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Scarlett Johansson must be patting herself on the back these days for accepting the role of Black Widow in The Avengers. Sure, superhero movies are very hot right now, so she had a pretty good idea that the movie would likely be successful, but there’s no way she could have predicted just how wildly successful it would actually be. The Marvel-Disney collaborative project has brought in more than $1.355 billion in worldwide sales so far, which knocked Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows out of its spot as the third-largest global box office draw in history.
With that kind of reception, a sequel is pretty much a given. However, we all know that sequels must include the same actors for each role in order to compete with the original. This demand from audiences allows actors and actresses to demand a much higher salary for subsequent films in a franchise. This is precisely how, at just 22 years old, Kristen Stewart topped the Forbes Highest Paid Actress list for the past year. After starring as Bella in Twilight, Stewart was able to demand $12.5 million per sequel.
Johansson, 27, may be saying “Kristen who?” though, as she has just been offered a record-setting $20 million to reprise her role for a sequel to The Avengers.
The previous highest payout for an actress in a single movie was to Angelina Jolie for the 2010 film The Tourist. Jolie earned $19 million for that role. The Tourist brought in $278 million worldwide.
The Avengers was released in theaters on May 4th and also stars Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, Stellan Skarsgård as Selvig, Samual L. Jackson as Nick Fury, and Gweneth Paltrow as Pepper Pots.
The superhero film is beaten only by Avatar ($2.782 billion) and Titanic ($2.185 billion) in worldwide profits made. Domestically, with $550 million, The Avengers beat out Christopher Nolan’s 2008 Batman move The Dark Knight, which made $533 million in the U.S.
Johansson has been spotted most recently relaxing on a yacht, catching some rays and looking hot in a white and gold bikini, and snuggling with a new man who has yet to be identified. She was named the “Sexiest Woman Alive” by Esquire magazine in 2006 and appears to still have “it,” as she has been seen with plenty of handsome men hanging around her since her divorce from Ryan Reynolds in 2010.