Breakdown of Johnny Depp's Rumored $95M Payday for 'Pirates 5'

August 23, 2012
Source: The Sun

Johnny Depp Pirates of the Caribbean

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?

Johnny Depp Rich

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.

Find more posts: Comedy, Movie News, Rumors



Well clearly its not true, it is The Sun after all.

Liam on Aug 23, 2012


I wonder how many old classics you could make with that $95M. There was a time when we used to gasp at the idea that films could pass the $100M mark for budget.

Chris on Aug 23, 2012


I really liked Stranger Tides. I hope this comes through. Not the 95m, just the movie in general. I felt right away that Marshall should get his own trilogy of these.

OfficialJab on Aug 23, 2012


Alex, I don't see why it's so hard to comprehend that he may make that much from another Pirates movie. He's already done 4 Pirates movies and he made $350mil from them, right? That's 87mil per movie. He negotiated a sweet backend deal with this franchise much like Downey, Jr. did as Iron Man and because of that, Downey walked away with 50mil from The Avengers movie alone. It's very possible that Depp could walk away with 95mil, but even he doesn't, he ain't hurtin'!

Chris on Aug 23, 2012


Well, since he's - on average - 85mil per Pirate movie so far, Depp making 95 mil from one more isn't really that far-fetched, to be honest. Man, that's a lot of money. Like owning-your-own-country kind of money...Wow.

Chris_Hunter on Aug 23, 2012


The studio should take a gamble, we've grown tired of Jack... imagine introducing a new hero pirate! Someone who can bring with him all kinds of strange in a totally different way... it would be great, a refresh of the franchise. They also seriously have to include a little more adult violence and they need to finally have someone walk the plank and get some CG sharks in there to boot. Look outside the box - the last one was better than 3 but it still just washed by. I like this franchise and want to see it continue.

dom on Aug 23, 2012


.... Nicholas Cage...?

Ryderup on Aug 24, 2012


yah but then 95% of people wouldn't even watch it without him. he is the main reason most people watch these movies

AlwaysLoveJD on Dec 29, 2012


He got $350 million from 4 movies that were feature length trailers for the next adventure? Lucky guy.

Carpola on Aug 23, 2012


Good for him. Rake in dat dough.

DAVIDPD on Aug 23, 2012


Obviously BS, but at the same time, these garbage movies are making so much money off the heels of his character that it actually makes sense to pay him that much.

John on Aug 23, 2012


Disney have no integrity. It's a sham of a studio continuing to kill everything they own with watered down bullshit.

BK on Aug 23, 2012


what about Downey, Jr. as Iron Man . do you think he deserve ? it's about visual technical not him as Iron man.

ben on Aug 24, 2012


wrong, he is more interesting out of the suit rather than in the suit

me on Aug 24, 2012


here in the UK we don't believe a damn word that rag prints, it's not even fit for the purpose of wiping my arse if I ran out of paper!!!!

Darrell on Aug 24, 2012


He should ask for more, seeing that Disney is willing to pay him this ridiculous amount of money.

Isildur_of_Numenor on Aug 24, 2012


This article feels out of place on this fan of film, fun website.

Quanah on Aug 24, 2012


Nahhhh we had fun with this! No? It's not derogatory more than just "wtf?"

Alex Billington on Aug 25, 2012


I think WTF is appropriate. 😉 I guess I'm a bigger fan of your trailers, reviews, and casting rumors. 🙂

Quanah on Aug 25, 2012


Hah I hear ya. And those will always still be there, too! But we just wanted to have some fun, news has been a bit dry recently.

Alex Billington on Aug 25, 2012


It has been pretty quite out there. Strange things going on in LA-LA land.

Quanah on Aug 25, 2012


I think he deserved, the last 4 movies made over 3 billion dollars for the studio. so it wasn't surprise for him to get that pay check.

truong18 on Aug 24, 2012


Seriously cant stand Johnny Depp. And I know the fucker would be greedy enough to take a $95 million paycheck.

LosZombies on Aug 24, 2012


Wouldn't you? If Disney is stupid enough, why not? He should not be allowed to make this kind of silly demands. But Disney wouldn't want to end a (very) profitable franchise, they just want to milk the franchise to death, so they're the greedy ones and they will pay Depp whatever he asks for.

Isildur_of_Numenor on Aug 24, 2012


A valid point. And Disney WOULD be stupid enough to keep Depp by all means necessary lol

LosZombies on Aug 25, 2012


he deserves it

shashi on Aug 27, 2012


This article is just dumb. He's paid what he's deemed worth by the studio based on what the movie is expected to generate - it has nothing to do with $ per hour. If he's unhappy, he won't show and they won't have a movie. $95 M isn't unreasonable at all, given that he's the only indispensable character. He'll get a % of profits deal just like he got for the other movies and if its a smash like the other he'll get close to that.

BillClinton on Feb 20, 2013

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