Jim Carrey Starred in $255M Cult Comedy For Free but Still Earned a Fortune

Jim Carrey Starred in $255M Cult Comedy For Free but Still Earned a Fortune
Image credit: Warner Bros.

The actor's salary at the time was an impressive $20 million, but he managed to make even more with this movie.


  • Yes Man, which grossed $225 million worldwide, is considered one of Jim Carrey 's best films, but he starred in it for free.
  • Instead of the usual salary, Carrey took a risk and agreed to a percentage of the film's profits, which, according to various sources, earned him between $35 million and $50 million.
  • At the time, Carrey was at the peak of his career, earning an average of $20 million per role, so Yes Man earned him at least $15 million more than usual.

Before he said yes to Marvel and went on to direct Ant-Man, Peyton Reed made an uplifting comedy with Jim Carrey in 2008. By that time, Carrey had reached all the heights of comedy, so he calmly did what he does best: make people laugh.

Yes Man is an example of a good motivational movie made with wit, vitality and ingenuity. In the movie, Jim Carrey plays an antisocial, pessimistic banker who answers all questions with the categorical word "no."

But circumstances force the main character to rethink life completely. Yes Man is not only a light and pleasant comedy, but also one of Carrey's most memorable roles in the late period of his work.

Jim Carrey Didn't Get Paid to Play Yes Man

Although Yes Man has been seen by every fan of the actor, few know that Carrey took a risk with this movie – he agreed to receive a share of the profits in exchange for no salary.

With this financial approach, the actors do not receive a salary, but then earn money through royalties from rentals, theatrical release and rights sales. It involves a certain amount of risk – you can star in a movie that does not find a place in theaters or in the hearts of viewers. Sometimes, on the contrary, the bet wins and the actor gets much more than he could have earned in the usual way.

But Still Made $35-50 Million

Jim Carrey Starred in $255M Cult Comedy For Free but Still Earned a Fortune - image 1

Jim Carrey refused a regular fixed salary for Yes Man, but it wasn’t for nothing: the comedy made $ 225 million worldwide, and the film's theatrical release earned him, according to different sources, between $35 and $50 million, which is at least $15 million more than his average salary at the time, which was $20 million.

Jim Carrey is often criticized for the lack of variety in his roles, but this is not true at all, as also evidenced by his impressive paycheck. The actor's comedic roles will make you laugh in completely different ways: Stanley from The Mask – with his shyness and absurdity, Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber – with his naivety, Ace Ventura – with his eccentric behavior, and Carl Allen from Yes Man – with his motivational transformation.

These characters are incredibly diverse and different from each other, and it was Jim Carrey who made them fond memories for many.