Inside Johnny Depp’s incredible fortune: how did he make and splurge his millions? He’s earned a US$650 million fortune from movies like Pirates of the Caribbean and even his trial with Amber Heard …
Here is a breakdown of Depp’s wealth and how he’s reportedly spent it.
He earned US$650 million over 13 years
After finding fame on the hit late-1980s TV series 21 Jump Street, Depp forged a stardom in Hollywood few have ever seen. Thanks to offbeat films with Tim Burton like Edward Scissorhands and Ed Wood, Depp became regarded as an amazing talent who could blend into any kind of role.
And he was paid handsomely for his efforts. According to his former management firm, The Management Group, Depp earned over US$650 million in the 13 years they worked together from 1999 to 2016.
He started routinely banking US$20 million per movie
After the success of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Depp started routinely banking US$20 million per movie.
The mix of visual spectacle and Depp’s outlandish performance as Captain Jack led to 2003’s Curse of the Black Pearl, a big-screen adaptation of the Pirates of the Caribbean Disney parks attraction, garnering worldwide box-office earnings of over US$650 million.
With that, Depp’s asking price soared. On top of taking in US$20 million pre-picture in the franchise, he got around 20 per cent of the back end, per picture, according to The Hollywood Reporter. So not only was he paid upfront, but Depp was cut another check after the movie broke even.
He earned more than US$40 million on each Pirates movie
Thanks to the success of the Pirates sequels, including 2006’s Dead Man’s Chest, which earned over US$1 billion worldwide, Depp’s earnings from the films became astronomical.
The actor brought in north of US$40 million per sequel on the back end of the films alone, per THR. Again, that doesn’t count the US$20 million base pay for each. But not all of that went directly into Depp’s pocket. His agents got 10 per cent, managers took 5 per cent, and there are deductions for taxes and expenses. However, the paydays only got bigger from there.
The back end deal for Alice in Wonderland was even larger – US$55 million
Taking a pause from playing Captain Jack in 2010, Depp teamed up again with Tim Burton for the latest adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.
On top of his US$20 million base, THR reported that he took in a huge US$55 million back end thanks to the movie’s successful box office run, as it brought in over US$1 billion.
Thanks to the Pirates films, Alice and 2014’s Into the Woods (he played the Big Bad Wolf) all getting prime home entertainment releases and cable play, in 2016 and 2017 Depp took in US$25.7 million in residuals thanks to his profit participation deals on those films.
In 2016, he even landed on Forbes’ list of highest-paid celebrities. He reportedly took in US$48 million that year.
The face of Dior’s Sauvage fragrance for men
The actor has been the face of Sauvage for years. Depp was taking in reportedly US$3 million to US$5 million in the deal.
He was paid US$16 million for one scene in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Depp was asked to step down from Fantastic Beasts 3 days after losing a libel case against the publishers of the UK tabloid, The Sun, over a 2018 article, which described him as a “wife beater”.
However, because he had a “pay-or-play” deal on the movie, meaning he would get paid regardless if he worked on the movie, he was paid his US$16 million fee.
He only filmed one scene as Grindelwald. Mads Mikkelsen took over the role for 2022’s Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.
He bought an island in the Bahamas for US$3.6 million
The actor first set eyes on the 18-hectare (45-acre) island located 97km (60 miles) from Nassau in 2003 while filming Curse of the Black Pearl and bought it for US$3.6 million.
Originally having no housing at all when he first bought it, it has since been outfitted with solar-powered buildings, including a house with stunning 360 views for Depp when he stays there.
He spent US$5 million to shoot the ashes of author friend Hunter S. Thompson out of a cannon
Depp befriended the gonzo author around the time he played Thompson in the 1998 movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
They stayed friends until Thompson’s death in 2005. Thompson had talked about wanting his funeral to be an extravagant affair with his ashes being shot out of a cannon in the shape of a double-thumbed fist and a red, white and blue fireworks show to end the event. Depp said he spent US$5 million to fulfil his friend’s wishes.
He had US$2 million in monthly bills, including US$100,000 a month for addiction issues
Depp had huge daily spending habits to live a lavish lifestyle, which led to him spending US$2 million a month on bills, according to his former management firm.
At one time, the actor had to pay:
US$300,000 a month for a 40-person staff
US$10,000 every day for his former security manager
US$$350,000 monthly for maintaining his 48-metre (156-foot) yacht (which he has since sold to J.K. Rowling for US$27 million)
US$30,000 monthly for wine (Although, Depp told Rolling Stone this was a conservative estimate: “It’s insulting to say that I spent US$30,000 on wine,” he said. “Because it was far more.”)
US$100,000 a month to a doctor to treat his addiction issues
Depp commented on his spending in 2017, telling The Wall Street Journal, “It’s my money.”
“If I want to buy 15,000 cotton balls a day, it’s my thing,” he continued.
The actor’s spending habits were first revealed in 2017 when he filed a US$25 million lawsuit against his former business managers at The Management Group (TMG countersued). It resulted in a settlement a year later. No details were made public.
Depp was awarded US$15 million in the defamation suit against Amber Heard
The trial lasted six weeks earlier this year, in which both Depp and Heard took the stand, and resulted in the jury awarding Depp US$15 million in damages from Heard, and Heard US$2 million from Depp.
Depp’s US$15 million reward was dropped down to US$10.35 million to comply with state limits for punitive damages.
Depp sold US$3 million in artwork
Since the verdict, Depp has been spending more time playing music than getting back to making films.
It’s unlikely he’ll land the kind of paydays he got before his legal battle with Heard, but the actor still has a loyal fan base.
In July, Depp announced on his Instagram that he would be selling his artwork at a gallery in England. Within hours all the pieces he displayed were sold and even resulted in the gallery’s website crashing briefly. The actor pocketed around US$3 million in total.
- Johnny Depp earned US$650 million over 13 years: he cemented his stardom as Jack Sparrow in the Pirates franchise and made US$55 million through a back end deal with Alice in Wonderland
- He’s the face of Dior’s Sauvage fragrance and still got his full fee for playing Grindelwald in Harry Potter’s Fantastic Beasts – despite only doing one scene