Nicolas Cage was swindled out of Leaving Las Vegas salary

Nicolas Cage may have won an Academy Award for Leaving Las Vegas, but that doesn’t mean he was paid. Director Mike Figgis has come clean that neither him nor Cage were given their $100,000 salary for the 1995 movie.

On a recent episode of The Hollywood Reporter’s “It Happened in Hollywood” podcast, Figgis–who was also nominated for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay that year for Leaving Las Vegas–explained that the studio, Lumiere Pictures, told both him and Cage that since the movie didn’t turn a profit, they did not earn their salary. However, it made just under $50 million on an estimated $4 million budget. Now we here at JoBlo are no mathematicians, but…

However, Mike Figgis doesn’t seem all that miffed about the shortchange. “I mean, my career then took off again, and the next film I did, I got really well paid. And within a year [Nicolas Cage] was earning $20 million a film, so that was quite good.”

Something tells us Nicolas Cage may not exactly miss that Leaving Las Vegas money. Soon after winning the Oscar, Cage’s career blew up all over again, starring in blockbusters like The Rock, Con Air and Face/Off and being able to afford such luxuries as dozens of cars, Action Comics #1 (which he later sold for over $2 million) and a dinosaur skull (OK, he had to return that because it was stolen but it still cost him a quarter million dollars).

Lumiere Pictures later had its library purchased by StudioCanal.

Nicolas Cage earned his first and so far only Academy Award for Leaving Las Vegas, which also earned a nomination for Elisabeth Shue. In the film, Cage plays an alcoholic writer who heads to Sin City to drink himself to death. Spoiler alert, but he’s quite successful at it!

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.