In a Hollywood culture where a huge number of child actors find themselves in trouble with the law, developing addictive behaviors, or simply spending their money on unsustainable financial lifestyles, Ron Howard is one of the few survivors unscathed by the personal dramas. In fact, his current net worth has been estimated between $140 and $160 million. One interesting aspect of this is the lion’s share of that money has been made not from being a child actor, but by moving up and becoming a director and producer of several Academy Award worthy efforts such as Apollo 13.
Howard has not necessarily lived a reclusive life or avoided the media, but specific numbers on how much he has made as an actor, producer, or director are not easy to find There is some data, which is provided below, but just looking at his top dozen movies based on gross sales approaching the $160 million total net worth is not so hard to believe.
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas $260,044,825
- The Da Vinci Code $217,536,138
- Solo: A Star Wars Story $213,767,512
- Apollo 13 $173,837,933
- A Beautiful Mind $170,742,341
- Ransom $136,492,681
- Angels and Demons $133,375,846
- Parenthood $100,047,830
- Backdraft $ 77,868,585
- Cocoon $ 76,113,124
- Splash $ 69,821,334
- Cinderella Man $ 61,649,911
Of this top dozen movies, 8 have surpassed the $100 million mark. It is also worth noting that these successes did not take place within a decade, but over the span of more than 3 decades. Solo: A Star Wars Story is of 2018 vintage, so at age 64 Howard obviously has no plans of retiring and collecting Social Security.
As for specific income numbers, we can safely bet that his income as an actor hasn’t been a major factor in contributing to his total net worth. He did make about $100,000 from Eat My Dust but the lion’s share of his income has come from being a director beginning at the turn of the millennium.
- He made $10 million in 2001 for A Beautiful Mind
- Though there is no breakdown for 2007, it is widely reported he made $35 million. Oddly, this was a year he made no mentionable movies as either director, actor, or producer. We should take this year’s annual income reporting with a grain of salt – or more.
- In 2011, he made $10 million for The Dilemma a film that grossed under $50 million.
- He sold his country estate in Westchester County, New York for a cool $27,500,000.
Yet these numbers don’t seem to add up unless you consider the bigger picture. Consider these rankings by the website “The Numbers” and things should make a lot more sense.
- He is ranked #4 in the Top Grossing Director at the Domestic Box Office with $2,100,425,360.
- He is in the Top 100 of Top Grossing Producer at the Domestic Box Office at $1,095,297,988.
- On the global scene, he is #15 in rank of the Top Grossing Director at the International Box Office with $2,183,951,402.
- Another global statistic: he is #8 in the Top Grossing Director at the Worldwide Box Office ranking, raking in some $4,284,376,762.
All these numbers are in the billions, not millions. One advantage as a producer or director is you can sit back and watch the money roll in even after you are done with the movie. Actors may have to go on publicity tours or go to conventions to keep their brand alive, but not so for Howard and others in his craft. Just one percent of the box office gross will see their net worth increase dramatically.
One very important factor in Howard keeping the vast majority of his earnings is his decision to avoid the merry go round of having several girlfriends/wives and being married to one woman for more than 40 years. No extramarital scandals to negatively impact his brand, no costly divorce settlements, and no possibility of romantic blackmail. At 64 he is happy who he has chosen for his wife, and though he is no longer little Opie he has kept an image right from his homespun roots of Duncan, Oklahoma.
The fact that he continues to find the right tone for his producing and directing efforts to attract audiences of all ages makes the potential for additional net worth gains extremely likely. But the $140 – $160 million estimates can only be that – just estimates. But attaining the highest level of his craft has been achieved, and the good news is we can expect future efforts to be as successful.