According to a recent Fox News article, Gal Gadot earned much less money for starring in her DC movie, Wonder Woman, than fellow actor Henry Cavill did for starring in Man of Steel.

“Wonder Woman” may have slayed the box office, but Cosmopolitan.com wrote actress Gal Gadot reportedly earned a mere $300,000 for the iconic superhero role.

By contrast, according to some reports, Henry Cavill, who starred as Superman in the 2013 movie “Man of Steel,” earned a whopping $14 million for the gig. According to Vanity Fair, Cavill's exact salary could not immediately be verified but the magazine claimed his reported salary included bonuses for the movie's box office success.

Are these two figures ($US300K versus $US14M) correct?

  • 46
    The article's titled "'Wonder Woman' actress Gal Gadot made just $300,000 for blockbuster", though it ends with "Gadot's payday isn't over though, according to Variety. The publication previously reported Gadot signed a contract in 2014 that gave her $300,000 for each DC film she does, and she’s likely to make a lot more from bonuses." This looks like one of those things where they intentionally use a misleading title to get clicks, then refute the title in the text.
    – Nat
    Jun 21, 2017 at 1:40
  • 7
    FYI - the original article making that claim was updated to note that the $14M figure was said by several industry insiders to be wildly inaccurate. Also notable in that article was that Chris Evans earned about the same for his first Captain America film, Robert Downey Jr less for the first Iron Man. Jun 21, 2017 at 16:23
  • 21
    Well, she did only wear 1/40th of the costume.
    – Jeremy
    Jun 22, 2017 at 12:16

1 Answer 1


Not comparable numbers

It's an apples to oranges comparison.

Gal Gadot's $300,000 was her base salary for each of Wonder Woman, Batman vs. Superman, and the Justice League. Her salary would also include performance incentives. We don't know what those were.

Henry Cavill's $14 million for Man of Steel includes such performance incentives.

Example source, Vanity Fair:

As the Elle article that sent the stat viral said itself, Cavill’s $14 million earnings include bonuses for box-office performance, while Gadot’s $300,000, per a 2014 Variety report, is just the base salary for each movie she’s made thus far in the DC Universe.

which goes on to say

...Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth, all of whom were reportedly paid less than $500,000 for their first solo superhero outings but eventually landed much bigger paydays for subsequent entries.

So we won't know if Gadot is making less money than Cavill until after her performance incentives are calculated. Beyond that, we won't be able to compare her to people like Downey ($500,000), Evans ($300,000), and Hemsworth ($150,000) until she signs a contract for a sequel.

Questions about Cavill's income

There are also questions about the source for Cavill's payments. For example, Vox says:

And after people pointed out to Duca that the $14 million figure had come from a questionable source

For example, if we look at the original source, Elle, it now says,

Update: Reports that Henry Cavill earned $14 m for Man of Steel are unconfirmed. Although the pay gap persists in Hollywood, this example is not adequately supported by the information available.

So even the people who released the initial story are unwilling to stand behind it.

TL;DR: We don't know if the numbers are real, but even if they were, they are not comparable. We should either compare both base salaries or both after performance incentives are included.

  • 26
    Regarding your tl;dr: Even that only holds if they have similar wealth and risk aversion. Say Cavill is much richer or risk loving than Gal, he'd be willing to take a much lower base salary to trade it for higher performance incentives. In that case, from comparing base salaries we learn nothing. Moreover, comparing the gross outcomes is conditional on ex-post realizations of box-office performance, instead of (how it should be) the ex-ante expectation of it at the time when they signed contracts.
    – FooBar
    Jun 21, 2017 at 7:21
  • 6
    Do we know what Cavill's base salary was?
    – Random832
    Jun 21, 2017 at 13:17
  • 36
    And even in the case of "apples to apples" comparison, a single point of data cannot be used to draw any conclusions about gender wage differences which some of the articles imply. Jun 21, 2017 at 13:39
  • 4
    @WhatRoughBeast Wonder Woman is not a new character. She's been around a very long time, with success in both comics and TV. Additionally, she a prior appearance in Batman v Superman, so this isn't even her first movie. That's where the comparison really starts to look suspicious. $300,000 is reasonable for a first movie, but this is #2. Jun 22, 2017 at 15:06
  • 4
    @JoelCoehoorn Gadot signed a three picture deal and gets paid $300,000 base for each. Cavill also appears in two of the three pictures (not Wonder Woman; Gadot wasn't in Man of Steel either). It's not currently publicly known how much his base is for each. The Vanity Fair article claims that "sources" say that Gadot is paid at least as much as Cavill in the two movies they share. The big difference is that Man of Steel has already paid its performance incentives. It's not established that Gadot has been paid bonuses for Wonder Woman yet, and we don't know what they are (will be).
    – Brythan
    Jun 22, 2017 at 16:00

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