There are talented artists who act for a living, famous actors, and then there are movie stars. Very few have risen to the point where they’re one of the most recognizable people on the planet, and Brad Pitt is one of them. For decades, he has been showcasing his abilities and his good looks on the silver screen, and during that time, he’s been nominated for seven Academy Awards (winning two), earned the praise of critics and his contemporaries, and earned hundreds of millions of dollars.
Pitt remains one of the most in-demand actors in the world, and while he has recently been interested in other pursuits, such as raising his children, operating a winery, and even producing, he continues to rake in huge paychecks for a variety of films which range from serious dramas to comedies to action-packed blockbusters, such as Bullet Train and upcoming Babylon.
Read on to learn about Pitt’s side businesses, the many films he’s starred in (and produced behind-the-scenes), as well as some of his largest paydays.
5 Ways Brad Pitt Makes His Millions
1. Film & TV
For decades, Pitt has been one of the most famous, most celebrated, and best-paid actors in the movie industry. He has dozens of acting credits under his belt, not to mention tons of producing credits. But he wasn’t always making tens of millions of dollars for every project he took on. When he first started, Pitt was earning thousands per flick, but once he landed one or two high-profile roles, his per-film salary increased many times over. Sometimes, such as when he worked with director Quentin Tarantino, Pitt opted to take a pay cut, but even in those instances, he was still making millions for his appearances.
Here is a quick rundown of some of Pitt’s salary highlights from his acting career.
● Thelma & Louise - Pitt earned $6,000 for his brief appearance in the female road trip film following two criminals played by Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon.
● Kalifornia - Starring alongside Juliette Lewis, David Duchovny, and Michelle Forbes, Pitt received $500,000 to play a psychopath serial killer in this 1993 film.
● Se7en - A modern classic that asks what’s in the box, Pitt’s salary increased dramatically to $4 million for starring in David Fincher’s second feature film.
● Sleepers - Pitt joined the star-studded legal drama alongside Kevin Bacon, Robert DeNiro, Dustin Hoffman, Minnie Driver, and more, and took home $10 million.
● Seven Years in Tibet - This war epic earned Pitt another $10 million, though the film’s depictions of Chinese soldiers initially caused Pitt, co-star David Thewlis, and director Jean-Jacques Annaud to be banned from China.
● Devil's Own - Starring opposite Harrison Ford, Pitt earned slightly less than his last two films at $8 million. This was the last film by director Alan J. Pakula, who died shortly after the film was released.
● Meet Joe Black - This romance fantasy film was nominated for a Razzie the year it was released, but that didn’t stop Pitt from earning a cool $17.5 million from it.
● Fight Club - His second partnership with David Fincher, this psychological thriller based on a novel by Chuck Palahniuk gave Pitt a $17.5 million payday.
● Spy Game - An action thriller by Tony Scott, Pitt got $17.5 million for starring opposite Robert Redford.
● The Mexican - The film that established Pitt’s chemistry with Julia Roberts earned him $10 million.
● Ocean’s Eleven - A star-studded cast including Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle, Andy Garcia, and Bernie Mac, Pitt pocketed a $10 million base salary. His contract also negotiated a cut of the back end, which brought his take-home to around $30 million total.
● Troy - Set during the events of the Greek Trojan War and written by future Game of Thrones scribe David Benioff, Pitt’s payday equaled $17.5 million.
● Mr. & Mrs. Smith - Famously where he met future wife Angelina Jolie, Pitt received $20 million to star in this action thriller about spouses who discover they are assassins with competing agendas.
● The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford - The lowest salary since the beginning of his career, he earned critical acclaim in addition to a $1 million paycheck.
● Inglourious Basterds - One of Quentin Tarantino’s most widely acclaimed films, Pitt starred as an American lieutenant in World War II and the leader of The Basterds who kill Hitler. He got $10 million for it.
● Moneyball - A sports drama about the Oakland Athletics baseball team’s 2002 breakout season added $10 million more to his bottom line.
On TV, Pitt has guest-starred, landed recurring roles, and produced a lot of content, though he hasn’t devoted years to appear on screen as a regular in any long-running productions. Throughout the years, he’s acted in titles such as Another World, Growing Pains, Friends, 21 Jump Street, Glory Days, SweetBitter, Pretty/Handsome, and many more. His work garnered him five Emmy nominations, and he’s thus far collected one.
Pitt has been a big star for perhaps three decades, and during that time, he’s leveraged his fame to earn sizable paychecks from brands to appear in ads and commercials. Before he was a proper movie star, he still snagged some endorsement deals, and there are a number of spots he featured in many years back, perhaps thanks to his good looks and charm.
Pitt has appeared in ads for companies like Acura, Cadillac (in China; the company reportedly paid the actor $3 million), Damiani jewelry, De'Longhi, Edwin denim, Heineken (in a spot that aired during the 2005 Super Bowl, for which he was paid $4.5 million), La Maison, Levi’s, Pringles, Rolex, Roots Coffee, Softbank, and Toyota (in Japan only).
3. Business Ventures
In 2001, Pitt co-founded the production company Plan B Entertainment with his then-wife Jennifer Aniston, and film executive Brad Grey. Aniston walked away from the company during their divorce, giving Pitt full control.
In the decades since, the company has had a hand in bringing many critical and commercial successes to the big screen, including a number of titles that feature Pitt, as well as ones where he only receives producer credit. Plan B’s filmography features movies like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Departed, Troy, A Mighty Heart, The Time Traveler's Wife, Kick-Ass, Eat, Pray, Love, World War Z, 12 Years a Slave, Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk, Ad Astra, Vice, and Minari, to name just a few. What exactly Pitt earns from the company isn’t clear, but it is clearly a major focus for him, and many of the firm’s efforts have gone on to make quite a bit of money.
In 2012, Pitt and his now ex-wife Angelina Jolie purchased an estate in France called Miraval, and a wine business became theirs. They reportedly spent $60 million on the property, which also came with a winery. They entered into a partnership with winemaker Marc Perrin, and in 2020, the company sold nearly 150,000 cases in the U.S. alone, making the brand one to watch. After they split, Jolie sold her stake in the firm to a Stoli-owned company, but apparently, she had signed an agreement not to do so without Pitt’s approval, which resulted in a lawsuit between the two.
In late 2021, Pitt revealed that he was going to refurbish and reopen the recording studio found at Miraval, officially putting him into the music business (in one way). The locale had been rented by bands like Pink Floyd, AC/DC, and The Cure in the past, and the actor is hoping to attract current musicians in the future to make music. In Oct. 2022, soon after Jolie sued him for $250 million as part of their divorce proceedings for his move to “seize control” of the French property, he unveiled a first look at the studio.
4. Baby Photos
When Pitt and his then-partner Jolie welcomed their child Shiloh into the world, they were able to sell the first photos not once, but twice. The celebs were paid $4.1 million by People and $3.5 million from U.K.-based publication Hello! for the snaps. Two years later, when Jolie gave birth to twins Knox and Vivienne, the price tag rose considerably for publishable pictures of the two. The parents sold them to People, again, for $15 million. That sum still stands as the most any outlet has forked over for baby photos.
Together, Pitt and Jolie earned more than $22.5 million for photos of their children, and they donated all of it to charity.
5. Real Estate
Pitt has a real estate portfolio that is reportedly worth more than $100 million, and at times has included homes in Los Angeles, New Orleans, France, and Spain. He has been involved in a number of major sales throughout his years as a wealthy man, but it’s difficult to pin down both the purchase and sale price for most of his spots, thus making it hard to tell if he made or lost money or broke even.
The two-time Oscar winner did make around $1.4 million in profit from a New Orleans house when he and Jolie sold it for $4.9 million after purchasing the home for $3.5 million less than a decade prior.
After marrying TV star darling Jennifer Aniston in 2000, Pitt reportedly walked away from his first marriage with about $30 million, which is $2 million more than Aniston. Additionally, he gained sole ownership of his respected Plan B production company.
Pitt is in the midst of his second divorce from his estranged wife Jolie. Their contentious proceedings include ownership of their French vineyard Château Miraval. Though Jolie already sold her portion in 2021, a court filing from Oct. 4 revealed that negotiations for the winery were affected by Pitt’s request for Jolie to sign a nondisclosure agreement “that would have contractually prohibited her from speaking outside of court about Pitt's physical and emotional abuse of her and their children.” The filing also claims that Pitt utilized the property’s dollars for “vanity projects” including the recording studio and a swimming pool. Despite the filing and her current $250 million lawsuit, it’s likely Pitt will be able to keep all future profits from these ventures.
As their divorce proceedings continue, it remains to be determined how much Pitt will gain or lose from that settlement.
What Is Brad Pitt’s Net Worth?
Pitt’s net worth is currently reported to be around $300 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. He regularly makes tens of millions per year, and Forbes estimated that the actor pulled in $28 million in 2008, $25 million in 2011, $16 million in 2015, and $31.5 million in 2016, the last time he appeared on one of the magazine’s lists of the highest-paid celebrities.
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