was it Chris Hemsworth, god incarnate; Chris Evans, captain of both America and our hearts; Jeremy Renner — no, wait, we know it wasn’t Jeremy Renner.

Believe it or not, it was the one Avenger consistently missing from the film’s promotion, marketing, and merchandise: Scarlett Johansson, as Black Widow.

Want the full ranking? The Mary Sue took salary information from ComicBookMovie.com and gave us this helpful list:

Robert Downey Jr: $40 million
Scarlett Johansson: $20 million
Chris Evans: $6.9 million
Jeremy Renner: $6.1 million
Chris Hemsworth: $5.4 million
Mark Ruffalo: $2.8 million

As with the Game of Thrones paychecks, the Avengers’ pay clearly divides into an A-list and a B-list. (Note that the woman on the A-list makes half of what the man does.) The Mary Sue provides an explanation:

It’s clear that the numbers are based on what the actors could negotiate at the time — so, think back to a pre-Avengers world, and the levels of fame and recognition that each of these actors had back then. With that lens, it makes sense that RDJ and ScarJo might have had an easier time negotiating for higher rates. RDJ already had the unprecedented success of Iron Man to point towards, and ScarJo’s been a super-famous A-list star for ages.

To put this into a bit more perspective: Mark Ruffalo earned 6.9 percent of Robert Downey Jr. earned, for the same movie. Sure, RDJ’s bringing star power, experience, what have you, but a lot of us think Mark Ruffalo is a star too, and… um… he’s just as dreamy. (Any 13 Going on 30 fans in the Billfold house?)

I wonder how much Joss Whedon made on Avengers: Age of Ultron, now that we know he made more on Dr. Horrible than he did on the first Avengers. I’m going to guess (hope?) more than Mark Ruffalo, but much less than Robert Downey Jr.

Also, because it’s Friday and we need a Friday Jam, please enjoy RDJ’s smooth jazz album The Futurist. It’s exactly what you would expect from a forty-million-dollar movie star.