Meryl Streep has been winning the hearts and minds of audiences for decades and has a catalog of classic movies that she has starred in. How much did she make in some of these movies?
Exact numbers on Streep’s earnings per movie are unknown. Considering her status as one of the most well-respected actors of her generation, she could possibly earn in excess of $10 million per movie.
Streep is something of a Hollywood luminary, so it should be no surprise that she has the potential to rake in those kinds of aforementioned numbers for her roles. Even the given number may be conservative when comparing it to what some of her equally renowned peers earn.
Streep’s Box Office Value
If we have a quick peruse over the body of work that Streep has been a part of, there are some seriously heavy-hitting box office numbers to work with that do a good job of illustrating the kind of value that Streep can bring to a project.
Definitely not implying that the entirety of the success of any project is down to one person alone, but Streep has been a part of multiple movies that performed extremely well in the box office, as well as being a nominee and recipient of record-breaking numbers of awards.
Look at Mamma Mia, for example, which not only generated a jaw-dropping total of $600+ million worldwide but also enjoys the accolade of being one of the highest-grossing musical movies of all time.
The Devil Wears Parada was Streep’s second highest-grossing movie, raking in a stylish $327 million. It was another production with a cast that boasted a formidable amount of star power, but it was the role of Priestly played by Streep that presented one of the most unforgettable characters.
Although we can’t necessarily draw any conclusions about how she was financially compensated for her role in those movies, at first glance, it feels like it should be a safe bet to say that the prestige that she brings on name alone will be enough to justify some sizable paychecks.
On the other hand, however, perhaps it wouldn’t be such a sure thing after all. The actor herself has previously commented about being unsatisfied with her salary.
In her own words, Streep learned “very late” that some negotiations would be required, despite having already played a part in movies that demonstrated some impressive numbers in the box office.
The offer that she received for The Devil Wears Prada didn’t seem fair to her. Temporarily inhabiting the business savvy mind of her character-to-be, she pursued her instinct about the true value that she offered to the project, and as a result, her payment was doubled in the negotiation.
A Paycheck to say “Mamma Mia!” Over
After her blockbuster outing as Miranda Priestly, Streep was riding a wave of popularity generated by both the overwhelmingly positive reaction that the movie received and the character’s status as an unforgettable antagonist that stole almost every scene that she was in.
Mamma Mia followed just a few years later, and although we don’t know exactly how much she was paid for the first movie, one can imagine that with her newfound negotiating skills and the staggeringly successful box office numbers, she will have been well-positioned to receive the kind of pay she deserved.
If what she got paid in the sequel to Mamma Mia is any indication, then the salary will have been handsome indeed. For what was a small, barely five-minute role in the movie, Streep received what was rumored to be a whopping multi-million dollar payday.
Outside of the Big Screen
Not one to shy away from parts outside of movies, Streep has also dipped her toes into the world of television and streaming on more than a few occasions.
One of her most recent outings, for a show by the name of Big Little Lies, saw Streep take the role of Mary Louise Wright, a main character in the second season of the show. Turns out that it’s not only movies that payout for the largest and brightest of Hollywood’s stars.
Streep received a paycheck of up to $1 million per episode that rivals and excels the pay of almost any other performer in a television show. With paydays like that, she’s definitely one of the most valuable actors in Hollywood.