NEW YORK "The Force" was with George Lucas, powering
the creator of the "Star Wars" franchise to the top of Forbes
magazine's list of celebrity money makers.
|George Lucas' movie success puts his earnings ahead of Oprah Winfrey|
Lucas earned $400 million in 1999 more than twice as much as
second place Oprah Winfrey, Forbes said Tuesday in releasing its
Celebrity 100 rankings.
The rankings appear in the financial magazine's March 20th
"Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace" grossed more $430
million domestically and is the second-highest grossing movie
worldwide after "Titanic."
The movie's success put Lucas far ahead of Winfrey, whose talk
show and other ventures earned $150 million. Though he earned $267
million last year to top the list, Jerry Seinfeld wasn't among this
year's top 100.
Clothing designer Giorgio Armani was ranked third with $135
million, followed by television producer David Kelley, creator of
Fox's "Ally McBeal" and ABC's "The Practice," with $118
million. Actor Tom Hanks ranked fifth with $71.5 million.
Rounding out the top 10 were authors Tom Clancy ($66 million)
and Stephen King ($65 million); the band Backstreet Boys with $60
million; director/producer Steven Spielberg with $60 million; and
actor Bruce Willis with $54.5 million.
Other celebrities who made the list ran the gamut from golf pro
Tiger Woods (ranked 17th with $47 million) and race car driver Dale
Earnhardt (39th at $26.5 million) to Harry Potter author J.K.
Rowling (No. 24 with $40 million) and conservative talk show host
Rush Limbaugh (ranked 43rd with $22 million).
Forbes created estimates based on figures compiled from
interviews with attorneys, managers, agents, executives and
entertainment insiders. It counts pretax gross income when it is
earned, not when the celebrities are paid.
The business magazine released the list in conjunction with its
Forbes Celebrity 100 ranking, which combines income and media buzz
a blend of prominence on the Internet, magazine covers, TV and
radio and in newspaper clippings to come up with a measure of
future earning power.
On that list, Lucas was second to actress Julia Roberts (12th on
the money list with $50 million in earnings). Winfrey was third,
followed by Hanks and former NBA superstar Michael Jordan, who was
23rd on the earnings list with $40 million.