How George Clooney became world’s highest paid actor without delivering a hit in years

ByJyoti Sharma Bawa, New Delhi
Aug 23, 2018 02:00 PM IST

George Clooney has bumped Dwayne Johnson from the first spot in Forbes’ highest paid actors’ list in the world.

George Clooney has made more money than any other actor in 2017-2018, according to Forbes magazine’s world’s highest paid actors list, and that is without delivering a hit in years. So, how did Clooney make more money than any actor ever has in a single year?

George Clooney has topped the Forbes’ highest paid actors list 2018 without doing a single film last year.
George Clooney has topped the Forbes’ highest paid actors list 2018 without doing a single film last year.

Forbes chalked it up to the $1 billion purchase of Clooney’s company, Casamigos Tequila by Diageo, which earned Clooney a paycheck of $239 million. The 57-year-old actor earned additional income from endorsements and older movies.

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Clooney had co-founded the company with Cindy Crawford’s husband, Rande Gerber, and Mike Meldman in order to get access to high-quality liquor. “If you asked us four years ago if we had a billion-dollar company, I don’t think we would have said yes,” said Clooney when the Diageo deal was announced.


The Ocean’s Eleven star has beaten the likes of Dwayne Johnson and Robert Downey Jr in the publication’s 2018 list of highest earning actors. According to Forbes, “Thanks to the up to $1 billion purchase of his Casamigos Tequila (the company he founded with Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman in 2013), Clooney scored a career-high pretax paycheck of $239 million between June 1, 2017, and June 1, 2018.” Sources said the trio invested $600,000 each and owned equal stakes in the company prior to the acquisition.

The sale of Clooney’s tequila brand also bumped Dwayne Johnson ($124 million) to number two spot. Johnson doubled his earnings year on year, making $119m (£92m) from his involvement in multiple blockbusters, including Skyscraper, Jumanji and Rampage. At number three is Robert Downey Jr. ($81 million), followed by Chris Hemsworth ($64.5 million) at the fourth place and Chris Evans at number 10. Jackie Chan, Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan are the non-American stars on the list.

Forbes’ list of the world’s best-paid male actors 2018

George Clooney – $239m

Dwayne Johnson – $119m

Robert Downey Jr – $79m

Chris Hemsworth – $64.5m

Jackie Chan – $45.5m

Will Smith – $42m

Akshay Kumar – $40.5m

Adam Sandler – $39.5m

Chris Evans – $34m

Salman Khan – $33.5m

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