Batman, the superhero alter ego of multi-billionaire Bruce Wayne, may need to ask Marvel’s God of Thunder for a loan, at least when it comes to Hollywood. A new report from Variety reveals that Chris Hemsworth, the returning superstar of several Thor and Avengers films, will get paid almost seven times more money for Love and Thunder than incoming Dark Knight Robert Pattinson will earn for the gritty The Batman reboot at Warner Bros.
According to the outlet, Hemsworth will make $20 million from the fourth Thor movie, which also sees Taika Waititi back as director, while Pattinson will don the cape and cowl for $3 million. The numbers show just how much Hemsworth’s star has risen in the decade since he made his Marvel debut as a relative newcomer in 2011’s Thor. Meanwhile, despite some excellent performances in the past few years for the Twilight and Tenet star, including in Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse and the Safdie Brothers’ Good Time, Pattinson has a ways to climb to score the massive blockbuster paydays of some of his peers. Current 007 incumbent Daniel Craig, for example, will get $100 million to star in Rian Johnson’s next two Knives Out sequels for Netflix. Dwayne Johnson, better known to the SNL crowd as “Franchise Viagra,” will earn $50 million for Amazon Studios’ holiday adventure movie Red One.
Some of this might also come down to the movies themselves. Thor: Love and Thunder is a follow-up to a beloved Marvel movie that made over $850 million at the global box office, $200 million more than Thor: Dark World. In fact, each Thor sequel has made more than the last, helping solidify Hemsworth as an actor who can boost ticket sales, and that’s without even considering how much money the Avengers movies have taken in. 2020 action vehicle Extraction, starring Hemsworth as a larger-than-life mercenary on a rescue mission, also happens to be the most-viewed Netflix movie of all time.
Despite the character’s popularity, and how much he’s taken over DC’s current comic book line, the Caped Crusader’s latest big-screen outing is actually a bigger risk for Warner Bros. than Love and Thunder is for Marvel (although in the age of Covid-19, who knows what’s going to hit anymore). The Batman is a gritty reboot directed by Matt Reeves, a brilliant filmmaker (Cloverfield, Let Me In) but one who has yet to prove himself in the comic book movie arena. Add to that the fact that the Dark Knight is in a bit of a box office slump since the start of the DCEU: while Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice made $872 million at the global box office, the $260 million production was ultimately less profitable for WB after all the costs were factored in than even Man of Steel and received dismal reviews on top of that. The Batman-fronted Justice League, which also featured all of DC’s other big-name superheroes, made even less than that, a disastrous box office take of $658 million that fell well short of any Avengers movie’s earnings.
Batman is still a very hot property, let’s not kid ourselves here, but after a few bad showings in theaters, are audiences willing to jump into another re-telling of the Dark Knight’s story? Well, if the movie is a smash hit come next year, Pattinson will at least be on his way to catching up to Hemsworth.
The Batman opens on March 4, 2022. Thor: Love and Thunder bows on May 6, 2022.