Yes sir, things have changed and it's a new day in Hollywood. Gone are the $20 million pay-days and even the top of the A-list are taking the hit (unless you're Angelina Jolie). In an article in the NYT, they took a look at the declining paychecks of Hollywood's biggest stars and the new financial model that has swept the movie factory: CB zero (which stands for cash-break zero). It's a departure from the previous set up which had stars taking a reduced paycheck for "a percentage of ...first-dollar gross receipts; that is, they began sharing in the profits from the first ticket sale, not waiting until the studio turned a profit." But the new deal is a little different because, now, stars won't see a dime beyond their paycheck until the film breaks even.

According to experts (who remained anonymous), the reason for the change is that a big name just doesn't pull in the crowds like it used to. Plus, the all important 18-34 demographic just isn't that interested in the Hollywood A-list anymore. When you take a look at most of this years' Oscar nominations, smaller films and previously unheard of actors like Gabourey Sidibe (Precious) and Jeremy Renner from The Hurt Locker (who both worked for at or near guild minimums: $65,000, with negotiable overtime with some food and mandatory breaks) are competing alongside big names like George Clooney and Meryl Streep, who also took pay cuts, because according to the NYT, "[when] the estimated salaries of all 10 of the top acting nominees are combined, the total is only a little larger than the $20 million."

After the jump: the future of Hollywood's A-Listers...
I can't say I blame studios for looking to hold on to their profits now that the stars aren't shining like they used to, and now that James Cameron has supposedly made 'actors obsolete', I don't see us ever returning to the days of the blockbuster paycheck. But there are still plenty of revenue streams for actors to capitalize on -- though under this new system you just better pray that your film is a success, otherwise you might not get paid. But I wouldn't worry too much about our celebrity friends, because if there is one thing that the rich know how to do, it's how to get even richer.
categories Oscars, Awards, Cinematical