Scarlett to get $40,000 a week on Broadway

Brought in to add glamour to “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof”

Image Credit: AFP
Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson is guaranteed a minimum of $40,000 (Dh 146,880)a week to add a dose of glamour to the battered Broadway season in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” according to offering papers distributed to investors. The base weekly pay for Broadway actors is $1,754. The offering papers illustrate how celebrities are rewarded and still have an incentive to fill seats.

The Tennessee Williams revival begins previews on December 18.

The 28-year-old movie star, playing the seductive and neglected wife Maggie, can earn more should “Cat” sell. She won’t match Al Pacino’s $125,000 salary for “Glengarry Glen Ross” unless “Cat” becomes a “Glengarry”— scale hit, according to “Roof Theatricals L.P.” papers obtained by Bloomberg News.

Johansson won a Tony Award for her 2010 Broadway debut, a revival of Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge” directed by Gregory Mosher, in which she co-starred with Liev Schreiber. “People really want to see Scarlett Johansson,” said Annette Niemtzow, a producer on “Leap of Faith” and “Frost/Nixon” who isn’t involved with “Cat.”

“She’s proved her chops and they want to see how she’ll do in a starring role. Maggie the cat is one of the great sexual roles.”

General manager and producer Stuart Thompson — a publicity-shy expat Australian whom Johansson called “the classiest man in show business” during her Tony acceptance speech - is mounting the $3.6 million revival with a cast of 18 and five understudies. Weekly sales must average $750,211, excluding credit card commissions, to repay investors over the 15-week run, according to the partnership’s preliminary estimates. In addition to her $40,000 guarantee, Johansson collects 7.5 per cent of ticket sales above $530,000 (after deducting for commissions and averaged over four weeks). Once investors are paid 10 percent beyond their initial outlay, her take rises to 10 percent of grosses plus 5 percent of profit. “Cat” is scheduled to open on January 17.