If you've seen Liam Neeson smiling lately, don't be too surprised -- the man may have been paid $10 million for "Taken 2."
According to The Hollywood Reporter's source, the actor was able to vastly increase his rate after "Taken" surpassed box office expectations. Neeson was paid $1 million for the first film, which was not originally intended to be the start of a franchise.
But if there are two things Hollywood loves, it's sequels and money. So Fox took a stake in the sequel, which has dialed up an impressive $122 million at the worldwide box office (handily winning the weekend on the way) and is sure to pass the original's total cume of $226.8 million.
Sources say Neeson could command over $20 million if "Taken 3" comes together -- and producers are already hinting that they'd love to make that happen. (Though Neeson seems reluctant, recently saying he feels the story has run its course.)
That's a big check, but it's certainly not unheard of in the blockbuster-verse. Robert Downey Jr. reportedly took in $50 million for "Avengers," while his superhero castmates earned somewhere in the $2-3 million range.
Not that Neeson is likely to complain. After all, "Taken 2" is currently sitting at a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.