HT Image
HT Image

Hollywood's highest-earning men

James Cameron and Tyler Perry lead our list of famous males who earn the biggest bucks.
By Dorothy Pomerantz (Forbes) | None, Los Angeles
UPDATED ON SEP 27, 2010 06:16 PM IST

There have been few movies that have fundamentally changed Hollywood like Avatar. The movie is the highest-grossing film of all time (not adjusting for inflation) with $2.7 billion in box office earnings. It revolutionized computer-generated images with new motion capture techniques and, most importantly, it paved the way for a true 3-D revolution. In the wake of Avatar, almost all Hollywood blockbusters, from Harry Potter to Tron, now need to be in 3-D.

The film's incredible success has helped catapult director/writer/producer James Cameron to the top of our list of the Hollywood's Top-Earning Men. Cameron earned $210 million between June 2009 and June 2010.

Expect Cameron to stay on our list for many years to come as Avatar comes out on DVD again and again (director's cuts, 3-D versions, etc.) and as the movie moves on to television. By the time the Avatar river of money slows to a trickle, Cameron will likely have Avatar 2 ready for theaters.

Slide Show: Hollywood's 10 highest-earning men

In Pictures: Prime time's 10 top-earning women

The World's top-earning musicians

In Pictures: Top-earning dead celebrities

In Pictures: The top-earning 'Idols'

Ranking second, behind Cameron, is Tyler Perry. The self-made millionaire is a force to be reckoned with in movies and on television. Last year his films I Can Do Bad All By Myself and Why Did I Get Married Too grossed a combined $112 million in the U.S. He also produces the TBS shows Meet the Browns and House of Payne. Between June 2009 and June 2010, Perry earned $125 million.

The men on our list come from the worlds of movies, television, sports and standup comedy. To figure out earnings, we talked to agents, managers, producers and lawyers to determine what the stars earned from movies, television shows, sports wins and, of course, endorsements. We evaluated earnings only between June 2009 and June 2010.

Michael Bay ranks third with $120 million in earnings. His second Transformers movie (Revenge of the Fallen) grossed $836 million at the global box office netting Bay a hefty backend. But the director also earns a nice royalty from Transformers toys. His next movie, Transformers 3, is scheduled to hit theaters next year in 3-D.

Tiger Woods ranks fourth with $105 million. Despite a terrible year in which his personal scandal only seemed to get worse and worse, Woods still earns the big bucks. Nike ( NKE - news - people ) has built a $650 million (sales) golf business from scratch around Woods, and they aren't prepared to give up on the golfer just yet.

In fifth place: producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Like Perry, Bruckheimer straddles the worlds of television and film with hit shows like the various CSI shows and hit movies like Pirates of the Caribbean. But lately, at the movies at least, Bruckheimer has struggled. Recent films like G-Force ($293 million at the global box office) and The Sorcerer's Apprentice ($190 million) have failed to live up to expectations at the box office. But don't cry for Bruckheimer. His next film is the fourth Pirates installment. With Johnny Depp on board and a planned 3-D release, the film should earn a pretty penny. Between June 2009 and June 2010 Bruckheimer earned $100 million.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Judas and the Black Messiah movie review: Daniel Kaluuya in a scene from Shaka King's film. (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)(AP)
Judas and the Black Messiah movie review: Daniel Kaluuya in a scene from Shaka King's film. (Warner Bros. Pictures via AP)(AP)

Judas and the Black Messiah review: And the Oscar must go to Daniel Kaluuya

PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 05:53 PM IST
  • Judas and the Black Messiah movie review: Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield deliver extraordinary performances in Shaka King's politically charged film, co-produced by Ryan Coogler.
Close
Coming 2 America movie review: Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy in the movie,
Coming 2 America movie review: Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy in the movie,

Coming 2 America review: Eddie Murphy gets more woke and more boring in sequel

PUBLISHED ON MAR 05, 2021 11:54 AM IST
  • Coming 2 America movie review: Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall reunite for the dull and boring sequel to their cult hit.
Close
Raya and the Last Dragon movie review: Raya, voiced by Kelly Marie Tran, in a still from the new Disney film.
Raya and the Last Dragon movie review: Raya, voiced by Kelly Marie Tran, in a still from the new Disney film.

Raya and the Last Dragon review: Disney's rip-roaring adventure is vibrant fun

UPDATED ON MAR 04, 2021 07:10 PM IST
  • Raya and the Last Dragon movie review: Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina put their own twist on the Mulan-Mushu dynamic in Disney's latest animated adventure.
Close
Chris Evans and his friend on the sets of Captain America: The First Avenger.
Chris Evans and his friend on the sets of Captain America: The First Avenger.

Chris Evans' friend has funny reactions to first Captain America movie's scenes

PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 06:22 PM IST
  • Chris Evans shared a video montage of his friend visiting the sets of Captain America: The First Avenger and reacting to his scenes.
Close
Kristen Stewart essays the role of Princess Diana in Spencer.
Kristen Stewart essays the role of Princess Diana in Spencer.

Kristen Stewart recreates Princess Diana's Portsmouth look on Spencer set

PUBLISHED ON MAR 04, 2021 01:04 PM IST
  • Kristen Stewart has been filming for her upcoming movie, Spencer. The Twilight star plays the role of Princess Diana in the movie.
Close
Nick Jonas reveals he missed Priyanka Chopra when she was filming The Matrix 4.
Nick Jonas reveals he missed Priyanka Chopra when she was filming The Matrix 4.

Nick felt 'disconnected' when Priyanka was away in Germany filming Matrix 4

PUBLISHED ON MAR 03, 2021 12:37 PM IST
  • Nick Jonas revealed he began the making of his upcoming album Spaceman when his wife and actor Priyanka Chopra was filming for The Matrix 4 in Germany.
Close
Gal Gadot and Jaron Varsano have been married for 12 years.
Gal Gadot and Jaron Varsano have been married for 12 years.

Gal Gadot is pregnant, posts a cute family pic to make the announcement

PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 10:37 AM IST
  • Actor Gal Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano are expecting their third child together. The Wonder Woman actor posted a cute family picture to make the announcement.
Close
Chadwick Boseman won a posthumous Golden Globe award for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Chadwick Boseman won a posthumous Golden Globe award for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Chadwick Boseman's wife breaks down while accepting his posthumous Golden Globe

PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 11:03 AM IST
  • Chadwick Boseman's wife Simone Ledward broke down while accepting his posthumous Golden Globe for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
Close
Mark Ruffalo won Best Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie at Golden Globe Awards 2021.
Mark Ruffalo won Best Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie at Golden Globe Awards 2021.

Mark Ruffalo talks about environment in Golden Globe Awards acceptance speech

PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 09:23 AM IST
  • Mark Ruffalo received the Best Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie for I Know This Much Is True... at the Golden Globe Awards 2021. The actor, in his acceptance speech, spoke about "Mother Earth."
Close
Emma Corrin won Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series (Drama) for The Crown at the Golden Globe Awards 2021.
Emma Corrin won Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series (Drama) for The Crown at the Golden Globe Awards 2021.

Golden Globe 2021 full list of winners: The Crown, Soul take home awards

UPDATED ON MAR 01, 2021 09:39 AM IST
  • The Golden Globe Awards 2021 winners were announced on Sunday, February 28. From The Crown to Schitt's Creek and I Care A Lot, here’s who bagged the trophies.
Close
Daniel Kaluuya accidentally muted himself.
Daniel Kaluuya accidentally muted himself.

Chaotic Golden Globe Awards 2021 opens the floodgate for Twitter memes

PUBLISHED ON MAR 01, 2021 08:00 AM IST
  • The Golden Globe Awards 2021 took place this weekend and Twitter couldn't help but point out the chaos that unfolded at the awards show.
Close
Jennifer Aniston joins Sterling K. Brown and Ava DuVernay to criticise Hollywood Foreign Press Association for lack of diversity in their ranks.
Jennifer Aniston joins Sterling K. Brown and Ava DuVernay to criticise Hollywood Foreign Press Association for lack of diversity in their ranks.

'Time's Up Globes': Hollywood stars called out HFPA ahead of Golden Globe 2021

UPDATED ON MAR 01, 2021 07:17 AM IST
  • Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) were called out by several celebrities for their lack of diversity in their ranks. After stars chanted "Time's Up Globes", the HFPA issued a statement assuring a change in the making.
Close
Golden Globe Awards 2021 live: Chadwick Boseman won a post-humous Best Actor Award for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.
Golden Globe Awards 2021 live: Chadwick Boseman won a post-humous Best Actor Award for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.

Golden Globes: Chadwick Boseman wins Best Actor Drama for Ma Rainey

UPDATED ON MAR 01, 2021 10:01 AM IST
Golden Globes 2021 live: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are hosting the awards ceremony at The Beverly Hilton. Early winners include The Crown and Schitt's Creek.
Golden Globes 2021: Margot Robbie at the venue and Elle Fanning all decked up at home.
Golden Globes 2021: Margot Robbie at the venue and Elle Fanning all decked up at home.

Golden Globes 2021 red carpet: See pics of Margot Robbie, Elle Fanning, Kaley

UPDATED ON MAR 01, 2021 06:35 AM IST
Golden Globe Awards 2021 are kickstarting in a virtual ceremony. Stars such as Elle Fanning, Amanda Seyfried and other got decked up at home for a pandemic-era red carpet.
Close
The Trial of Chicago Seven is nominated in Best Drama category.
The Trial of Chicago Seven is nominated in Best Drama category.

Golden Globe 2021 nominees list: Ahead of ceremony, mark your favourites

AFP
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 05:12 PM IST
Golden Globe 2021 are just hours away and here is a list of nominees in all key categories. The ceremony will telecast in India on early Monday morning.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP