Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson is one of Hollywood's biggest stars, and now his earnings for the past year have been revealed - clocking in at a whopping $124 million. The action star has come a long way since his days in the wrestling ring, and he's now one of the film industry's most bankable stars. In recent years he has worked on money makers like Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (which also has a sequel on the way), Rampage, Skyscraper, and more, and he's even joining the big screen comic book universe with a role as Black Adam, the nemesis of Shazam.
Admittedly, most of his roles aren't known for being particularly high-brow, and The Rock is more likely to be seen flexing his muscles and raising an eyebrow than delivering a convoluted monologue, but he has clearly found his niche, and it's a lucrative and incredibly popular one. He's also one of the world's most popular social media personalities, with follower counts in the millions on Twitter and Facebook, and over one hundred million on Instagram. He also knows how to leverage that social media reach to earn insane amounts of money, and is changing the marketing game in Hollywood with his approach.
The Forbes Celebrity 100 list of the world's highest paid entertainers puts Dwayne Johnson at number five, with earnings of $124 million between June 2017 and June 2018 - almost double the $65 million that he earned from June 2016 - 2017. This also makes him the world's highest paid actor, and his acting earnings are the highest ever recorded (by Forbes). George Clooney did manage to out-earn him this year (bringing in $239 million), but those earnings are not all from his work on screen; the majority of it comes from his business concerns, rather than his movies.
In an interview with the magazine, it's also revealed that Dwayne Johnson isn't just earning the usual actor paychecks and percentages, but that a large part of his rapidly increasing fortune comes from his social media accounts. According to the article, he will also get another paycheck for most of his films, in return for promoting them on his social media channels, and the fee for leveraging his massive following is usually in the seven-figure range. The actor himself says:
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.
This is a game-changer for the way that films are marketed, and for the ways that celebrities can profit from their social media. Already, it's common for celebrities to create sponsored posts to rake in the big bucks, but this may mean a shift away from spending so much of the marketing budget on traditional forms of promotion, and putting more of it in the hands of the stars of a film. In many ways, this shift would simply be an extension of the usual press tours and interviews, where a charismatic star will promote their latest project, but it's one that comes with a paycheck... and in the case of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, that paycheck is absolutely insane!