After banking $239 million in pretax earnings between June 2017 and June 2018, George Clooney is officially the world’s highest-paid actor, unseating the reigning champ, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson ($124 million), by quite some distance.
Clooney has booming tequila business, Casamigos, to thank for his career-best earnings. Last summer, British liquor conglomerate Diageo tabled a $700M bid for the company, netting Clooney an estimated $233 million in pretax dollars, which, coupled with other endorsements and minor film roles, allowed him to blow past all the competition on his journey to the #1 spot.
One source close to Forbes indicates that Clooney, nightlife entrepreneur Rande Gerber and real estate tycoon Mike Meldman invested close to $600,000 apiece and “owned equal stakes in the company prior to the acquisition.”
Arriving in second place is Dwayne Johnson, whose blistering rise to prominence has given him the ability to pocket giant up-front payments for the likes of Skyscraper and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
The former WWE superstar also has his incredible social media following to thank for the notable uptick – for the sake of perspective, at $124 million in 12 months, Johnson nearly doubled his earnings from 2017.
Social media has become the most critical element of marketing a movie for me. I have established a social media equity with an audience around the world that there’s a value in what I’m delivering to them.
Filling out the remainder of the top 10 highest-paid actors for 2018 were Avengers: Infinity War duo Robert Downey Jr. ($81M) and Chris Hemsworth ($64.5M) at third and fourth, respectively, while industry legend Jackie Chan rounded out the top five with $45.5M.
Will Smith, another Hollywood mainstay, banked $42M thanks to his role in Disney’s live-action Aladdin, followed by Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar ($40.5 million), Adam Sandler ($39.5 million), Salman Khan ($38.5 million), and, finally, Captain America himself, Chris Evans at $34 million.