( 4UMF NEWS ) Filmmakers Dominate the Top Spots on Forbes Highest Paid Celebrities List:
Forbes recently released their list of Highest Paid Celebrities and three of the top five earners on this year’s list are filmmakers. With careers spanning decades, Michael Bay, Steven Spielberg and Jerry Bruckheimer are no strangers to success or to each other, as they’ve all worked together in some capacity previously.
Michael Bay was second overall on the list and the top earner amongst filmmakers, and second only to Oprah, who topped the list for the 4th year in a row. The blockbuster action director has churned out number one movies for well over a decade and it has paid off, and then some.
Early films like “Bad Boys” and “The Rock” were relatively popular hits, but the Transformers franchise made Michael Bay one of the most successful directors so far in the history of the entertainment business. According to Forbes, Bay earned $160 million, largely due to an unconventional business deal that netted him a significant portion of the profits from the Transformer dynasty including films and toys. The Transformers experience ride recently installed at Universal Studios in Hollywood didn’t hurt either.
Next on the Forbes list, behind Michael Bay, is Steven Spielberg. The filmmaker is widely regarded as one of the greatest directors in the history of cinema. Since his first real hit “Jaws” in 1975, Spielberg has been churning out hit-after-hit and defining generations of young filmmakers, as well as popular culture in general. With hits like “E.T.” and “Indiana Jones” under his belt, Spielberg can pretty much choose his own adventure in the entertainment industry. Spielberg is easily the most versatile filmmaker on this list; he’s successfully made escapist action films like “Jaws” and “Jurassic Park” as well as emotionally wrought films like “The Color Purple,” “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan.”
Spielberg also does a lot of producing these days with a varied portfolio of television and film projects. He was an executive producer on the Transformers dynasty. Forbes estimates Spielberg’s earnings at $130 million. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Spielberg advised Michael Bay to fire Megan Fox after the second Transformers film.
Rounding out the filmmakers in the top five on the list is the prolific producer Jerry Bruckheimer. His first credit as a producer was the ’72 classic “The Culpepper Cattle Co.” and by mid ’80s Bruckheimer was churning out hits. Bruckheimer is keeping busy, working in both television and film these days. Bruckheimer definitely knows the value of a franchise, he’s capitalized on the success of the original “CSI” TV series by spinning it off and done the same with the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films. “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” brought in $1 billion at the global box office.
Bruckheimer has worked closely with Michael Bay, having produced the first five major films Bay directed. They collaborated on “Bad Boys” (1995) and “Bad Boys II” (2003); “The Rock” (2004); “Pearl Harbor” (2001); and the “Armageddon” classic (1998) where the duo catapulted actor Michael Clarke Duncan from the ranks of bit parts to major supporting and eventually lead roles.
Written by Miranda Perez. When Miranda isn’t blogging about the latest restaurants and trends, she is traveling to discover new and delicious creations. Her frequent flier miles are her most prized possession.