Actor Keanu Reeves opened his pay to the crew on the Matrix movie.

January 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Super Earners


Like many A-list Hollywood super earner actors, Keanu Reeves has the leverage to negotiate a contact that gives him a percentage of profits from films he stars in, as he did in The Matrix.

In the movie, Keanu plays Neo , a happy earner, who discovers that his happy life is an illusion simulated by machines – who have supplanted humans to become the dominant lifeform. He’s given the choice to remain in the illusion, or to perceive the world as it truly is.

Unlike many A-list actors, whose contracts are closed to outsiders, Keanu decided to change his contract so he could open his pay to the crew that would produce the sequels The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. He chose to set aside a percentage of his upside to benefit the crew who lacked the power to negotiate for a slice of profits. As he put it:

“What I did was I put part of what was given in my contract to create a pool so that other people who don’t usually do profit participation could see some money.”

matrix-reloadedSo, what was the result? When Keanu opened his pay to the crew, – he shifted the focus from me to we – this helped propel The Matrix Reloaded to the second highest grossing R rated film of all time.

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