In 2019, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) shattered records with the release of “Avengers: Endgame,” one of the highest-grossing films ever.
This monumental production was part of the epic Infinity Saga, a series of MCU films that collectively raked in an estimated $4.8 billion.
Every facet of “Endgame,” from its mind-boggling visuals and meticulously planned cinematography to its impressive sound effects and adrenaline-pumping action sequences, was crafted with extreme precision.
It comes as no surprise that such an ambitious project commanded an equally grand budget.
Rated among the top 5 movies, “Endgame” smashed through the $2 billion revenue benchmark. It held the title of the highest-grossing film of all time for a notable two-year stretch until the 3D re-release of James Cameron’s “Avatar” reclaimed the throne.
During an interview at the Sands International Film Festival of St. Andrews, Joe Russo, co-director of “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Endgame,” provided insight into the colossal costs of producing these films.
According to Russo, both films demanded budgets surpassing $500 million. He stated, “These numbers may have yet to be accurately reported, but both ‘Endgame’ and ‘Infinity War’ cost over $500 million. It’s an astonishing amount of money to invest in a film.”
Russo also emphasized the responsibility he and his brother, Anthony Russo, felt in ensuring a return on this hefty investment by delivering high-quality content.
The escalating budgets of films with large casts aren’t limited to production costs alone. Case in point: Scarlett Johansson, who entered the MCU with “Black Widow,” saw her pay scale grow exponentially.
From earning $400,000 in her debut film “Iron Man,” her earnings reached seven figures in the Avengers series. It is estimated that Johansson made approximately $15 million from both “Infinity War” and “Endgame,” her total compensation from the Avengers franchise, including bonuses, reportedly rounded off to $35 million.
Similarly, Robert Downey Jr., behind the iconic Iron Man, took home over $75 million for “Infinity War.” In “Endgame,” his base salary of $20 million swelled to approximately $75 million due to his 8% profit share clause.
Creating back-to-back blockbusters with ten-figure budgets is a daunting endeavor. Still, Joe and Anthony Russo navigated this tricky landscape with aplomb. Despite the inherent risks, the Russo brothers’ firm grasp of their responsibility and commitment to quality ensured the phenomenal success of both “Infinity War” and “Endgame.”
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