The New $20 Million Club: A Look at Hollywood’s Highest-Paid Performers

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 25, 2000 — It’s no secret that celebs such as Jim Carrey — starring in the upcoming “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” — command a hefty $20 million per picture.

Nowadays, though, he’s not in such exclusive company. takes a closer look at the new $20 Million Club, and we’ve found some surprising new members. From Chris Tucker to Russell Crowe, check out who’s now made it up to the roaring 20s — and who’s next in line.

Changing of the Guard

Michael Douglas cunningly slid into the gates of the $20 Million Club when he gave up all back-end pay for 1997’s “The Game.” Not his greatest film, and somehow he seemed to know it wouldn’t be. Nicolas Cage had a great time doing his own stunts and making his first $20 million paycheck filming “Gone In 60 Seconds.” And Eddie Murphy recently hit the mark twice with his pair of “Nutty Professor” films.

Some Surprises

Sure, he’s a cultural icon, hosting one of the most successful gameshows in history, but Regis Philbin standing alongside Jim Carrey in the $20 Million Club? It’s true. He pulls in more than $20 million each season of ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”

“Saturday Night Live” alum Adam Sandler wasn’t in the game long before he started receiving $20 million a pic. His paycheck for “The Waterboy” introduced him into the club, a sum that far eclipses the rate of fellow colleague David Spade, who can’t seem to buy a hit movie. Sandler reportedly will receive upwards of $30 million for his next project.

Chris Tucker will be making his debut as a new member of the club for the sequel to “Rush Hour” — but only if co-star Jackie Chan signs on, which is the first instance of a member-by-association scenario.

Russell Crowe made $17.5 million for Gladiator — not bad — but actually declined a $20 million offer to star in the sequel to “Basic Instinct.” Whether it was a wise move or not, Hollywood is clearly prepared to induct the Aussie into the club.

One other notable whose time is upon us: Keanu Reeves. At $15 million a movie, he’s just on the verge, and his upcoming “The Matrix 2” and “The Matrix 3” should easily bump him on up.

It’s just a matter of time before Hollywood’s most exclusive club starts to look not so elite.