How Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson — one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood — makes and spends his millions

Dwayne Johnson smiling
Dwayne Johnson.Axelle/Brauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty
  • Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is one of the top grossers in Hollywood, making money through acting, producing, and business ventures.

  • Through Seven Bucks Productions, he creates starring roles for himself in blockbusters and teams up with other major studios.

  • He tends to spend his cash on cars, real estate, buying the XFL, and on philanthropic projects.

Ian Phillips contributed to a previous version of this article.

Johnson said he would earn $40 a match when he started his wrestling career.

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Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson at the unveiling of his wax statue at New York's Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum in 2002.Mario Tama/Getty Images

Johnson wrestled under the nickname "The Rock" and forged an illustrious wrestling career between 1996 and 2004. Over his career, he was one of the top box office draws in history.

But he started off only making $40 a match, he once told Stephen Colbert.

He earned $5.5 million for his first movie role, 2001's "The Mummy Returns."

the mummy

Once his wrestling career was coming to an end, Johnson went and attempted the tough transition from being a wrestling star to a movie star.

He hit the ground running by scoring a $5.5 million payday for his role in 2001's "The Mummy Returns."

He followed that with the sequel "The Scorpion King" and through the early 2000s starred in modest hits like "The Rundown," "Be Cool," and "Doom."

His stardom, and paychecks, soared when he joined the "Fast and Furious" franchise.

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Dwayne Johnson in "Furious 7."Universal

Johnson joined the "Fast and Furious" franchise when he starred as bounty hunter Luke Hobbs in 2011's "Fast Five." He became a fixture and in the process became a bigger star than he was already.

Johnson brought in $10-$15 million through the franchise, and then took in $20 million for the 2019 spinoff movie, "Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw."

In 2017, Forbes named Johnson one of the world's highest-paid actors.

Dwayne Johnson Sergi Alexander Getty
He has millions of fans.Sergi Alexander/Getty

Thanks to 2017 releases like "The Fate of the Furious," "Baywatch," and "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," Johnson made a whopping $65 million, becoming one of the top-earning actors according to Forbes.

In 2018, Johnson earned $124 million becoming Forbes highest-paid actor ever reported on its list.

Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne Johnson had a big year.Christopher Polk/Getty Images

By 2018, Johnson was taking in seven-figure salaries on his movies, starring on the HBO series "Ballers," had an endorsement deal with Under Armour, and produced most of the projects he was involved in.

It led to him earning the most even in the 20-year-old celebrities list that Forbes has annually with a whopping $124 million earned that year.

He also runs Seven Bucks Productions with his ex-wife, Dany Garcia.

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Dany Garcia and Dwayne Johnson in 2009.Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

They founded the studio in 2012, after their 2007 divorce. Through Seven Bucks, they've co-produced some of Johnson's biggest hits, including "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," "Jungle Cruise," and his upcoming "Black Adam" movie. As well as TV shows "Ballers" and "Young Rock."

The production company is named Seven Bucks from that time when Johnson only had that much in his pocket.

In early 2016, The Rock teamed up with Under Armour for a global sponsorship. He also has deals with Ford and Apple which total $15 million a year.

the rock workout dwayne johnson
The Rock pumping iron.@therock/Instagram

In 2016, he signed a deal with the company for his "DJ Inspired" series of clothing, which has been extraordinarily successful. In June 2018, his line of $130 sneakers sold out in 30 minutes.

Through the years he's also scored deals with Ford and Apple. He reportedly takes in $15 million a year on these deals alone.

Johnson is the rare actor who can still demand a $20 million-per-movie payday.

Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne Johnson takes in quite a lot for each movie he makes.Rich Polk/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly

For movies like "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," "Skyscraper," and "Red Notice," Johnson had deals that have been unheard of since the heydays of Will Smith, Tom Cruise, and Julia Roberts.

Johnson makes $20 million per movie, but thanks to his responsibilities as a producer and social media responsibilities, that is just a base. If the movie performs well he takes in millions more in bonuses.

Johnson got paid $1 million just to post on his social media about his Netflix movie "Red Notice."

Dwayne Johnson running from an explosion
Dwayne Johnson in "Red Notice."Netflix

Along with the $22 million he took in for "Red Notice," that also included $1 million just for social media posts he did from his accounts about the movie to his millions of followers.

Johnson was the highest-paid actor in 2020 with $87.5 million.

Dwayne Johnson
Dwayne Johnson can't be stopped.Samir Hussein / Contributor / Getty Images

Even the pandemic can't slow his hustle. In 2020, Johnson topped the likes of Ryan Reynolds and Mark Wahlberg by taking in $87.5 million and becoming the highest-paid actor yet again, according to Forbes.

Once again, it was due to big paydays for movie roles and endorsements.

Johnson earned $22.5 million for "Black Adam."

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Dwayne Johnson in "Black Adam."Warner Bros.

Johnson's base pay is only on the rise. He was reportedly expected to take in $22.5 million to play the DC Comics superhero, according to Variety.

The trade also reported that, due to producing credits and his social media efforts to promote the movie, he would get even more money by the time the movie was done in theaters.

He's making waves in the beverage game thanks to Teremana Tequila and Zoa Energy.

James Corden and Dwayne Johnson in front of Teremana truck
Dwayne Johnson introduces James Corden to his tequila.Terence Patrick/CBS

In March 2020, Johnson founded the tequila company and in a short amount of time, it has found popularity. The Spirits Business reported in 2021 that it was on track to sell 1 million cases. Only six tequila brands sell a million cases or more, according to a 2020 Brands Champion report.

In June of that year, Johnson then launched the energy drink Zoa Energy. It is sold in more than 26,000 retailers and at over 100,000 points of distribution, according to a 2021 CNBC report.

So how does he spend all that money, anyway? One way is through charity.

dwayne the rock johnson foundation
The Rock can easily hold this really big check.Charley Gallay/Getty Images for CineVegas

In 2006, Johnson founded the Dwayne Johnson Rock Foundation, a charity that works with children with illnesses, disorders, and disabilities to improve their self-esteem and help empower their lives. It also helps with physical fitness and nutrition programs for children.

He also spends money on food.

dwayne the rock johnson carb up night
A layout of The Rock's food for a "carb up" night, and also his food.@therock/Instagram

To maintain his physique, he eats more than 5,000 carbs a day, sometimes across up to seven meals. He'll have massive "carb up" nights where he just loads up on sushi. All in all, he eats about 10 pounds of food a day.

He famously loves cod.

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At one point, Johnson ate a third of a ton of cod per year.Skye Gould/Tech Insider

In 2015, he revealed his diet to Muscle & Fitness and FiveThirtyEight counted it all up and found that Johnson consumes 821 pounds of cod in a year. Given that cod goes for about $1.75 per pound, that means he was spending about $1,400 per year on fish.

But in early 2016, Johnson told Business Insider's Dave Mosher that he cut cod out of his diet.

He also buys custom cars. The Rock showed up to the premiere of "Ballers" in a Pagani Huayra.

the rock custom car
Dwayne Johnson in his custom Pagani Huayra.@therock/instagram

This car is custom-made, so the price can vary, but the regular Pagani clocks in at around $1 million. But even though it's custom-made, Johnson said on Instagram that he's too big to properly fit in it.

But his favorite car seems to be a custom-made pickup truck.

dwayne the rock johnson pickup truck
A car made for a "Fast and Furious" star.@therock/Instagram

Car blogs have identified several expensive cars in Johnson's garage, but his favorite seems to be a monster truck-like Ford F-150 Pickup, with custom modifications. It's a vehicle he can easily get in and out of with his six-foot, five-inch frame. It's fitting that the "Fast and Furious" star loves such an aggressive-looking car.

He bought his dad a bunch of trucks.

dwayne the rock johnson dad truck
The guy loves trucks.@therock/Instagram

In 2016, Johnson wrote an Instagram post talking about his father's difficult life, and how he never asked for much.

"Over the years, I've moved him into a big home, got him trucks to drive - which he'll literally drive into the ground until I get him something else," Johnson wrote. "Hell, I'll get him anything he wants, but the SOB just won't ask."

It seems like he likes to gift people trucks in general.

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He got his stunt double, Tanoai Reed, a custom truck.@therock/Instagram

In July 2018, he bought his stunt double (who's also a distant cousin) a giant custom pick-up truck.

"Over the course of my career, my stunt double (and cousin) Tanoai Reed has broken multiple bones, severed tendons, torn ligaments & just been an overall dominating bad ass achieving several 'Stuntman of the Year' honors," he wrote in an Instagram post. "I had this custom pick up truck delivered just in time to surprise him (he's still recovering from a stunt injury) while we give what he thought was going to be an interview about our careers together."

Johnson also spends money on elaborate tattoos.

The Rock MTV Movie Awards
His elaborate tattoos also made him perfect for his "Moana" role.Getty Images

His chest and arm tattoos represent different parts of his heritage, which is part American, part Black Canadian, and part Samoan. He's gotten some of his tattoos done by a famed Tahitian tattoo artist named Po'oino Yrondi, according to Inked magazine.

Johnson is almost always working in different locations — and he often has luxury accommodations.

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Johnson taking a selfie with reporters at the Chinese Media Conference of "Hercules" at a Chinese hotel in 2014.Xiaolu Chu/Getty Images for Paramount

He often posts pictures of his digs on Instagram. When he's not staying in nice hotels while shooting movies, he's staying in nice hotels on international press tours for them.

He also often gets from place to place in a fancy Gulfstream G650.

dwayne the rock johnson gulfstream
He's not above changing diapers on a private jet.@therock/Instagram

It's one of the best and fastest private jets in the world. It's unclear if Johnson owns it or just rents it, but he often posts on Instagram and Twitter about traveling in it while he's on press tours — and sometimes he brings his family along for the ride.

As a kid, Johnson always dreamed of owning a Rolex.

Dwayne The Rock Johnson Rolex Watch
The Rock wears a different watch nowadays.Getty Images

He bought his first one for $35,000 when he was a wrestler, according to Forbes, after years of wearing a fake one to remember his goal.

It was smashed in the ring a week after be bought it, and he never replaced it.

But Johnson did buy at least one more Rolex as a gift. After accidentally punching another actor on the set of 2002's "The Scorpion King," he purchased a custom-made Rolex for him.

The Rock is also into the real-estate game.

dwayne the rock johnson house
Johnson often shows off his houses on Instagram.@therock/Instagram

According to data from Zillow, Johnson is a relatively high-volume home buyer and seller for a celebrity. In the past decade or so, he's sold more than 10 homes, mostly in Florida.

At the end of 2018, he also bought his mother a house.

Among them is a six-bedroom home in Hidden Hills, California, which he sold for nearly $4.9 million in 2012.

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Yes, he's a very successful businessman.Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Fast Company

According to TMZ, it had an infinity pool and a home theater.

He bought a $5.5 million Miami mansion in 2014 and commissioned a $1 million addition.

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The Rock making pancakes in his big, beautiful mansion.@therock/Instagram

The addition included — no surprise — a giant gym and a guest house for his personal trainer.

Johnson also owns a farm outside of Charlottesville, Virginia.

dwayne the rock johnson horse
The Rock loves horses.@therock/Instagram

He goes there after grueling shoots to relax and reconnect with nature. He often posts photos on Instagram of himself, fishing in his pond, hanging out with horses, and frolicking with his family in the grass. Locals sometimes see him in Gold's Gym in Charlottesville.

Johnson bought the XFL for $15 million.

Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia in XFL jerseys
Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia are trying their hands at the XFL.Rick Yeatts/XFL

Johnson, Garcia, and a group of other investors bought the football league for $15 million in 2020, according to ESPN.

The league was first created by WWE owner Vince McMahon back in 2001 but it never came close to finding the popularity that the NFL has. Johnson believes he can change that. The new XFL season under The Rock will begin in 2023.

In September 2023, Johnson and Oprah announced a joint donation of $10 million to help the Maui fire victims.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Oprah Winfrey in a composite image.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Oprah Winfrey.AP Photo

The superstars made a major donation of $5 million each to help the relief efforts following the deadly fire in Maui.

However, there was backlash after the announcement as some felt it wasn't enough from the stars as the donation represents less than 0.5% of their combined reported net worths of $2.77B.

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