"Little Fockers" attracted some bad reviews -- but the comedy scored a huge payday for its cast, with about $70 million going for salaries, the New York Post reported Wednesday.
The film will need to pack more theaters to cover A-list star salaries that sources said amounted to $20 million each for Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro, $15 million for Owen Wilson and $7 million for Barbra Streisand.
Even Dustin Hoffman, who plays Greg Focker's father, Bernie, managed to negotiate a $7.5 million deal after Universal reshoots were needed at the last minute and he was begged to join. Jessica Alba is thought to have been paid about $3 million.
"The studio needed a hit, so the stars were able to hold them to ransom and command huge money. On top of this, De Niro takes extra cash because his company, Tribeca Productions, produced the movie," a source said.
Another source added, "Universal decided on a reshoot at the last minute, and Hoffman's character was needed for some new scenes. They couldn't originally agree on terms with Hoffman, so for the reshoot he could basically name his price -- which was $7.5 million for five days' work."
"Little Fockers" was the top-earning movie of the New Year's weekend, taking $25.8 million -- just ahead of "True Grit," which racked up $24.4 million.
Figures from boxofficemojo.com showed that the previous release in the series, "Meet the Fockers," six years ago generated $41.7 million over the New Year's weekend.
But a source close to the movie said that "it's taken in close to $105 million in the US and $72 million overseas. The projections are that it will be a $300 million movie, which is a huge success."
A Universal rep declined to comment on the stars' salaries.