Don’t fret, Forrest! I’m told that Sony’s Da Vinci Code is now Tom Hanks’ biggest movie at the box office, passing his previous record-setter Forrest Gump from Paramount. Reportedly, the actor’s salary for the religious thriller was $18 million, plus a perk of profit participation. According to data banks, Hanks made $70 mil from Forrest Gump in gross and profit participation; $40 mil from Dreamworks / Paramount’s Saving Private Ryan including gross and profit participation, $20 mil from Warner Bros.’ The Green Mile and $20 mil from 20th Century Fox’s Castaway. It’s important to remember that Hanks took a big gamble with his payday for 1994’s Forrest. It was reported extensively at the time that, before the cameras started to roll, Hanks agreed to take a lower salary upfront in return for a bigger share of the back end (first-dollar gross). Quite a risk, considering this was considered a quirky film that took nine years to get made. Paramount Pictures was balking at its $50 million budget. (That seems like a bargain budget now, eh?) The studio asked producers Steven Tisch and Wendy Finerman for $10 million in cuts. Under the original deal, Hanks was to be paid $7 million in upfront salary, the highest single line item for the movie. So the actor agreed to, in Hollywood parlance, “defer” a portion of his fees in return for a formula-based share of the box office. Director Robert Zemeckis also took the same bet. Both ended up winning big paydays.
For this weekend’s box office news, see Jack Goes Slack! Cars Speeds To No. 1