By Paul Mbagwu
57-year-old Hollywood actor, George Clooney, has topped the Forbes list of the highest-paid actors between June 1, 2017, and June 1, 2018.
It’s been years since the actor had a hit film, but his bank account barely noticed. This is thanks to the up to $1 billion sales of his Casamigos tequila, earning the actor a pretax paycheck of $239 million in the 12-month frame.
Casamigos was founded in 2013 by actor Clooney, nightlife entrepreneur Rande Gerber and real estate tycoon Mike Meldman. The trio invested $600,000 each and owned equal stakes in the company, according to an inside source.
Last June, British liquor conglomerate Diageo announced it would purchase Casamigos for $700 million upfront with the potential for an extra $300 million over the next decade. For Clooney, that meant an estimated $233 million pretax from Casamigos, plus additional earnings from endorsements and older movies.
Speaking to CNBC when the deal was announced, Clooney said, “If you asked us four years ago if we had a billion-dollar company, I don’t think we would have said yes.”
This deal put Clooney ahead of actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who made $124 million pretax, ranking second on the highest-paid actors’ list.
Johnson had the largest ever acting take-home from front-of-camera roles in the history of the list, thanks to giant upfront paychecks and a cut of profits on blockbusters including Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.