I thought star salaries were killing the movie industry, so how does a movie like Ocean's Thirteen get made? Clooney, Pitt, Pacino, Damon—who's not getting paid? (It's gotta be Scott Caan, right?)
—Another Scott, Lexington, Kentucky

The B!tch Replies:  I'd be willing to bet it was payment enough for young Scott to sit on the set and bask in the Clooney-Pitt nimbus of extraordinariness. Besides, the kid probably got to learn all about Darfur. And really, isn’t that better than a $10 million check? 

Your suspicions are correct, in that megabudget movies and obnoxious star salaries are, for the most part, out of favor in Hollywood—at least when it comes to any movie other than a summer blockbuster. In this case, in order to afford the bazillion-star cluster orgy of Ocean’s Thirteen, producers reportedly got Clooney and Co. to reduce their up-front salaries. You know, so that everyone could take turns with the rubber noses and the inside jokes.

First, some background: The first film—and by that I mean the first from Steven Soderbergh—cost a reported $85 million. Ocean’s Twelve cost a reported $110 million. This latest jape is said to be in the neighborhood of $195 million. 

Given that Clooney alone usually charges up to $20 mil per film, it’s clear that everyone—the big guy included—had to take a haircut just to walk onto the set. Instead, this B!tch is told, all the big actors are getting their take on the back end. No, that’s not code for anything. They’re all getting paid based on how well the movie grosses.

And there should be plenty of cash to go around. 

Total box-office draw for O’s Eleven and Twelve? A reported $795 million worldwide.

The opportunity for the rest of us to watch Clooney and Pitt play wink-wink, nudge-nudge with a bunch of other rich people over the course of two hours? Oh so priceless. (Speaking of which, click on over to our photo gallery for the Ocean's stars in action.)

So, fret not for the studio moguls. They have plenty of money coming to them.

“The studios are owned by conglomerates and must answer to shareholders, and they usually make smart deals,” Variety editor Tim Gray tells this B!tch. “Sony says Spider-Man 3 cost $258 million. The film's box office proves it was a good investment.”

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