From WWE to ‘Black Adam,’ The Rock’s Net Worth & How He Became the Highest-Paid Actor in Hollywood

Sophie Hanson
Dwayne The Rock Johnson
Photo: Getty Images

Forget Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is Hollywood’s highest-paid actor. Thanks to a string of box office hits like Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Black Adam and recurring roles in the Fast and the Furious franchise, he can command a movie salary of up to $20 million and with his career showing no sign of slowing down, you wouldn’t be alone for wondering what The Rock’s net worth is.

Born Dwayne Douglas Johnson on May 2, 1972, The Rock’s career got started in wrestling, specifically the WWE (formerly the WWF thanks to a lawsuit initiated, and won, by the World Wildlife Federation in 2002), in 1996. Being an athlete is in his blood, as he was a linebacker in the Canadian Football League and the son of a former professional wrestler, Rocky Johnson, who died in 2020. His grandfather was also a wrestler. So how did The Rock go from being one of the nicest guys in the WWE to a multi-million-dollar star of the big screen? Read on to find out about The Rock’s net worth.

What is The Rock’s net worth?

What is The Rock’s net worth? Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is Hollywood’s highest-paid actor. The Rock’s net worth estimated at $800 million according to Celebrity Net Worth. His primary source of wealth is his movies—as mentioned, he can score upwards of $20 million in salary per project—but like most actors, he also cashes in on a percentage of their box office earnings. Some of his movies have grossed a billion worldwide. Take Furious 7 for example, which brought in $1.5 billion.

Dwayne Johnson

Image: Getty Images

In 2021, The Rock starred alongside Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot in Netflix’s most expensive movie ever, Red Notice. It was said to have had a budget of $200 million, but director Rawson Marshall Thurber told The Hollywood Reporter it could have cost closer to $300 million due to talent costs. “The above-the-line number is very, very high. When you make a Mission: Impossible, let’s say, you have one Tom Cruise. We’ve got three Tom Cruises in this movie,” he said. “If I’m making a movie that has a $1 million budget or a $100 million budget, I sweat it the same amount. Because every time somebody puts money up for art, they expect a hit. So every time you step up to the plate, you’re 0-for-0.”

The Rock’s first acting gig was in 1999 with Beyond the Mat but perhaps he’s most remembered for his role as the Scorpio King in The Mummy Returns (2001) for which he received $5.5 million in salary (a far cry from most Hollywood actors where the median yearly earning is $43,760, according to a US News & World Report from 2020). The difference is The Rock was, more or less, a household name before entering the movie business thanks to a career as a wrestler with the WWE for eight years. In a 2021 interview with Vanity Fairhe was asked to ponder his incredible financial success. “It sits me down. That was never the goal. The goal was just: I didn’t want to be broke. And I didn’t want my family to be broke anymore,” he said. “And it’s a blessing, man. Are you kidding me? It’s a blessing. It’s a blessing. It’s a blessing.”

Johnson is also well-known for his entrepreneurial spirit, with a share (the exact amount is unknown, but we guess it’s around 30 percent) in Teremana Tequila. Celebrity Net Worth estimates the brand is worth at least $7 billion. The Rock also has endorsement deals with the sportswear brand Under Armour, Apple and Ford, as well as his own production company he established in 2012 with his ex-wife Dany Garcia called Seven Bucks Productions. His privilege is never lost on him, though.

The Rock also dedicates much of his time to philanthropy, having established the Dwayne Johnson Foundation in 2006 as a charity that works with terminally ill children. In 2007, he donated $1 million to the University of Miami to help renovate the school’s football facilities, the largest donation ever gifted to the institution by a former student (he graduated in 1995). “This very generous gesture by the Johnsons is just another example of their support of the University of Miami,” football coach Randy Shannon said at the time. “I have said it time and time again that this program was a launching pad for my success,” Johnson added.

What did The Rock make from Black Adam?

On October 21, 2022, The Rock’s highly anticipated, DC anti-hero film Black Adam hit cinema screens. According to Variety, the actor received a whopping $22.5 million to play the lead, D.C. Comics villain Black Adam / Teth-Adam / Theo Adam, as well as many more millions as a producer on the project. He also earned a hefty sum to promote the movie on this social media channel, according to the industry publication. It’s a lot of money, to be sure, but it doesn’t come close to Tom Cruise’s reported salary for Top Gun: Maverick, in which the veteran action star was said to have made a cool $100 million for the follow-up to the 1986 classic. “I would never bet against Tom Cruise,” one studio executive said in the Variety article, noting that Cruise does a lot to promote his films despite being selective about interviews. “Most actors aren’t worth what you pay them, but Cruise and maybe Dwayne Johnson justify their salaries.”

Dwayne Johnson

George Pimentel/WireImage

In an interview with Den of Geek, Johnson said he felt incredibly “connected” to the character of Black Adam, explaining that he’d been working on getting the DC anti-hero to life on the screen for a decade. “It feels incredibly gratifying because it’s been a long time, a lot of ups and downs,” he said. “This world of superheroes has been around a long time and is responsible for a lot of massive business in our industry,” Johnson explained. “It’s responsible for some of the greatest movies of all time. But now you have this guy who, as our director likes to call him, is the Dirty Harry of superheroes.”

What did The Rock make in the WWE?

The Rock might be the highest-paid actor, but he’s still got a way to go to achieve the title of the wealthiest person in wrestling (the owner of the World Wrestling Entertainment company Vince McMahon rakes in a significant share of the organization’s $1 billion every year). The Rock debuted in the ring in 1996 as Rocky Maivia, a combination of his father’s and grandfather’s ring names. According to an interview he did with Stephen Colbert in 2018 he started out earning just $40 per match. His first-ever match was at Madison Square Garden in New York. “I was scared shitless,” he said, “but by the end, everyone was chanting ‘Rocky! Rocky!’. It was so cool, and that’s what started my career.” He was propelled to superstardom in 1998 and eventually achieved the world heavyweight champion nine times. It’s not known exactly how much The Rock made during his tenure in the WWE, but it was reported his salary for 2013 was $5 million—this is of course after he made a name for himself in Hollywood.

The Rock: Through the Lens: His Life, His Movies, His World

The Rock: Through the Lens: His Life, His Movies, His World

If you want to read more about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Through the Lens: His Life, Movies, His World by longtime friend and collaborator Hiram Garcia takes you behind the scenes inside Johnson’s production studio and the life of Hollywood’s nicest guy with intimate and never-before-seen photos.

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