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Half a million for a day of shooting: fabulous fees from Russian movie stars from Boyarsky to Khabensky

Date: March 24, 2023 Time: 22:51:20

In the Seventeen Moments of Spring set, Bronevoi won almost half as much as Tikhonov; it is not surprising that Muller wanted to “fix” Stirlitz so much. Photo: Still from the film.

It’s no secret that now the stars of movies and TV shows get a lot of money. At the same time, they are often criticized: they say that they earn a lot, but they do not play as well as artists in Soviet times. So maybe in the USSR artists were paid more? Or vice versa? Let’s find out.

Additional payment for “featured images”

Before perestroika, actors in the USSR were evaluated in three rating categories: the highest, the first, the second. The category was assigned by the state tariff commission of the cultural institution to which the artist was affiliated. For example, Vyacheslav Tikhonov was on the staff of the Gorky Film Studio, and Alexander Abdulov was at the Lenin Komsomol Theater. Each category had its own tariff rates.

The highest category was conditionally divided into two groups, which were determined by the level of importance of acting work: not only the main roles were taken into account here, but also specific images (they paid more for the so-called outstanding ones). Salaries in the first group were as follows: 450 rubles during filming, 300 rubles for downtime; in the second – respectively 350 rubles and 230 rubles.

Artists of the first category were divided into two groups according to the same principle, the salaries looked like this: the first group – 250 rubles (for shooting) and 160 rubles (simple), the second – 200 and 145 rubles, respectively. Well, in the second category, everything was simpler: when filming, everyone received 180 rubles, without filming – 120 rubles. There were surcharges – awards for the film itself (the pictures also received categories), assignments – titles, awards, experience, professionalism. For example, when the viewer highly appreciated the comedy “Three Plus Two”, released in 1963, the picture was assigned the first category instead of the second basic category, and the leading actors were added 300 rubles to the fees paid. .

Starred in a hit movie – bought a car

Someone will say: well, what kind of money is this? 300 rubles, 400 … However, it is worth considering how much these rubles cost in those years. To make it easier to understand this, use such an important indicator as the average salary. In the USSR in 1963 it was equal to 80 rubles per month.

For one picture, the actor of a minor role could receive a maximum of 1800 rubles; the main role – a maximum of 5500 rubles. It was serious money, allowing you to show off and buy, say, a car. For example, the car “Moskvich-412”, which the hero of “Diamond Hand” acquired “on the advice of friends”, cost 4265 rubles in 1968 (with an average salary of 110). These amounts were made up of many elements: in addition to the above allowances and bonuses, the number of shooting days was taken into account. A similar payment system existed until the mid-1980s: after the start of perestroika, all performance fees became negotiable.


In addition to prestigious awards, the grandson of Oleg Yankovsky Ivan boasts a good performance rate. Photo: Pavel KASHAEV/Global Look Press

Shooting day – half a million

In 2023, the fees are set by the actors themselves, but they can vary, depending on the loyalty of the artist to the director or producer, the importance of the project, the location of filming, etc. The average number of shooting days for the main characters in a feature film is 20. The work in the series depends on the number of episodes: on one shooting day, they shoot an episode from 2 to 5 minutes long.

As for the rates, here, as you might guess, the stars of the first magnitude are in the lead. Konstantin Khabensky, Oleg Menshikov, Dmitry Nagiev, Sergey Bezrukov, Sasha Petrov, Evgeny Mironov, Pavel Priluchny receive an average of 400-500 thousand rubles per day of shooting.

Elena Yakovleva, Sergey Burunov, Yuri Stoyanov, Olga Medynich, Yulia Peresild, Ekaterina Klimova, Alexander Ustyugov, Maria Poroshina, Maxim Lagashkin, Maxim Matveev, Daria Moroz, Svetlana Ivanova, Fedor Dobronravov, Mikhail Boyarsky, Dmitry Kharatyan, Alexander Domogarov, Ivan Yankovsky earn a little less – 200 – 300 thousand rubles.

So, it’s easy to calculate how much popular artists earn for a movie or series. It seems that modern stars are a little luckier, moreover, unlike their Soviet colleagues, they can not only buy Moskvich or Zhiguli with their fee, even under sanctions, there are much more ways to spend money wonderfully with today’s idols.


A thousand demons and a thousand rubles.

These were the amounts that artists received for some cult paintings.

“Prisoner of the Caucasus” (1966)

Alexander Demyanenko – 5220 rubles

Yuri Nikulin – 4238 rubles

George Vitsin – 3389 rubles

Evgeny Morgunov – 1979 rubles

Natalia Varley – 1219 rubles

Frunzik Mkrtchyan – 939 rubles

The average salary in the USSR at that time was 97 rubles.

“Diamond Arm” (1968)

Yuri Nikulin – 5188 rubles

Anatoly Papanov – 2288 rubles

Andrey Mironov – 1920 rubles

Nonna Mordyukova – 1531 rubles

Svetlana Svetlichnaya – 346 rubles

The average salary in the USSR is 110 rubles.

“Seventeen Moments of Spring” (1973)

Vyacheslav Tikhonov – 5500 rubles

Evgeny Evstigneev – 3025 rubles

Leonid armor – 3000 rubles

The average salary in the USSR is 136 rubles.

“D’Artagnan and the Three Musketeers” (1978)

Mikhail Boyarsky – 3225 rubles

Veniamin Smekhov – 2138 rubles

Valentine Smirnitsky – 2105 rubles

Igor Starygin – 2100 rubles

Irina Alferova – 825 rubles

Oleg Tabakov – 800 rubles

Alisa Freindlich – 780 rubles

The average salary in the USSR is 164 rubles.

“The same Munchausen” (1979)

Oleg Yankovsky – 3800 rubles

Igor Kvasha – 2788 rubles

Inna Churikova – 2525 rubles

Alexander Abdulov – 1874 rubles

Leonid armor – 1350 rubles

Vladimir Dolinsky – 702 rubles

Semyon Farada – 140 rubles

The average salary in the USSR is 168 rubles.

“Intergirl” (1989, filmed after the abolition of Soviet tariffs)

Elena Yakovleva – 30,000 rubles

Lyubov Polishchuk, Ingeborga Dapkunaite – 5000 rubles

The average salary in the USSR is 260 rubles.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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