The Big Money Makers
by Fred Stanley
The New York Times, March 3, 1946 page II 3
One hundred and fifty thousand dollars a picture now appears to the
standardized as the salary for Hollywood's current "name-above-title"
stars. This per-film rate, now seemingly almost as rigid as an OPA ceiling
price, applies particularly to the so-called freelance stars and to those
who are loaned to other companies by the producers to whom they are under
Representative of the present $150,000 group are Irene
Dunne, Barbara Stanwyck,
Joan Fontaine, Myrna
Loy, Fred MacMurray,
Claudette Colbert, Charles
Boyer, Teresa Wright,
David Niven, Joan
Crawford, and Joseph Cotten.
Among the freelance exceptions in higher brackets are Gary
Cooper, $200,000 per picture and Ginger
Rogers and James Stewart, $175,000
each. In the $100,000 class are Loretta
Young, Merle Oberon, Robert Cummings, George
Sanders and Charles Coburn.
Representatives of the $75,000 supporting player group are Walter
Brennan and Franchot Tone.
The veritable salary-standardization seems to have accompanied the
trend toward decentralized production and the increase in independent company
filming. In contracts made with these companies by the $150,000 stars,
the deals generally specify fourteen weeks as a maximum engagement, but
in several recent instances the contracts have provided for a twelve-week
maximum, with two weeks to be contributed salary-free. This is in order
that each additional week beyond fourteen will be reckoned as a twelfth
of the per-picture salary ($12,500 a week) instead of a fourteenth. Moreover,
it is not uncommon for top-name players to obtain from independent producers
a share in the picture's profit in addition to their established salaries.
© 1946 The New York Times