The Rock started his wrestling career earning just US$40 a match, but went on to star in The Mummy, the Fast and Furious franchise and more, becoming Forbes’ highest-paid actor ever listed in 2018
He also makes bank through brand deals with Apple, Under Armour and Ford, his companies Teremana Tequila and Zoa Energy – and once splurged on a
Rolex, which broke in the ring in just a week
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has had an incredible career indeed, starting out in wrestling before breaking into Hollywood – and making bank along the way.
Although much of his earnings come from brand deals, his property portfolio and other business interests, including his tequila company, the actor has pulled in millions from his screen jobs over the years, too.
Read on to find out just how this showbiz icon makes his money – and what he likes to splurge it on.
Dwayne Johnson earned US$40 a match when he started his wrestling career
Dwayne ‘’The Rock’’ Johnson looks on during his match against John Cena during WrestleMania XXVIII at Sun Life Stadium, in 2012, in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Johnson wrestled under the nickname “The Rock” and forged an illustrious career between 1996 and 2004. Over his career, he was one of the top box office draws in history. But he started off only making US$40 a match, he once told Stephen Colbert.
He earned US$5.5 million for his first movie role
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson makes his film acting debut in The Mummy Returns in 2001.
Once his wrestling career was coming to an end, Johnson attempted the tough transition from being a wrestling star to a movie star.
He hit the ground running by scoring a US$5.5 million payday for his role in 2001’s The Mummy Returns.
He followed that with the sequel The Scorpion King and through the early 2000s starred in modest hits like The Rundown, Be Cool and Doom.
His stardom soared when he joined the Fast and Furious franchise
His stardom soared when he joined the Fast and Furious franchise
Johnson joined the Fast and Furious franchise when he starred as bounty hunter Luke Hobbs in 2011’s Fast Five. He became a fixture and in the process became a bigger star than he was already.
Johnson brought in US$10 million to US$15 million through the franchise, and then took in US$20 million for the 2019 spin-off movie, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.
In 2017, Forbes named Johnson one of the world’s highest-paid actors. Thanks to 2017 releases like The Fate of the Furious, Baywatch and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Johnson made a whopping US$65 million.
In 2018, Johnson earned US$124 million becoming Forbes’ highest-paid actor ever reported
By 2018, Johnson was taking in seven-figure salaries on his films, starring on the HBO series Ballers, had an endorsement deal with Under Armour, and produced most of the projects he was involved in.
It led to him earning the most even in the 20-year-old celebrities list that Forbes has annually with a whopping US$124 million earned that year.
He also runs Seven Bucks Productions with his ex-wife, Dany Garcia
They founded the studio in 2012, after their 2007 divorce. Through Seven Bucks, they’ve co-produced some of Johnson’s biggest hits, including Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Jungle Cruise and his upcoming Black Adam movie, as well as TV shows Ballers and Young Rock.
The production company is named Seven Bucks from that time when Johnson only had that much in his pocket.
The Rock also has multimillion-dollar brand sponsorships
In early 2016, The Rock teamed up with Under Armour for a global sponsorship. He signed the deal for his “DJ Inspired” series of clothing, which has been extraordinarily successful. In June 2018, his line of US$130 trainers sold out in 30 minutes.
Through the years, he’s also scored deals with Ford and Apple. He reportedly takes in US$15 million a year on these deals alone.
He is the rare actor who can still demand a US$20 million-per-movie payday
For films like Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Skyscraper and Red Notice, Johnson had deals that have been unheard of since the heydays of Will Smith, Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts.
Johnson makes US$20 million per movie, but thanks to producer and social media responsibilities, that is just a base. If the movie performs well, he takes in millions more in bonuses.
Along with the US$22 million he took in for his Netflix film Red Notice, that also included US$1 million just for social media posts he did from his accounts about the movie to his millions of followers.
In 2020, Johnson topped the likes of Ryan Reynolds and Mark Wahlberg by taking in US$87.5 million and becoming the highest-paid actor yet again, according to Forbes. Once again, it was due to big paydays for movie roles and endorsements.
Johnson earned US$22.5 million for Black Adam
Johnson’s base pay is only on the rise. He was reportedly expected to take in US$22.5 million to play the DC Comics superhero, according to Variety.
The trade also reported that, due to producing credits and his social media efforts to promote the movie, he would get even more money by the time the movie was done in theatres.
He’s making waves in the beverage game too
In March 2020, Johnson founded Teremana Tequila and, in a short amount of time, it has found popularity. The Spirits Business reported in 2021 that it was on track to sell one million cases. Only six tequila brands sell a million cases or more, according to a 2020 Brands Champion report.
In June of that year, Johnson then launched the energy drink Zoa Energy. It is sold in more than 26,000 retailers and at over 100,000 points of distribution, according to a 2021 CNBC report.
So how does he spend all that money? Well, there’s food …
To maintain his physique, he eats more than 5,000 calories a day, sometimes across up to seven meals. He’ll have massive “carb up” nights where he just loads up on sushi. All in all, he eats about 10 pounds of food a day.
In 2015, he revealed his diet to Muscle & Fitness. FiveThirtyEight counted it all up and found that Johnson consumes 372kg (821 pounds) of cod in a year. Given that cod goes for about US$1.75 per pound, that means he was spending about US$1,400 per year on fish.
But in early 2016, Johnson said that he cut cod out of his diet.
He also buys custom cars
This car is custom-made, so the price can vary, but the regular Pagani clocks in at around US$1 million. But even though it’s custom-made, Johnson said on Instagram that he’s too big to properly fit in it.
Car blogs have identified several expensive cars in Johnson’s garage, but his favourite seems to be a monster truck-like Ford F-150 Pickup, with custom modifications. It’s a vehicle he can easily get in and out of with his 196cm (6ft 5 inch) frame. It’s fitting that the Fast and Furious star loves such an aggressive-looking car.
In 2016, Johnson wrote an Instagram post talking about his father’s difficult life, how he never asked for much – and their apparently shared love of trucks.
“Over the years, I’ve moved him into a big home, got him trucks to drive – which he’ll literally drive into the ground until I get him something else,” Johnson wrote. “Hell, I’ll get him anything he wants, but the SOB just won’t ask.”
In July 2018, he bought his stunt double (who’s also a distant cousin) a giant custom pickup truck.
“Over the course of my career, my stunt double (and cousin) Tanoai Reed has broken multiple bones, severed tendons, torn ligaments and just been an overall dominating bad a** achieving several ‘Stuntman of the Year’ honours,” he wrote in an Instagram post. “I had this custom pick up truck delivered just in time to surprise him (he’s still recovering from a stunt injury) while we give what he thought was going to be an interview about our careers together.”
Johnson also spends money on tattoos, luxury travel and watches
His chest and arm tattoos represent different parts of his heritage, which is part American, part Black Canadian and part Samoan. He’s gotten some of his tattoos done by a famed Tahitian tattoo artist named Po’oino Yrondi, according to Inked magazine.
Johnson works in different locations – and often has luxury accommodation. He often posts pictures of his digs on Instagram. When he’s not staying in nice hotels while shooting films, he’s staying in nice hotels on international press tours for them.
He also often gets from place to place in a fancy Gulfstream G650. It’s one of the best and fastest private jets in the world. It’s unclear if Johnson owns it or just rents it, but he often posts on Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) about travelling in it while he’s on press tours – and sometimes he brings his family along for the ride.
As a kid, Johnson always dreamed of owning a Rolex. He bought his first one for US$35,000 when he was a wrestler, according to Forbes, after years of wearing a fake one to remember his goal. It was smashed in the ring a week after be bought it, and he never replaced it.
But Johnson did buy at least one more Rolex as a gift. After accidentally punching another actor on the set of 2002’s The Scorpion King, he bought a custom-made Rolex for him.
The Rock is also into the property game
According to data from Zillow, Johnson is a relatively high-volume homebuyer and seller for a celebrity. In the past decade or so, he’s sold more than 10 homes, mostly in Florida. At the end of 2018, he also bought his mother a house.
Among his properties is a six-bedroom home in Hidden Hills, California, which he sold for nearly US$4.9 million in 2012. According to TMZ, it had an infinity pool and a home theatre.
He bought a US$5.5 million Miami mansion in 2014 and commissioned a US$1 million addition. This included – no surprise – a giant gym and a guest house for his personal trainer.
Johnson also owns a farm outside Charlottesville, Virginia.
He goes there after gruelling shoots to relax and reconnect with nature. He often posts photos on Instagram of himself, fishing in his pond, hanging out with horses, and frolicking with his family in the grass. Locals sometimes see him in Gold’s Gym in Charlottesville.
Johnson bought the XFL for US$15 million
Johnson, Garcia and a group of other investors bought the football league for US$15 million in 2020, according to ESPN.
The league was first created by WWE owner Vince McMahon back in 2001, but it never came close to finding the popularity that the NFL has. Johnson believes he can change that. The new XFL season under The Rock will begin in 2023.
Johnson also founded his own charity
In 2006, Johnson founded the Dwayne Johnson Rock Foundation, a charity that works with children with illnesses, disorders and disabilities to improve their self-esteem and help empower their lives. It also helps with physical fitness and nutrition programmes for children.
In September 2023, Johnson and Oprah announced a joint donation of US$10 million to help the Maui fire victims. The superstars made a major donation of US$5 million each to help the relief efforts.
However, there was backlash after the announcement as some felt it wasn’t enough from the stars, as the donation represents less than 0.5 per cent of their combined reported net worths of US$2.77 billion.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider