It’s not clear if Ellen Ripley received any hazard pay for fighting off the hissing, acid-blood filled alien Xenomorph in Alien, but we might have an idea of what her base yearly salary was on the space ship Nostromo. A speculative stab has been taken at Ripley’s paycheck from Weyland-Yutani, and it’s not too bad — if you don’t factor in that part where her coworker was secretly a robot who tried to kill her.
On Tuesday, Inverse spoke with Tom Jeffries of the website BizDaq, where a new infographic had been created showcasing the salaries of several fictional characters, including Ellen Ripley from Alien. According to BizDaq, Ripley would pull in a yearly salary that would translate to $79,223 American dollars in the 21st century.
“Based on her ability, and the danger of alien attacks that she faces, we put her salary at the top level for her rank,” Jeffries said. He explained that this number was approximated using “relative pay scales,” available widely on the internet from websites like Salary.com and elsewhere.
Because Alien is set in the 22nd century — 2124 to be exact — it looks like BizDaq is reverse-engineering for inflation, or perhaps more accurately, projecting current salary models onto the futuristic corporation of Weyland-Yutani. But, because Weyland-Yutani seems to operate as an almost de facto government organization in the reality of the movie, its conceivable pay scales of this future are somewhat different than ours. Meaning, it’s possible this particular number is somewhat hopeful, and perhaps even a bit higher than it would be.
The prequel film to Alien, Prometheus, is set roughly in 2094, but crew members in early scenes talk idly about “making money,” and place bets in denominations of “credits.” These seem to correspond more or less to dollar amounts we’d think of today. Still, since the Weyland Corporation of 2094 eventually becomes the Weyland-Yutani Corporation seen in Alien: Covenant and in the original film, the payroll changes in that future aren’t entirely clear. Using contemporary military salaries is a good place to start in figuring out Ripley’s future compensation, but it’s probably not the end of the outer-space financial journey.
The big question now is just how much money it cost to make her clone in Alien: Resurrection.
Alien: Covenant is out in wide release in theaters on May 19, where it looks like most of the crew aren’t salaried, but instead volunteer colonists.