The Friends Reunion: How Much The Cast Will Be Paid

Fans have been waiting for a ‘Friends’ reunion ever since the last season got aired. Finally, after decades we have a big return special coming up. The cast is earning millions out of this Reunion.

The ‘Friends’ reunion will not be another episode or set of episodes but an interview with the characters where they look back on the old days of ‘Friends.’ What is more surprising is the amount of money they are getting paid to be part of this Reunion. Here is an account of the fancy bucks the ‘Friends’ cast has received while the show was being aired, from royalties to the ‘Friends’ Reunion.

Income from the Ten Seasons Of Friends

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To understand the high budget for the reunion special, it may be useful to know how much the lead cast was earning while the show was still being aired. ‘Friends,’ after getting released in 1994, became a success, and soon all the six leading characters started gaining a wide fanbase.

The six friends Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Joey, and Chandler were played by Courtney Cox, Jennifer Anniston, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, and Matthew Perry, respectively. In the beginning, the cast used to earn about $22,500 per episode, as stated by Cinema Blend. Some of the cast members ended up getting paid more than the others, about $40,000 per episode.

This created an issue amongst the cast members, but they decided to brave the situation collectively. By the later seasons, they were able to demand and receive equal pay. The salaries eventually increased with every blockbuster season. It went from $75,000 per episode in season 3 to $85,000 per episode in the fourth season. In seasons 7 and 8, the pay was an impressive $750,000 per episode. In seasons 9 and 10, the main cast broke all records with a jaw-dropping $1 million per episode. Soon, Lisa, Courtney, and Jennifer became the highest-paid actresses in America.

Income From Royalties

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When Friends was finally called off after ten amazing seasons, the actors playing leading roles were millionaires already. Each of them made about $22 million from season 10 alone. However, this was not the end, and their wealth grew due to royalties and syndication.

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Even after more than a decade, the ‘Friends’ cast makes millions every year just from royalties. It is speculated that their pay is higher than what actors make on currently running shows. According to ScreenRant, the actors earn only about 2 percent of the syndication earnings of the production house. Given that Warner Bros makes about $1 billion from reruns and merchandising, it does not surprise that the cast members earn about $20 million every year from royalties.

Income from the Friends Reunion

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According to Business Insider, cast members will be earning about $2.5 million to $4 million from the Friends Reunion show. The creators have informed that it is not a new episode but a retrospective interview with the favorite actors from the sitcom who have now aged gracefully but are still young at heart like they were on the show.

As stated by Glamour, HBO sent out a teaser on this Reunion on May 13th, calling it ‘The One Where They Get Back Together’ where the six friends are shown to walk hand in hand with the title soundtrack playing in the background. It is supposed to be released on May 27th, making the internet go head over heels.

For a fancy $2.5 million each, the six actors will appear on the show as actors, not characters, walk down memory lane and talk about their experience while shooting for this show. ‘Friends’ has always had a sentimental value for them no matter where else they have performed. They, however, were reported to refuse to appear on this Reunion if they were not paid the fancy bucks.

Some special characters have also been reported to be appearing in this Reunion. The list of guest stars is long, including David Beckham, Justin Bieber, BTS, Cindy Crawford, Lady Gaga, Kit Harington, Larry Hankin, Mindy Kaling, Thomas Lennon, Christina Pickles, James Michael Tyler, and Malala Yousafzai. These guest stars are also reported to be paid fancy bucks for making appearances. Justin Bieber’s supposed earnings will be around thousands of dollars as he will appear dressed in David Schwimmer or Ross’ ‘Spudnik’ costume from the season 8 finale.

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Source: Glamour, Business Insider, Cinema Blend, ScreenRant

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