Breakdown of Johnny Depp's Rumored $95M Payday for 'Pirates 5'
Let's get something straight before we kick this off. The Sun's recent ridiculous rumor that Johnny Depp could command a massive $95 million paycheck for Pirates of the Caribbean 5 is ludicrous and in all likelihood will not happen. (There were rumors that he would score $75 million for On Stranger Tides, but that didn't pan out, either.) But for the sake of argument and to have a little fun, let's just pretend that this preposterous deal actually goes through so we can break down just how ridiculous this monster payday would be for the actor. Prepare yourselves, because this quickly gets hilarious and sad all at the same time.
For the purposes of this piece, we're going to have to make a lot of assumptions, so let's lay those out before we get into running these insane numbers. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (#4) shot for 106 days, so let's assume that Pirates 5 shoots for the exact same time. Let's also give Depp the benefit of the doubt and say that he'll actually be working every single one of those 106 days, which is something that absolutely wouldn't happen in a real life scenario. Let's also say that not only will he work those days, but he'll put in 12 hour workdays every single time he steps on set. (This is also laughable, because while actors are certainly known to sometimes put in 16 or 17 hour days in extreme circumstances, the likelihood that he or she would work a full 12 for the entire shoot of a huge studio film isn't even remotely possible.)
So, with these assumptions in place, let's get to the fun part. If Depp were to secure a $95 million payday for this project and work the amount listed above, he would end up making a whopping $896,226 per day. This translates into a shocking $74,685 per hour, which comes down to a sickening $1,245 per minute, and a you've-gotta-be-kidding-me $20.75 per second. Let that sink in for a second. Keep in mind, the income of the average American worker was just $40,584 in 2010. This means in just over 32 minutes, Depp would hypothetically make more than the average American pulls in during an entire year.
Again, we want to stress that it's not likely that Depp will make this much for the film up front, but since he has locked down a staggering $350 million from the Pirates franchise alone over the years, it's possible that he could wheel and deal his way into some back end profits and end up walking away with something close to these numbers. This was more of a "what if" scenario, but even without confirmation that it's true, the price disparity between Depp's potential earnings and what an average person makes in a year is a sobering reminder of Hollywood excess. Pretty crazy, right?
With all that said, I think the only way to properly finish a fun piece like this is to end it with a photo that I first made when Depp was rumored to make $75M on Pirates 4, but it's much more fitting for this rumor.