Talk about a long-term profit.
I've said it once and I'll say it again, I've never been a fan of the series Friends and quite honestly never will be. But it's pretty crazy to think that each star, Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer, are still pulling in an estimated $20 million a year from the show that ended in 2004, Market Place reports.
When the show first aired in 1994 each actor was reportedly earning $22,500 per episode in the first season but things grew quite a bit where each star began earning $1 million per episode. Friends received 62 Primetime Emmy nominations (and won six) and received 10 Golden Globe Award nominations with one win.
The $20 million a year comes from the 2% of syndication income each actor receives from the $1 billion annual income Warner Bros is still reeling in from the show. Also, the show airing on Netflix has done quite a lot for the cast especially since the streaming service continued the series into 2019 after initial plans to cancel.
"Pulling content is a lot harder than it sounds," BTIG media analyst Rich Greenfield told CNN when discussing the uproar fans had when Friends was going to leave Netflix, forcing them to reconsider. "Having lots of content is critical, but I don't think any one show is critical," he added. "I'd almost reverse the question and ask, 'Does Warner Bros. want to take a show like 'Friends' that's now reaching tens of millions of people and generating substantial profits and make very little and show it to very few?'"