Michael Bay Makes The Big Bucks

It's a slow news day so I thought I'd point out a story over at Forbes Magazine that profiles director Michael Bay from a financial perspective. The bottom line is that Bay makes some serious cash. Here are some interesting tidbits I learned from the article.

  • When there wasn't enough money to bring back the crew to shoot a sequence where Will Smith punches out a bad guy in Bad Boys, the first time feature director put up $25,000 of his $125,000 fee to shoot the scene.
  • Bay declined upfront pay for Pearl Harbor in favor of a 50% split of what remained after the studio recouped production and advertising costs. The film grossed $450 million; and Bay made $40 million.
  • Bay gets an estimated 8% on Transformer toys tied to movies, second only to that of George Lucas, who gets an estimated 15% royalty on all Star Wars figures.
  • As a producer, Bay gets an average 8% of the studio's net on each film.
  • Bay bought James Cameron's visual-effects house Digital Domain in 2007 (when the company had fallen on hard times) with his business partner, John Textor for $35 million.
  • Head on over to Forbes to read the whole article.