Jamie Lee Curtis Was Paid Pennies to Star in ‘Halloween’

To be fair, director John Carpenter only had a production budget of about $325,000 for the famously low-budget flick.

Jamie Lee Curtis/Twitter

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In recent months, we’ve told you about the gobsmacking amounts of money actors including Tom Hanks, Jack Nicholson, Harrison Ford, Millie Bobby Brown, andAngelina Jolie made from their various film projects over the years. But what Jamie Lee Curtis made for her starring role in the original slasher movie (excluding Psycho) might make you gasp with horror.

Jamie Lee Curtis Made How Little for Halloween?

Believe it or not, Jamie Lee Curtis — considered by most to be the “original screen queen” — made a measly $8,000 to star in the first Halloween movie in 1978, according to Parade.

To be fair, director John Carpenter only had a production budget of about $325,000 for the famously low-budget flick, according to The-Numbers.com.

Fortunately for all parties involved, taking a gulp and plowing ahead with Halloween proved to be a gamble worth taking. The terrifying movie featuring silent killer Michael Myers made more than $70 million at the box office — an astronomical amount for a film in the late ‘70s. Taking into account the years since, Halloween’s gross is more than $159 million.

The Impact of Halloween

Moreover, it was all that Curtis (and Carpenter) needed to embark on their ultimately lucrative careers. They teamed again in 1980’s The Fog, which only did so-so financially but gained a niche audience. But after that, Curtis went on to star in A Fish Called Wanda, True Lies — and, of course, many more Halloween movies.

For his part, Carpenter helmed Christine, Escape from New York (for which Curtis lent her voice), and Starman. The now-revered filmmaker’s popularity is perhaps higher than ever in 2022, even though he hasn’t directed a movie in a dozen years, thanks to the growing cult status of his classics including The Thing, They Live, Big Trouble in Little China, and many more.

Carpenter did participate in the last two Halloween movies, albeit in an auxiliary role. He executive produced and served as music composer for 2021’s Halloween Kills and the recently released Halloween Ends.

Halloween Comes to an End. Finally. We Hope.

As for Halloween Ends, its lifetime gross is already third-highest among the 13 films in the horror franchise. By early November 2022, the movie had already made about $63.5 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

Parade estimated that Curtis made $5 million for each of the last three Halloween movies, which would mean she scooped up more than $23 million for her work in the entire franchise. Given that she starred in seven of the movies, that ain’t much to write home about.

Nonetheless, Curtis continues to publicly swear off any further involvement in Halloween flicks — should there be any more.

Most notably, on her Jimmy Kimmel Live! appearance promoting Halloween Ends, she promised the host in writing (supposedly) that she had retired Laurie Strode.

READ MORE: “Jamie Lee Curtis Tears Up Over Kanye West’s Comments on Jews

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