Photo Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
In a few weeks, most 16-year-olds will be looking for summer jobs, in hopes of making cash for college funds and some movie tickets. But at 16, CBS star Angus T. Jones already has a job -- and it pays him $250,000. Per episode. Jones is the "half" in Two and a Half Men, and according to a new survey, he's also the highest-paid child star working in television today.
Jones, however, is hardly average -- in fact, most child stars make only a fraction of his salary. The second-highest-paid kid on the list is Miranda Cosgrove, also 16, who earns an estimated $180,000 per episode of iCarly. Everyone else on the list makes a low five figures, including Modern Family's Rico Rodriguez, 11 ($15,000 per episode), Sonny With A Chance's Demi Lovato, 17 ($12,000 per episode) and The Middle's Atticus Shaffer, 11 ($12,000 per episode). Surprisingly, the most famous name on the list -- Miley Cyrus, whose franchise is worth a billion dollars -- doesn't even make the top 5. (She received $15,000 per episode of Hannah Montana, but rakes in buckets more with her concert tours and other endeavors.)
We're so stunned by the idea of any tween making this much money, it's hard to put these numbers in perspective. In Hollywood terms, though, the kids are making small potatoes. Take Jones, with his $6 million annual salary: it pales next to co-star Charlie Sheen's rumored 1 million dollars per episode. And it's hard to know how much money the kids are actually getting, after agents, managers, and parents all take a cut. Not to mention that 15% of a child actor's salary is set aside in a trust fund, per the Coogan Bill (a law that's been in effect since 1939 to prevent minors from losing all of their show-business earnings to their parents). The paradox is that young stars make way more money than other kids, but way less money than other actors -- and amid all the complicated paychecks and commissions, it must be hard for show-business parents to teach their Hollywood kids the true value of a dollar. Suddenly, we understand why stars like 17-year-old Cyrus may be so eager to grow up fast; the sooner they graduate from kid-stardom, the sooner they move to a more lucrative pay scale.
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Do you think child stars make too much money, or too little? Chime in below!