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John Williams' Salary?


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Anybody know how much JW gets paid per film? How much he makes on OST sales? On specialty label expansions? On royalty checks for usage in commercials, reruns, bumpers on TV, commission for concert works, performances fees for his music, interview fees, payment for conducting concerts/the Boston Pops, etc.? Just curious.

IMDB reports his salary for Close Encounters as $100,000, but I have no idea where they're getting that number. If that's accurate then it's pretty impressive, given it came about before Williams was the unmitigated king of film music (he hadn't most of his icons or won most of his awards yet).

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I think the salary depends on how it is formulated in the contract. Which can mean that a film composer often gets a rounded sum for the whole scoring process and what is left from it all after using this budget to score the film is the salary, to put it in very simple terms.

And by the time of Close Encounters JW was already big and rising star due to Jaws. Also association with Spielberg might have something to do with it.

I remember reading that JW got paid 1 million dollars for Episode I.

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Well it would be logical to assume JWs salaries post 1999 have gone up as well if JNH is able to get 1,3 million for The Village in 2003.

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Wow...that's nuts.

I know. He should be making 5 million a movie.

:thumbup:

Although not directly relevant to Williams, the music budget for Shyamalamalalamalan's 'The Village' can be seen in detail at http://www.thesmokin...-budget?page=68

JNH's basic fee was $1.3 million.

If JNH is getting 1.3 million a relatively low budget film, then Williams is probably getting more than that for something like a prequel or Harry Potter. I had no idea these composers were so prosperous (of course only the really popular ones). Makes me respect JW even more for being a Democrat. :P

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Woah...thats crazy! I always knew Williams made quite a bit of money for his films, but didn't think it would go so high. Especially considering how film composing isn't an industry that someone goes into to make money. I've always thought that most composers make very little actually so I'm very surprised to learn that JNH got $1.3 million. Thats seriously quite a bit...

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Woah...thats crazy! I always knew Williams made quite a bit of money for his films, but didn't think it would go so high. Especially considering how film composing isn't an industry that someone goes into to make money. I've always thought that most composers make very little actually so I'm very surprised to learn that JNH got $1.3 million. Thats seriously quite a bit...

This is the MOVIE industry, and these are the top guys!

If Spielberg makes 250 million from Jurassic Park, you can expect John Williams to make at least 10 million from that movie! Of course, when you include the royalties. Remember, this was the most successful movie of all time (at that time, that is)!

But yeah, the salary is probably 1-2 million per movie (for big budget movies, that is; for art films, considerably less).

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That's common knowledge. I think Joseph McBride revealed it in his Spielberg biography.

But Spielberg made that much not just from the movie, but also from the JP merchandise (action figures, toys, etc.). He was emulating his good friend George Lucas here, I think.

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Although not directly relevant to Williams, the music budget for Shyamalamalalamalan's 'The Village' can be seen in detail at http://www.thesmokin...-budget?page=68

JNH's basic fee was $1.3 million.

That's one interesting document here !

I'd always wondered how much they spend for the orchestra too..

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Film composers' salaries experienced a meteoritic rise in the 80's thanks to aggressive agenting.

From what i recall, in the 60's and 70's, they got paid a fat fee of 25,000 (give or take) per picture. That's more or less the sum Williams got for JAWS or Goldsmith for THE OMEN. Although George Lucas certainly shared some of his STAR WARS wealth with JW (one of the good things he is known for), even Alec Guinness became a millionaire after being in SW 1.

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Although not directly relevant to Williams, the music budget for Shyamalamalalamalan's 'The Village' can be seen in detail at http://www.thesmokin...-budget?page=68

JNH's basic fee was $1.3 million.

I found that late last year - very interesting reading.

And I have to admit, when I realised that it broke every cost down, the first thought in my head was finding JNH's entry.

Now 8 year on, we must be talking somewhere between 1.5 - 2 million per film now for these guys. I also wonder what sort of premium is added for a replacement score, such as King Kong. That must've earned him a shitload.

Also, in Horner's infamous interview with Daniel Schweiger, he references Wolfgang Petersen's next movie after Troy, Poseidon, and while remarking that Petersen didn't ask him back, Horner remarks that he wouldn't have done it anyway, even if they'd offered him $10 million.

That can't be a realistic sum even for Horner, surely?

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Johnny makes $7.25 an hour for writing and composing. He get's $11.50 an hour for the actual scoring. He gets $0.12 cents for every record/cd sold. Now he gets a penny on every track downloaded.

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Interesting subject. I have vague memories of "Presumed Innocent"

being the first scoring gig ever to break the 1 million barrier,

back in 1990.

I don't know for sure if it's true. But it matches very well with all your

statements.Today, I think it hasn't increased much. Just a few weeks

ago, Kathleen Kennedy was asked about music budgets in Hollywood

- and they have declined, minus 35 % in general, during the past 8

years - and especially the music budgets for the Spielberg movies.

Her answer was that John always got what he needed, though. Which

doesn't sound like they over-overpaid him in the recent past.

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You starting a Steef fan club, stewdog?

For some reason I had saved that image years ago on an old hard drive and found it when going through it. Decided it would make a nice avatar.

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Woah...thats crazy! I always knew Williams made quite a bit of money for his films, but didn't think it would go so high. Especially considering how film composing isn't an industry that someone goes into to make money. I've always thought that most composers make very little actually so I'm very surprised to learn that JNH got $1.3 million. Thats seriously quite a bit...

This is the MOVIE industry, and these are the top guys!

If Spielberg makes 250 million from Jurassic Park, you can expect John Williams to make at least 10 million from that movie! Of course, when you include the royalties. Remember, this was the most successful movie of all time (at that time, that is)!

But yeah, the salary is probably 1-2 million per movie (for big budget movies, that is; for art films, considerably less).

Understandable, but that generally goes for big shots like Williams. The average composer generally makes very little money, or so I believe.

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Depends heavily on the movie. A movie can have a budget of 200 million or 200,000 (or even less)!

And that doesn't just go for composers, but for directors, editors, actors, etc. etc.

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Didn't Elfman get five milliion for Hulk ... I think JW is around there.

Uh, source?

That's very hard to believe. Unless you are talking about the royalties from the CD sales...

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  • 5 years later...

No, you buy a week's worth and hire a Mexican to do your laundry, and spend the rest on your air conditioning and electric bill so you can wear said turtlenecks in Southern California. 

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43 minutes ago, Richard said:

What on Earth does somebody do with $100 million?

 

Well, he has a wife, children, grand-children.  For who do you think Aznavour, 93 yo, earn money for?

 

Those patriarchs at their age, earn money for the security of their family.

 

I don't know the family life of John Williams, but I'm sure one or two of his children are in his entourage, enough to assure a "continuity" (legally at least) when he's gone.

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WTF does Daisey Ridley have to do with the estimated net worth of John Williams?

 

Do people really think she's getting paid scale to be in a franchise which will earn over $5 BILLION at the box office, never mind having her likeness included in merchandise that will go on long after she's likely gone? 

 

I think Miss Ridley is doing quite alright for herself.

 

I'd also highly doubt that estimate as well. Williams has how many film scores to his credit, let alone other compositions he's been compensated well for? Then all his performances and appearances. His royalties and so on. His home alone would be at least 10% of that estimate. 

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And Elfman winning a few coins for each time the opening theme of the Simpsons is played in the series for 27 years.

 

Quote

Those are the three notes that kept me in health insurance for 25 years," composer Danny Elfman says of the opening to The Simpsons theme music. 

http://www.classicfm.com/composers/elfman/news/the-simpsons-tim-burton/

 

 

25 minutes ago, FC4L said:

WTF does Daisey Ridley have to do with the estimated net worth of John Williams?

 

It was a joke. He referred to the affection that John Williams demonstrated by Daisy Ridley and her character in "The Force Awakens."

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That wasn't a joke. A joke is something funny that makes you laugh. That was a ridiculous statement made out of the anus in a lame and rather pathetic attempt at humor. 

 

Even worse, the joke falls flat on it's ugly face when it's Williams who "seems" to have a love affair with Ridley, and not the other way around.

 

Further, as I pointed out, there's no humor to be gained by making such a moronic post about any connection for financial gain between 2 wealthy individuals.

 

Most of this thread is just super creepy anyways.

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3 hours ago, FC4L said:

That wasn't a joke. A joke is something funny that makes you laugh. That was a ridiculous statement made out of the anus in a lame and rather pathetic attempt at humor. 

 

Even worse, the joke falls flat on it's ugly face when it's Williams who "seems" to have a love affair with Ridley, and not the other way around.

 

Further, as I pointed out, there's no humor to be gained by making such a moronic post about any connection for financial gain between 2 wealthy individuals.

 

Most of this thread is just super creepy anyways.

 

Humour. It is a difficult subject.....

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9 hours ago, Skywanker said:

Daisy Ridley is a gold digger! She wants Johnny only for the money!!! https://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-businessmen/producers/john-williams-net-worth/

 

I daresay Ridley will have made more in a few years time.

 

Doesn't Jennifer Lawrence make over 50 a year with movies and endorsements combined?

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4 hours ago, FC4L said:

That wasn't a joke. A joke is something funny that makes you laugh. That was a ridiculous statement made out of the anus in a lame and rather pathetic attempt at humor.

 

Just because you didn't laugh doesn't mean someone else can't, Mister Fecal. 

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