How Bruce Willis landed a record sixth sense salary
So how did Bruce Willis make exactly $ 120 million to star in the relatively low budget feature film?
Bruce Willis is best known for his work as an action star. He garnered attention by appearing in several explosive films with huge budgets, including Die hard and 12 monkeys. But surprising to some, Willis is also known for his intimate portraits with some of Hollywood’s most iconic directors. Whether it’s his portrayal of Captain Sharp in the Wes Anderson movie Moonrise Kingdom, his work as Quentin Tarantino’s Butch Coolidge pulp Fiction, or even like Peter Fallow in The bonfire of vanities, Willis has shown his dynamic potential as an actor, destroying the box audiences put him in.
But one of his most talked about performances is M. Night Shyamalan’s feature film. The sixth sense. Beyond its creative direction which placed Shyamalan in the mainstream category of original filmmakers, the film also sparked controversy when it established Shyamalan’s most iconic technique early on, the twist. The moment spawned several references across pop culture, including a line from The Lonely Island and an episode of Rick & Morty. But beyond the cultural significance of the performance, it also turned out to be Bruce Willis’ most lucrative decision of his career. And not just his own career either. This risky business decision put him at the top of the lists for the highest-paid film roles of all time, an unexpected twist that rivals that of the film itself.
So how did Bruce Willis make exactly $ 120 million for playing in the relatively low budget feature film? The answer lies in well-articulated contracts, a willingness to bet on himself and put his own performance on the line, and a self-confidence that shines through in almost all of his performances. Here’s a quick look at how Bruce Willis secured the top spot for the highest paid actor for a single role in Hollywood history.
Early career moves
Bruce Willis first started his acting career in 1980 when he made his debut in a small role in the series The first deadly sin. It’s only 1985 that he began to get recurring work as an actor. He gained public recognition when he played the role of David Addison Jr. in the television series Moonlight. But it wasn’t until 1988 that he made his successful breakthrough as John McClane in the film. Die hard.
An innovative decisionVia Flickr
When Bruce Willis first signed with M. Night Shyamalan on The sixth sense, he made a relatively new decision in Hollywood. He accepted an initial salary, but also negotiated for 17% of the film’s gross worldwide box office as well as additional rights to its sales of home videos. It was a risky business that eventually paid off because The sixth sense was the second highest grossing film of 1999, winning $ 672.8 million worldwide.
The ultimate reward
The success of the film was based on the strange twist in the plot of the films. Thanks to deceptive storytelling techniques that ultimately saw the screenplay make it to the Writers Guild of America’s Writers List The 101 best scenarios of all time, the public was quick to want a second screening of the film. This created a pre-internet viral buzz that got mainstream audiences excited about the film. Willis’ decision to build on the film’s success against his contract has started to pay off. And once the film launched worldwide, the gross total of the film shot beyond $ 672 million worldwide, which makes it Mr. Night. Shyamalan’s highest grossing film to date.
The magic of the decision and their risky investment deals paid off, leading to future collaborations between director and actor, including Unbreakable and Glass. Both films were a part of a superhero franchise created by Shyamalan.
Freedom of choice
The film’s financial success and the contractual decision allowed Willis to experience dynamic freedom in the roles he chose to play. For example, Willis only played in a feature film in 2001. Now, with more scripts and projects to choose from, he’s started to make his own decisions about what roles he wants to play.
He started playing roles like Hartigan in City of sin and Old Joe in the 2012 film Looper. It was Willis and Rian Johnson’s first collaborative effort. Willis has shown no signs of slowing down as an actor, but his selective roles have resulted in more critically acclaimed appearances. Recently he starred in Infringe and Cosmic sin. If Willis can continue to navigate creative contractual deals and the power to show off his true abilities as an actor, he could surpass his own record as an actor. highest paid film actor for a single role in history.
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