Millions! That’s the short answer to the question of how much money you can make writing a movie. For example, the writers of the Denzel Washington movie “Déjà Vu” sold their script for $5 million in 2004. According to a 2013 article in Vanity Fair, that was the record for a “spec” script -- one that was written before it was sold. In the 1990s, many spec scripts were sold for mid- to high-six figures. Though writers can still strike gold in Hollywood, you're actually doing well if you sell your script at all.
Writers Guild Contracts
The Writers Guild of America works out complicated contracts for every conceivable type of script, in every stage of completion, for all media. This includes “options,” or what someone pays you for the exclusive right to sell your script to a buyer; and “residuals,” or what you make when your movie runs on TV and all other mediums. The contract also guarantees the writer a minimum amount for your work.
Writers Guild Payments
As of publication, the WGA minimum for a screenplay, treatment and two rewrites was $67,804. The minimum for an option for 18 months is 10 percent of that figure. Residuals for feature films are based on the amount of money it makes. The writer makes 1.2 percent of the distributor’s gross receipts, and then a little higher percentage for DVD sales and Internet distribution.
- Photo Credit firebrandphotography/iStock/Getty Images
The Average Salary of a Screenwriter's First Script
The Average Salary of a Screenwriter's First Script. ... Often options are good for a single year. ... though, a story emerges...
How Much Money Does a First Time Novel Writer Make?
Novelist pay has a wide variety of factors affecting the outcome. A first-time novelist, if lucky enough to secure a contract, should...
How Much Money Does an Average Movie Make?
The money made by an average movie will depend on the budget of the movie, but can range from nothing at all...
What Are Typical Roth IRA Maintenance Fees?
A Roth IRA account is a popular tax-advantaged retirement savings account. Contributions made into the Roth IRA are not tax deductible. However,...