Matt Damon Turned Down Over $280 Million To Star In Avatar. Here’s Why

Matt Damon revealed his expensive decision at the Cannes Film Festival (per Deadline), though, to be fair, he presumably didn’t know just how much money he was letting slip through his fingers at the time. 

“I was offered a little movie called ‘Avatar’,” Damon said. “James Cameron offered me 10 percent of it. I will go down in history … you will never meet an actor who turned down more money.” 

Seeing as Box Office Mojo shows that “Avatar’s” worldwide box office gross currently stands very close to $2.8 million, the observation is astute — especially considering that Damon’s $280 million haul from the film would have easily overshadowed his current estimated net worth of $170 million (via Celebrity Net Worth).

Damon turned down “Avatar” largely because he didn’t want to leave the “Jason Bourne” movie series hanging, but despite the astounding amount of money the decision caused him to miss out on, he doesn’t seem to be overly worried about it, and treated it as a funny story rather than a true grievance. After all, with or without “Avatar,” the actor is a millionaire many, many times over. As Damon says John Krasinski told him after finding out about the missed opportunity: “Nothing would be different in your life if you had done ‘Avatar’, except you and me would be having this conversation in space.”

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