September 23, 2009

I Like Will Ferrell, But...

I have to take issue with his latest video, which sarcastically attacks health insurance company executives, in part by highlighting how much money they make.


Will Ferrel's salary for Talledaga Nights was $20 million dollars. The film's U.S. gross was just over $148 million. That means Will got about 13.5% of the money the film made. His salary for Bewitched was also $20 million. That film wasn't quite as successful, and only grossed about $63 million. In that case, will got about 32% of the film's money. I wonder how that compares with your average insurance executive?

Let's take a look at everyone's favorite villain: AIG. According to their 2006 Annual Report, AIG got about $14 billion (that's net, not gross, by the way). Now, I could look up the CEO's salary, I suppose, but as you'll see in a moment, there's no real need to, to make my point.

Now, if one of those big, bad insurance executives was to make those same percentages that Will Ferrell makes?

13.5% of $14 billion=$1.89 billion
32% of $14 billion=$4.48 billion

I couldn't find one single CEO who makes that much. And because I do like Will, and I didn't want to be unnecessarily cruel, I didn't even bring up the percentage he make from Kicking and Screaming (about 38%). I suppose you could crunch those numbers yourself, if you were so inclined.

Look, I don't have much sympathy for these high-paid executives, but...celebrities? Celebrities who are making $20 million a movie? They should shut the fuck up.

P.S. I looked it up. AIG's CEO made about $14 million (or about a tenth of one percent of the company's net) in 2007.


  1. Anonymous4:47 PM

    Right on man!

  2. What percentage of the company's net did the CEO make in 2008?

  3. Edward Liddy took a $1 salary for 2008 and 2009. He may have had other bonuses, though.

  4. After a little searching, it looks like Liddy gave up any bonuses. After he retired, Robert Benmosche took over (Aug 10, 2009) and is apparently getting a $3 million salary, $4 million in stock options, with the chance at a performance bonus.

  5. The really interesting question is how long before a parody of the parody appears on YouTube? "The real victims here are the celebrities." That sort of thing.