George Lucas: $4.9 Billion
We all know the name from the world famous Star Wars franchise that Lucas was brilliant enough to create back in 1971, but this is not exactly how the director was able to achieve the status of the wealthiest celebrity in the world. With the film American Graffiti, one of the most profitable movies in the history of cinema, Lucas earned $200 million after creating it with a budget of only $775,000.
Despite Fox Studio’s hesitation toward the potential success of Star Wars, Lucas’s fame that came with American Graffiti earned him the respect to give it a shot. Instead of receiving a pay increase that he was entitled to, Lucas proposed to the studio that he retain all merchandising rights for the films and keep all rights to any sequels. The film has earned $775 million at box offices and has generated over $12 million in merchandise alone. Dang George!