Nicolas Cage was one of the highest-paid actors of the early 2000s, reportedly raking in $20 million for Gone in Sixty Seconds, Windtalkers, and National Treasure. Not $20 million total, but $20 million each. By the late 2010s, however, he was making a fraction of that. Between 2017 and 2019, Cage appeared in 15 live-action films, and his fee for the predominantly VOD-type movies fell in the $1 million to $1.5 million range. Some of those films, like cult classic Mandy and Color Out of Space, were critical hits and he probably earned decent money for voice roles in Teen Titans Go! To the Movies and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, but, well, dinosaur skulls don’t pay for themselves.
Things changed for Cage once Pig came out.
The eccentric actor didn’t get the Oscar nomination he deserved, but the quietly bonkers, expectations-defying drama was the most critically-acclaimed film of his career. Its humble success “allowed the actor to raise his price. One indie movie source says Cage’s quote is now $4 million,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.
He returned in earnest with The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent… then he booked a chewy role as Dracula in Universal’s upcoming vampire thriller Renfield. Sources tell THR that the actor was paid $7 million to lead Massive Talent and received close to $3 million for Renfield for a supporting role.
$7 million is no $20 million, but Cage is in “various stages of discussions for sequels” to National Treasure and Face/Off, so give him a few more years. He’ll be back to buying king cobras in no time (keep them away from the cats, though).