Home Horror Entertainment News The Deal that lured ‘Halloween’ star Jamie Lee Curtis back to Haddonfield

The Deal that lured ‘Halloween’ star Jamie Lee Curtis back to Haddonfield

by David Grove

Jamie Lee Curtis is being paid very little, by Hollywood standards, for her work on the upcoming Halloween film.  However, Curtis stands to earn millions if the film is a box office success.

Curtis is being paid a modest salary for her work on the upcoming Halloween film, in exchange for a slice of the profits.  This is the same profit-participation agreement that Blumhouse Productions, the company behind the new Halloween film, previously entered into with Ethan Hawke, star of the Blumhouse-produced films The Purge and Sinister.  So far, Hawke has earned approximately $10 million from The Purge and Sinister, which grossed $48 million and $64 million, respectively, at the domestic box office.  Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, stars of the non-Blumhouse-produced Conjuring films, also reaped millions of dollars from this type of agreement.

If the upcoming Halloween film’s box office performance is similar to that of The Purge and Sinister at the domestic box office, Curtis would earn approximately $5 million.  However, if the film outperforms this model, the number could move closer to $10 million.  “Whether or not you believe that Ethan Hawke is a star, a box office draw, he brought credibility to The Purge and Sinister, and they were successful,” says a source close to the Halloween production.  “Although horror films aren’t star-driven films, it helps to have a credible, recognizable face in the film, and when people think of Halloween, and the history of the series, they think of Jamie.  She’s the main draw for the new film, and she’s worth a lot of money to the series, so this kind of deal makes sense for everyone involved.  It keeps the budgets under $10 million, and it rewards success, and it motivates stars like Jamie to promote the films heavily because they’re so invested in the project at all levels.  In the horror genre, Jamie is a superstar and always will be.”

Curtis’s film career, like so many other actresses in her age bracket, has slowed down considerably over the past decade.  Her last major hit was 2003’s Freaky Friday, which grossed over $100 million at the domestic box office.  During the height of her film career, between the late 1980s and mid-1990s, Curtis’s established asking price was between $2 million and $3 million, so a project like the new Halloween film offers her the largest pay day in her career.

Curtis, who turns 60 on November 22, 2018, approximately one month after the upcoming Halloween film’s scheduled theatrical release, earned a paltry $8,000 in 1978 for the original Halloween film.  She was paid $100,000 for 1981’s Halloween II, which was the highest salary Curtis earned during her scream queen period, between 1978 and 1981.  As star and un-credited executive producer of 1998’s Halloween: H20, Curtis earned approximately $5 million.  Curtis was paid $3 million for her extended cameo in 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection.

For more information about Curtis and her scream queen career, check out the book Jamie Lee Curtis: Scream Queen, which is available in paperback and through kindle.