This entry was posted on Monday, October 6th, 2008 at 7:46 am.
Categories: News Chat.

My Jaw is on the floor and I’m feeling a little light headed. There is a report out right now that Johnny Depp has agreed in principle to do a Pirates of the Caribbean 4, and that his pay cheque for the film will come in at about $75 million dollars. Let me repeat that. Johnny Depp is reportedly going to be pulling in about $75 million (pretty much double the highest contract pay day I’ve ever heard of. $75 million for one actor. More money than 90% of movies even make in total at the box office… they’re going to give one guy. Remind me to spit in the face of any MPAA guy I ever hear whine or bitch about hard financial times in Hollywood or how Piracy is sinking them.

Personally, I don’t even want a Pirates of the Caribbean 4. The first film was nothing short of magical for me. I absolutely loved that damn movie. However, each sequel has gotten progressively worse and worse culminating in Pirates 3 which was an absolute abysmal waste of a movie and would probably be on my Top 10 Worst Sequels of all time list. I don’t want to see them further ruin the franchise with another money grab.

But lets talk Depp for a moment. Should any human being get paid $75 million for 3 months work? And when I use the word “work”, I use it lightly (not slighting the work actors have to do… but if I had to choose to either spend 3 months doing the heavy work of an actor or doing 3 months doing the heavy work of a road construction guy… I’d pick the actor’s life). This dollar figure is insane.

Now let me play devil’s advocate for a moment. An argument can be made that Johnny Depp is the face of the Pirates franchise, and while I maintain that ANY actor is replaceable… this is one of those situations where it would be VERY difficult to do so. Depp is synonymous with Captain Jack Sparrow. And no matter how bad the 3rd Pirates film was, it still made HUGE amounts of money, money that a 4th Pirates film could probably duplicate, BUT NOT WITHOUT DEPP.

With Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean 4, you can pretty much bank on it making at least $300 and possibly as much as $450 million. Without Depp you’re looking at $100 million tops. So it could be argued that investing $75 million in Depp for the film makes financial sense. But it still feels all sorts of wrong.

It’s unlikely that either Orlando Bloom or Kiera Knightly will return, which is a good thing. Focus Pirates 4 on Sparrow and Barbossa fighting it out over something and you’ll have my attention.

56 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. oliver

    this is just wrong. he lost my respect.

  2. Raphael

    But Johnny Depp is GOD

  3. aaronk

    i say who cares? pirates 1 was outstanding but the sequels were garbage. i literally fell asleep in the theater during the last one. disney will just be beating a dead and very decayed horse with a 4th.

  4. StMcL

    jesus…..enough already

  5. Shane

    i kind of doubt its all up front money…im sure hes getting a fat amount up front but the rest is probably based on the success of the actual film and what not and 75 mil is a ceiling number….i dono, thats my guess at least…

    honestly, if he can get it, then good for him. no one is worth that, obviously, but hey, if he can convince disney to do something that blatantly stupid like dropping 75 mil UPFRONT on 1 actor…

  6. shadess

    75mil is too much yes…but at least it could be a damn good movie if Orlando Bloom and Kiera KnightlEy stay away from it. Never liked either of them in any of the pirates movies, Depp was always brilliant as Jack Sparrow.

  7. ryanclay21

    Simply outrageous!

  8. Mr. Chris

    $75M? How the hell did they even come up with that number? For 1% of that, you could just as well just hire a Jack Sparrow imitator. Lord knows there’s enough of them running around every Halloween.

    And what’s this big incredible script they have going that they’re so desperate to make POTC4 for?

  9. Raphael

    THIS IS FALSE… Johnny Depp is getting paid $55 million for Pirates 4. Smith was last year’s top earner — taking home an estimated $80 million overall. Depp already was No. 2, at $72 million.

  10. Hey Raphael,

    No, it’s not false. There are some conflicting reports out there, some say $55 million US… but the other ones, from in my opinion more reliable sources, are quoting 32 million pounds… which translates into $75 million.

    Time will tell which sources are correct.

  11. Raphael

    Check it out,CST-FTR-zp26.article

  12. moviegab

    I heard that he was getting 75Million total for his 3 disney movies.

  13. Mozzerino

    If this indeed is correct, then there is something wrong with it on a moral level. No actor should get paid that flippin much.

    HOWEVER, if ONE ACTOR gets paid that much for any project, it’s Depp for another PIRATE-movie. He is (and always was) the ONLY reason those films were a success. Without Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, nobody would have seen them. People came to watch Jack Sparrow, they didn’t care for anything else. Which was good, because anything else was boring and awful.
    Pirates 2 was mediocre at best, the third one was one of the most misguided and almost unwatchable big-budget movie projects in recent Hollywood history.
    Depp is no idiot, he knows that the two sequels were shit and that his reputation with audiences will suffer if he sells out and does another one of those. So it better makes him beyond rich.

    I don’t really know why Studios are doing this.
    Is it really profitable to pay stars that much? Are Sam Raimi and Toby Macguire really that valuable to the SPIDERMAN-franchise? Why not give someone else a try and do it with a new lead. If you already spent around 80 Million on your lead actor and your director, what the hell will the entire budget be? I think this is insane.

    Make a fun movie which costs 75 Million TOTAL and don’t pay one actor the same amount just to return to a franchise that has run dry already and in my opinion isn’t even that popular with the general public anymore.


    Wow, that’s ridiculous, Depp definately lost my respect, he should give that money to a civil organization or charity, even though, there are fan girls who will claim this as a proof of Depp’s “greatness”

  15. Brandon Daviet

    Remeber he’s a friend of Hunter S. he needs that kind of moneyto support his habits…..that is a joke kids. The only reason I bothered seeing pirates 3 was for keith richards we don’t need another film but the kids do…

  16. obi-wan kubrick

    Johnny Deep = 3 actors in one. That is still way above the $30 million Mel Gibson got for Signs six years ago. Probably just a rumor.

  17. Phil Gee

    Now hold on folks, how can Depp have lost your respect when all he is doing is taking a paycheck which he has been offered for a franchise which he still seems to love doing. We can’t say for sure yet but I would not be suprised if there was no negotiation over this figure. Disney needs Depp for Pirates 4 so they just offered an insane amount that he couldn’t refuse, and neither would any of us (heck, for $75 mill I would star in a porno remake of ‘Caligula’ just like the Malcolm McDowell one, that was going to be seen in 4000 theatres, take off all my kit and fuck an actual horse).

    Even though its an insane amount of money, this makes a hell of a lot more sense to me that Tobey Maguire getting what he’s getting for Spidey 4 & 5.

  18. Phil Gee

    “Focus Pirates 4 on Sparrow and Barbossa fighting it out over something and you’ll have my attention.”

    That’s what i’ve been saying for a year sir. It’s such a damn shame that they wasted Chow Yun Fat in Pirates 3 the way they did. He would have been such a great bad guy character to pit against Sparrow & Barbossa in a big teasure hunt for something nice.

  19. Jeremy

    For those stating they will lose respect for him if he is getting paid 75mil, would you lose respect for yourself if somebody offered you that to do something? In the end, why does it matter? Does he deserve it? Probably not, but it is not going to cause earth to stop rotating or anybodies life to be extinguished. It is just somebody getting richer, happens every day. Nothing worth getting your panties in a tangle over.

  20. Al

    That is sick. All that money for just one person. 75$ million is enough to fund three movies. Can you imagine how much good you can do for the betterment and the needs of the less unfortunate. This payment alone can feed a small country almost. I rather see that money given to a doctor or scientist who can find a cure for a disease or at least someone who made a positive contribution to society in some form or another. What kind of a strange world we live in where actors are pay higher than someone in social services. **shares head in disbelief**

    But if I was Johnny Depp, I would be a fool to not take that offer.

  21. Clinky

    John had is spot on when he says Pirates 4 without Depp makes $100 million, with him it makes $300 million. He’s adding a couple of million dollars of value to the project. Without him the first 3 Pirates movies don’t make even half of what they did. He deserves every penny.

  22. Wade

    Holy cow! 75 million dollars? That’s almost 16 euros!


    it’s an insane amount and very risky. how do they know that a Pirates will be sure to make 300 million? Although, actors like Will Smith, Cruise, and others have received a share of the profit, which sometimes means they have made 75-100 million from their movies.

  24. giren

    OMG I can’t believe this. 75 millions $$$$$$$? That would be…

    750.000.000.000 Rupiah.

    Oh, I live in Indonesia, btw.


  25. Anti-Septic

    I think his payday is excessive, but the character is the franchise. Hey if Disney wants to throw its money away overpaying an actor, who are we to complain? Congratz on your good fortune Depp.

    Maybe this will finally teach the studios about making crappy sequels when this movie bombs.

  26. leeloo

    i <3 captain jack sparrow.
    i will go see as many as they can make.

  27. designslave

    I don’t know. This sounds risky for Johnny. Sure he gets $75 million for three months work, but what’s he going to do for cash the other 9 months of the year?


  28. Dragonslayer

    Fuck you guys, I LOVED all three Pirates Movies. Johnny Depp is great in everything he does (even in Edward Scissorhands, which wasn’t that great to me). Him as Sweeney Todd (which was my best of 2007 besides Ratatouille) was Oscar Worthy. Unfortunately the Academy doesn’t give a shit. I’m totally up for a Pirates of the Caribbean 4.

    Pirates of the Caribbean: The Fountain of Youth

  29. Kristina

    In comparison to how much these movies bring in for the studio, not just box office(which is ASTRONOMICAL), but DVD sales, merchandise, licensing for TV airings, and customers who go to the theme park now just to ride the Pirates ride, $75 million is actually a fair number.

  30. Sahil

    Good for him.

    If Bruce Willis can get $100M for The Sixth Sense then Johnny Depp can get $75 for POTC4.

  31. Ransom_Betty

    Who cares? Depp is the franchise! So to Disney it is a good investment.

  32. Meli

    The salary is pretty insane even with the money the movies have made.

  33. AjaxLou

    $55 million or $75 million these numbers are retarded. Shame on the studios for being so stupid and on us for being so willing to lap up crap movies.

    To Depp, bravo sir! Take them for every penny they are willing to throw your way.


    75 million is an awful lot of money for just acting in a movie.
    I think it’s terrible, like you said John, these huge paychecks only goes back to the movie watching public, the average guy that watches movies at his local theater. He has to pay 10-12 dollars for a ticket, including the overpriced food, just so Depp can get 75 million for 3 months of work.

  35. Amish_Bill

    That’s Chris Tucker money!

  36. Amish_Bill


    On a side note, I think it’s kinda lame that you made a political post and then turned off comments. It’s your website and you’re entitled to run it however you want but I would have liked to have made some follow up comments regarding that post. My two cents.

  37. nogods4herby

    I don’t understand the reaction, Depp has lost my respect. Is the amount insane. Yeah!! But if someone offered you $75 million dollars for 3 months work would you say no.

    With a pay day like this i guarantee you will see Depp in more independent and smaller films where he will take scale just to get the film made.

  38. Erika

    Maybe they mean Pirates 4,5 and maybe 6? $75 mill is to much for one actor for one movie. And Depp does not seem that type of money hungry actor. There has to be a mistake.

  39. Darek-T

    this can’t be true, i can’t imagine that this is how much money they will end up paying Johny in the end. Though if they cut out Bloom and Kneightly that will free up some extra cash so i guess it is forgivable if they do wind up doing this but still stupid. oh and john Pirates 3 could not be on your top 10 all time worst sequels list because you once did a top 20 worst list and POTC 3 wasn’t on it. But i do agree with you that Johny Depp is the most important actor of the franchise.

  40. RiZE

    I liked Pirates 2. It was really fun, funner than the original even… maybe…

    But just like with the Matrix, the third one did absolutely nothing to entertain its audience or resolve the conflict from the second in a reasonable manner.

    The scene where Orlando and Keira get married was cheesed to the max.

    I don’t particularly want a Pirates 4, but… if its good and doesnt have the other two leads, I might see it.

  41. bjon86

    Hey Oliver,

    UH….? He just lost your respect? Listen, though an actor or actress may indeed LOVE acting and performing their craft and what not, it is ALWAYS about the money, homie. It’s about that check. That’s why they don’t just do movies. They do TV, commercials, stuff in magazines, etc. Money money money. Money RUNS this business!

    Shit, everybody does their own jobs because of the money. They may or may not love their job, but it’s ALWAYS about the money. Because a person’s income measures their survival.

    So my hat is off to Depp if he takes the money and does this movie.

  42. theduckthief

    Screw this. POTC3 was a pile of donkey dung. There’s no way I’m going to go see a Pirates 4 and this news is absolutely ridiculous.

  43. Mark

    Go Johnny! I haven’t seen POTC 3 because of how much I disliked the second movie, but if Disney has a feeling that the general movie-going public will buy enough tickets to warrant this payday, then more power to everyone involved. I have to disagree with comments like “that’s too much money, no one deserves that,” etc. Disney is a business, and has obviously calculated this number from expected returns on the franchise. If that number is $75 million, he deserves every penny.

    This reminds me of Michael Jordan making $25 million in his final season with the Chicago Bulls years ago… It seemed unbelievable at the time, but independent reports showed that he alone generated many times that for the Bulls franchise in ticket sales, TV contracts, merchandise, etc. People could just as easily say that Disney would be ripping off Depp by only paying him $20 million.

    Johnny Depp has also never been one to bow to the studio or be a “yes man.” I don’t know how anyone could turn that amount down, but something tells me that he still gets enjoyment out of donning the mantle of Jack Sparrow if he said yes.

    Sorry to hog your bandwidth, John, just one more point: if the movie focuses on Sparrow then I vote prequel!

  44. BobaFett

    Perhaps this is a contract for more than one more PotC movie? If they are going to do it, why not shoot two more back to back?

    THat is exactly what the Star Wars prequels should’ve done, as well as Mr Lucas not directing. I bet Red Tails will be awesome.

  45. Darren J Seeley

    I thought the price tag was for another Pirates trilogy and/or other projects at Disney. If it is for one film, it is most likely an exaggeration.

    Sad to see Knightley won’t be back. I always liked her.
    But Bloom is hardly worth a nickel.


    As to the “side comment” Amish Bill brought up.
    Yes. It was lame. But I can see why John did turn off those comments. It isn’t a question whether he’s right or wrong, it is The Movie Blog not the Political Blog. Better to have 40+ comments on 75 mil for Sparrow than 300+ comments on Democrat vs. Republican and a possible flame war. I slightly disagree with John on such issues in that post…but I can see why he turned off the comments.

  46. Sahil

    Hey John
    I searched Google and saw an article that said he was only going to get paid 32Million pounds which is about $44M dollars so I dont know where you got the $75M amount from.

    I am not saying you are wrong or anything its just that I cannot find that he is getting paid that anywhere else.

    If you have a link I would really appreciate it. If not its cool.


  47. Hope he has enough money. Sheeesh. What’s the point of working when you have that much cash. Oh yeah ego and praise.

  48. John

    he probably is so tired of doing pirates that he said to his agent - “just throw a ridiculous number out there.”

  49. Sahil


    $1 = .7360E

    So if he was getting paid $75M it would be 55.2M Euros but you said he is getting paid 32M Euros which is aprox. $44M not $75!

  50. Thos


  51. Raphael

    Johnny Depp will get paid £32,000,000 (about $56 million)

  52. aaron

    whatever he’s getting paid, it’s fricking ridculous. I loved POTC2, havent seen 3, but 4 sounds like a good IDEA, but the only thing that turns me off is he’ll do it for the $$$.

  53. Ante

    Mr Depp gets paid whatever the market (in this case the studio producing Pirates 4) think he is worth to their investment.

    The trilogy has generated billions of dollars, much to Depp’s credit, so its perfectly understandable that he gets 75 big ones.

  54. Nixon

    Thank God he accepted it, because I couldn’t stand Tobey Maguire accepting 25 million each !

    So for now I’m relieved….

  55. DG Music

    Did he actually say “Fuckers, pay me 75 mil” or did the studio actually say “Hey…hey…Depp…yeah man, hey…we’re paying you 75 mil for the role…dealz?”

    You know it could have been because Bloom, Knightly AND Depp didn’t want anything to do with a fourth film…and, like you said, Depp is the face of Pirates of the Caribbean so they had to get him on board.

    I can kind of imagine this scenario; Jerry Buckheimer sitting at lunch with Johnny Depp continually raising the offer, Depp constantly saying ‘no’. Eventually it gets so ridiculous he just HAS TO stop Jerry.

  56. WesleyIII

    Well . . . he IS a pirate after all . . .

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