#ThrowbackThursday: “The Fate of the Furious,” 2017

'The Fate of the Furious,' 2017 (Junkee)

‘The Fate of the Furious,’ 2017 (Junkee)

“Black Panther” smashed many records within its first week of opening. One of the records it broke was the biggest opening for an African-American director. Ryan Coogler now holds that crown.

The previous record holder was F. Gary Gray, who directed “The Fate of the Furious.” The movie made $98M last year. Gray has also directed the films “Set It Off” (1996), “A Man Apart” (2003) and “Straight Outta Compton” (2015) and music videos for TLC (“Waterfalls” in 1995) and OutKast (“Ms. Jackson” in 2000).


By The Numbers: Women Making Bank

Elizabeth Taylor in 'Cleopatra,' 1963 (Eclipse Magazine)

Elizabeth Taylor in ‘Cleopatra,’ 1963 (Eclipse Magazine)

Earlier this week, Ellen Pompeo became the highest-paid TV actress currently on TV, making $20M a year. How’d she do it? She asked for it. Also, she knew her worth.

Who else has made bank while breaking the glass ceiling? Let’s take a look!

First Female Millionaire:

Madam C.J. Walker built a beauty empire and had a net worth of $600K at the time of her death. Adjusted for inflation, that’s that’s $8,757,479.29 in November 2017 money.

First Female Billionaire:

Lifestyle entrepreneur Martha Stewart became a billionaire in 2000, the year after her company Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia went public.

First Black Female Billionaire:

Be honest: you thought this would be Oprah, didn’t you? So did I…until I actually googled it. No, this honor goes to Sheila Johnson. Johnson co-founded BET with her ex-husband Bob Johnson and went on to work in hospitality and real estate, and own minority stakes in three sports teams. Johnson first made the “Forbes” Billionaire List in 2000.

First Film Actress to be Paid $1M for a Role:

This would be the incomparable Elizabeth Taylor, who played the titular role in “Cleopatra” in 1963.

Highest-Paid Actress of 2017:

Emma Stone made the “Forbes” 2017 list of highest paid actors and actresses at $26M. However, she’s the highest-ranking actress at #15.



Ellen Pompeo is the Highest-Paid TV Actress at $20M a Year

Ellen Pompeo in 'Grey's Anatomy' (Today)

Ellen Pompeo in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ (Today)

Actress Ellen Pompeo has played the titular role in “Grey’s Anatomy” since 2004. And she’s finally making bank for it.

Pompeo is earning $575K per episode (!!), to the tune of $20M per year (!!!). She could also bring in another $6-7M with backend deals. Pompeo is now the highest-paid actress on TV.

Congrats to Ellen! May we all have the courage to go after what we’re worth!

Trends: Calling Out Pay Disparity

Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb of 'Today' (ET Online)

Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb of ‘Today’ (ET Online)

Earlier this week, word got out that Michelle Williams got paid a per diem for quickly reshooting scenes for “All the Money in the World” ahead of its release. That per diem amounted to $80 per diem, totaling less than $1,000. Her costar Mark Wahlberg, on the other hand, was paid a whopping $1.5M for the reshoots.

As USA Today notes, “that works out to Williams being paid less than one-tenth of 1% of her male co-star.” Isn’t that crazy?! In light of this revelation, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is investigating the matter to see if any rules were violated during the making of the film.

This isn’t the first time men and women have faced a pay disparity. Far from it. But now, calling out pay disparity has become a public way to shame companies for making their employees feel undervalued.

This has been happening several times in news. After “Today” host Matt Lauer was fired, it was reported that Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie would take over as co-hosts. Kotb and Guthrie would each be paid $7M, with their combined salaries making $14M. Later was making $25M, making the difference between his salary and those of his two co-hosts $11M.

Last month, E! Entertainment host Catt Sadler left her job of 12 years, because she was paid half as much as her male co-host Jason Kennedy. Her departure did not go unnoticed: Actresses Debra Messing, Laura Dern, and Eva Longoria confronted this year’s Golden Globes red carpet pre-show hosts Guiliana Rancic and Ryan Seacrest over the issue.

Awareness of pay disparity has also spread around the world. Former BBC News editor Carrie Gracie quit her position earlier this month once she learned that she had been severely underpaid throughout her career.

The pay disparity problem has also crossed racial lines. “Hawaii Five-O” stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park each left the series last year due to pay disparity between themselves and their white costars. Though the two had been with the show since 2010, their respective raises were still 10-15% lower than those of their white costars.

It’s excellent that pay disparities are finally coming to light! Let’s hope they spur some lasting changes toward equality.

Iceland Becomes the First Country to Legalize Equal Pay

Equal pay demonstration in Iceland (Metrovaartha)

Equal pay demonstration in Iceland (Metrovaartha)

Though I’ve never been to Iceland, I’ve heard good things. But now I think I might want to move there. Iceland has now become the first country to legalize equal pay. The measure started taking effect on Jan. 1, 2018, and was passed by a legislative body comprised of nearly 50% women (!).

That’s right: Iceland is now the first country where it’s illegal to pay men and women differently for the same work. Companies employing 25 people and more will need to prove that they are paying men and women equal, or face fines.

Iceland has really put its money where its mouth is on the issue of equal pay. According to the Global Gender Gap Reports (read the 2017 report) that have been published yearly since 2006, Iceland had made the fastest progress and closed around 10% of its total gender wage gap.

According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2017, Iceland ranks #1 in terms of smallest gender pay gap by country. In this same list, the United States rank #49, sitting beneath Peru and just above Zimbabwe. Nicaragua, Cuba and Bangladesh all outrank the U.S.

So, ladies: who’s down to move to Iceland?

“Lady Bird” Is the Best-Reviewed Film Ever on Rotten Tomatoes

Saoirse Ronan in "Lady Bird" (Fandango)

Saoirse Ronan in “Lady Bird” (Fandango)

There’s a new queen in town.

“Lady Bird,” a film directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Saoirse Ronan in the titular role, is now the best-reviewed movie on Rotten Tomatoes. In case you’ve never been on the Internet, Rotten Tomatoes aggregates critics’ reviews and certifies movies as “rotten” or “fresh.” And “Lady Bird” is definitely the latter.

As of Dec. 4, 2017, the movie had garnered 187 consecutive “fresh” reviews. The film became the best-reviewed film on Nov. 28, 2017, when it hit 170 “fresh” reviews.

“Lady Bird” displaces “Toy Story 2” (1999) as the site’s best-reviewed movie. “Toy Story 2” received 163 consecutive positive reviews. Though other movies have more positive reviews (in terms of quantity), “Lady Bird” simply has the most positive reviews of any movie with a perfect, 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes.”

The film is currently in theaters in limited release, and there is the possibility that moving to a wider distribution would marr its perfect review record.

At this time, “Lady Bird” has made $16M+ in 11K+ theaters, making $14K+ per theater. The film has also been out just longer than one month, so it’s made roughly $561K+ per day thus far.

Beyonce Is the Highest Paid Woman in Music for 2017

Beyonce performs at the Grammy Awards, 2017 (Billboard)

Beyonce performs at the Grammy Awards, 2017 (Billboard)

No surprise here: Superstar/icon/QUEEN Beyonce was ranked the highest-paid woman in music for 2017 by “Forbes” for their annual Highest Paid Women in Music list. Beyonce earned $105M (!!!) in pre-tax income.

Here’s how “Forbes” arrived at this number:

We looked at pretax income from June 1, 2016 through June 1, 2017, and did not take out fees charged by agents, managers and lawyers. We gathered data from Nielsen SoundScan, Pollstar, the RIAA and interviews with industry insiders.

Beyonce has had one hell of a streak. She released her popular and critically acclaimed album “Lemonade” in April 2016. “Lemonade” handily become her sixth #1 album. Beyonce’s Formation world tour (which occurred during the timeframe) netted her “a quarter of a billion dollars.”

In personal news, she also took some time off to give birth to her twins Rumi and Sir. It’s safe to say that she would’ve earned even more without the break.

Beyonce’s earnings put her far ahead of the pack: The second-highest-paid woman in music was Adele, who earned $69M during the measured timeframe.