Illustration : John Ueland for Forbes
Movie stars get all the glory, but those whose fame is largely off-camera command bigger fortunes. These are the ten wealthiest moguls with at least 60 percent of their net worth tied to their entertainment ventures. Roll the footage:
1. Rupert Murdoch
21ST CENTURY FOX
($12.5 BILLION) Film division had a great 2014, with boffo box office of $5.5 billion and a Best Picture
Oscar for Birdman.
2. Sumner Redstone
($5.2 BILLION) The 92-year-old still chairs Viacom, home to MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.
3. George Lucas
($5.1 BILLION) Sold his company to Disney for $4 billion in 2012; consulted on upcoming Star Wars instalment.
4. Isaac Perlmutter
($4 BILLION) Scored huge with Iron Man and Avengers 2, though this summer’s Fantastic Four was a debacle.
5. Steven Spielberg
($3.6 BILLION) Executive-produced Jurassic World reboot; directed this fall’s Cold War flick Bridge of Spies.
6. Haim Saban
($3.5 BILLION) Chairs the top Spanish-language tv network, for which an IPO is likely this autumn.
7. Oprah Winfrey
($3 BILLION) Cable network OWN enjoys soaring ratings; film imprint Harpo co-produced critical darling Selma.
8. Reed Hastings
($1.6 BILLION) Running rings around cable with streaming video and original hits, including House of Cards.
9. Brian Roberts
($1.4 BILLION) Assets include Universal Pictures, NBC News and Sports, Telemundo and theme parks.
10. Thomas Tull
($1 BILLION) See below.
Image: Kevin Winter / Getty ImagesTen-Figure Action Hero
Movie producer Thomas Tull’s skyrocketing net worth gets two thumbs up
When Jurassic World rampaged to a record $209 million opening weekend in July, one of the biggest beneficiaries was its 45-year-old co-executive producer, Thomas Tull. Founder and CEO of Legendary Pictures, Tull had a hand in the Dark Knight trilogy, the Hangover series, Interstellar and Godzilla. Their success has helped push Legendary’s valuation above $3.5 billion and Tull’s net worth to $1 billion.
Tull was born in Binghamton, New York and raised in modest circumstances by a single mother. After college, he started a chain of laundromats and later bought several tax-preparation businesses before heading to a venture capital firm in North Carolina. In 2001 he landed a gig at the Convex Group, an Atlanta-based media content distribution firm, eventually becoming its president.
In 2004, he raised $600 million from Wall Street investors and in 2005 headed to Hollywood, where he inked an eight-year financing and production deal with Warner Bros. That spanned more than 30 movies, including Inception and Pacific Rim. In 2013, Legendary announced a deal with Universal Pictures; the biopic Steve Jobs is among its upcoming releases.
- Chase Peterson-withorn