It’s safe to say that everybody has watched at least one of the many now-classic movies Steven Spielberg directed over the years with highlights like ‘E.T.’, ‘Indiana Jones’, and ‘Jurassic Park’. This is certainly a testament to both his box office success and cultural influence.
Thus, it’s no surprise that the 73-year-old has become one of the few billionaire filmmakers in the world. But did you know that he amassed his $3.7 billion fortune through just two wise decisions he made decades ago?
A Friendly Exchange
It’s no secret that Spielberg has a longstanding friendship with another well-acclaimed and extremely wealthy director: George Lucas. And just like regular buddies would, the duo has been known to wager on bets.
What sets these apart though is the amount of money at stake for both parties. According to stories, both Spielberg and Lucas were busy working on their respective sci-fi film projects during the ‘70s.
However, the latter was then unconvinced about the success his space cowboy movie would have. He ended up making a trade-off with Lucas offering him a small stake in his film if he did the same for him.
And it paid off. Big time. As you all know, ‘Star Wars’ went on to become a box-office and pop culture phenomenon with Spielberg’s ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ not doing so badly for itself either.
Hitting the Jackpot with Dinosaurs
But an even more impactful risk he took to earn his multibillion-dollar fortune has to do with his
‘90s blockbuster film-turned-franchise ‘Jurassic Park’.
Being already an in-demand and powerful person in film, Spielberg was an asset that the Universal Pictures wanted on their time, especially at a time when the studio was struggling. To make this happen, Sidney Sheinberg decided to make the filmmaker an offer he can’t refuse.
The studio executive told Spielberg he would be the creative director of any theme park or attraction that is based on the dinosaur flick. An agreement was made and the director reportedly sees a whopping $50 million a year just for his share of the resulting park’s ticket revenue alone.
Critical & Financial Wins
In total, Spielberg’s works have made over $25 billion in the box office. This includes not only the films he directed but also the ones he produced.
All of his hard work isn’t ignored by critics either as he has received numerous accolades over the years. Of course, considering his billions, these awards may seem just icing on the cake.