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OTRC: Robert Downey Jr.'s 'Avengers' payday could be $50 million, report says

Robert Downey Jr. and his wife Susan talk to OnTheRedCarpet.com at the premiere of 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows' on Dec. 6, 2011.

Robert Downey Jr. is expected to earn about $50 million for his work in the current box office hit, Disney and Marvel's "The Avengers," a report says.

The 47-year-old actor reprises his role as Iron Man in the film, which was released in the United States last week and has made more than $1 billion worldwide, including at least $380 million domestically. Downey Jr. is "set for a highflying payday of about $50 million once box-office bonuses and backend compensation are factored in," The Hollywood Reporter said, quoting "multiple knowledgeable sources."

The outlet quoted "two sources" as saying that cast members Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Chris Evans (Captain America), Jeremy Renner (Hawkeye) and Mark Ruffalo (The Hulk) are set to earn up to $3 million from "The Avengers," with bonuses, and that Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury) and Scarlett Johansson (The Black Widow) will make up to $6 million. The actors and studios, who tend to keep celebrity earnings confidential, have not commented.

Downey Jr. was named No. 6 on Forbes' 2011 list of Best Actors For The Buck. The publication said at the time that for every dollar he. is paid, his films earn an average of $18.74 (see full list). Forbes also said that Downey Jr. earned an estimated $31 million between May 2010 and May 2011, making him the seventh highest-earning actor (see full list).

The Hollywood Reporter said that after the success of the first "Iron Man" film, which was released in 2008 and made $585 million worldwide, Downey Jr.'s reps secured a deal in which he would obtain a percentage of the revenue Marvel would earn from additional films that would cast him in the same role.

"Iron Man 2," released in 2010, made $623 million worldwide and was co-produced by the actor's wife, Susan. Downey Jr. told OnTheRedCarpet.com that year that the plans were to begin work on "Iron Man 3" after "The Avengers." The third "Iron Man" film is set for release in May 2013 and will be helmed by Shane Black, who directed Downey Jr. in the 2005 movie "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang."

Jon Favreau, who directed the first two "Iron Man" films, serves as a producer and told The Hollywood Reporter that filming on "Iron Man 3" is set to begin later this month. He said the movie will be "more offbeat."

"I'm happy to see that it's taking a bit of a tonal shift from 'The Avengers' and it's going to be something completely different and exciting, and I'm happy to be a part of it," he told the outlet. "Shane and Robert definitely have an original point of view and an original take on the character, and I think it delves deeper into what makes Tony Stark tick and plays on the unexpected original unpredictable quality of the character that I think fans gravitate to."

More spin-offs from "The Avengers" are also in the works, including "Nick Fury," "Captain America 2" and "Thor 2."

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