When the producers of the film Dumb and Dumber were putting together the film’s cast in early 1994, they looked at rising star Jim Carrey as a likely prospect. They offered him the princely sum of $350,000 for the role. Carrey wanted $400,000. When neither side would budge on the price, Carrey turned down the role.
Shortly after negotiations broke down, Carrey lit up the screens in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. The film grossed over $70 million, causing the Dumb and Dumber producers to rethink their earlier position. They went back to Carrey and agreed to his asking price of $400,000. Carrey was appreciative, but he told them $400,000 was his old offer. Since he was now the star of a film that was #1 at the box office, he announced that his new asking price was $500,000.
While the producers were still considering the half-million-dollar request, Ace Ventura continued to rake in the cash in the theaters, exceeding everyone’s expectations. Carrey let the producers know that the new price was $750,000, and they’d better act fast or it would go up again.
By now, Carrey had been cast in the leading role in The Mask. It came out in July of that year, and it grossed $351 million.
Eager to hitch Dumb and Dumber’s wagon to Jim Carrey’s star, the producers signed him to play Lloyd Christmas in their film. The movie grossed $247 million, easily recouping its $17 million budget. $7 million of that budget was used to sign Jim Carrey.
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