An Oscar Win for Natalie Portman Could Make Her One of the Highest Paid Actresses in Hollywood
By Jo Piazza Posted Jan 28th 2011 02:46PM
See, a little gold man tomorrow is actually worth more than a little gold man today.
Hollywood agents and managers estimate their clients get a 20 percent bump in their asking price for the next film they negotiate immediately following an Academy Award win for best actor or best actress.
An Oscar raises a performer's monetary quote, but also makes a difference in the types of material they are considered for. Directors and producers start to look at newer-to-the-scene actors, like last year's nominee Jeremy Renner, in a new light. It solidifies their brand as the gold standard of acting and, ideally, box office returns.
The Hollywood Reporter's Stephen Galloway predicts that a win for Portman will put her in the same circle as Reese Witherspoon and allow her to command one of the top salaries in Hollywood.
"For Portman, a best actress victory could propel her into the Reese Witherspoon stratosphere of $10 million-plus a picture, a lot more than the high-six figures she made on the $13 million 'Swan' -- just as Halle Berry's asking price shot up to more than $10 million after her win for 'Monster's Ball,'" Galloway writes in this week's issue of THR. Granted, Portman typically commands a salary in the millions and took a pay cut for 'Black Swan' because it was a passion project.
Her increased price tag will be worth it for whatever project opts to pay it. The Academy Award provides an external validation in the consumer's mind, akin to an FDA stamp of approval. The voters, who are aspirational to start with, offer a similar screening function of sorting through the year's winners and losers albeit without the drastic downside -- if someone sees a crappy movie they won't die.
If Portman wins, from here on out, "Academy Award Winner" will be attached to her name and every project she is associated with, and the entertainment consumer will feel validated buying Portman products.
This nomination alone, and the fact that she has been anointed the chosen front-runner, will no doubt boost Portman's asking price. The issue is how long she plans to take off following the birth of her first child this summer. Her window of opportunity is wide, but it doesn't stay open forever, and the longer she waits after this possible win could diminish her value in the marketplace.
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