Since debuting in July, there’s no question that Greta Gerwig’s Barbie is the most profitable film of 2023. The popular comedy based on the iconic doll brand has grossed $1.4 billion worldwide and there’s no telling how much more it will make on home video. But how much of that money is going to the actors?
We’ve learned that Margot Robbie, playing the titular Barbie, made $12.5 million for her role. There’s typically been an issue of unfair pay in Hollywood when it comes to how much men get paid for their roles compared to women. That was not the case with Barbie, considering the film’s messaging about treating both genders as equals.
Ryan Gosling, according to Variety, received the exact same pay as Robbie for his role as Ken in the film. He made $12.5 million which falls somewhere in the middle of what he’s usually paid. He made $20 million for the Netflix action film The Gray Man (2021), but only made $10 million for Blade Runner 2049 (2018) and $6.5 million for First Man (2018).
Gosling’s net worth started skyrocketing with his roles in The Notebook (2004), Drive (2011), and La La Land (2016). One way to look at his payment is that he seems to get more for bigger-budget films looking to turn a profit. Oscar-worthy films, like Blade Runner 2049 and First Man, tend to pay much less. That being said, Barbie might be a case of both as it’s the most popular film of the year and may have a chance at awards, considering there’s some push for nominating Gosling as Best Supporting Actor.
Robbie Getting Robbed
While Gosling’s $12.5 million pay is a slight step down for the acclaimed actor, it’s a major step up for Margot Robbie. Compared to Gosling’s past roles, Robbie has been paid far less. Her debut role in 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street earned her only $347,000.
Her most recent roles leading up to Barbie included 2022’s Amsterdam ($5 million) and 2020’s Birds of Prey (roughly $10 million). This makes Barbie one of her most well-paid roles to date and solidifies Robbie as one of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood.
A Major Success of a Movie
In addition to Gosling and Robbie receiving equal pay, Barbie has been a trailblazer movie beyond making the most money in 2023. While it’s the 14th highest-grossing film of all time, it’s also the highest-grossing film ever directed by one woman (Greta Gerwig) and Warner Bros most success film to date, beating out the studio’s previous hit Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011).
Part of the drive to make Barbie as successful as it was came with double-billing the movie with Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer. A social media campaign convinced many movie-goers to go see both films that weekend. Even though Oppenheimer is a much different film for being an existential drama on the creation of the atomic bomb with a three-hour running time, the branding of Barbenheimer worked as both films were successful at the box office. Oppenheimer would ultimately make $926 million worldwide, making it the third most-profitable film of 2023.
The Future of Equal Pay For Actors
Ryan Gosling being paid $12.5 million, the same as Margot Robbie, could mark a new trend for Hollywood films. Barbie has already proven that movies made by women and starring women can be profitable. Where the industry goes from here is anyone’s guess.
Quick hit summary:
Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie receiving equal pay for their roles in Barbie is a significant step forward for Hollywood. It shows that studios are willing to pay women and men equally, even for big-budget films. This could set a precedent for other films and lead to more pay equity in the industry.
In addition to being a success at the box office, Barbie has also been a trailblazer in other ways. It is the highest-grossing film ever directed by one woman (Greta Gerwig) and Warner Bros. most successful film to date. This shows that movies made by women and starring women can be just as successful as movies made by men and starring men.
The success of Barbie is a sign of progress for Hollywood. It shows that the industry is becoming more inclusive and diverse. It also shows that audiences are willing to support films that tell different stories and feature different voices.
It remains to be seen whether Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie receiving equal pay for Barbie is a sign of a new trend in Hollywood. However, it is a positive step forward and a sign that the industry is moving in the right direction.
Micajah McGregor, Editor in Chief of FanFest.com and renowned entertainment journalist, graduated from USC with a focus on Journalism and Film Studies. With an MBA from The Wharton School, he began his career at “PopCulture Pulse” and has been instrumental in shaping FanFest into a prime entertainment news source. Known for his financial analysis of celebrity net worths, Micajah received the ‘Digital Editor of the Year’ award in 2018. He’s also an active blogger, sharing his passion for superhero films and ’90s TV. Contact him at [email protected] for engaging entertainment insights.