I have to admit, Nicolas Cage is probably my favorite actor of all time. The Rock, Lord of War, Con Air, National Treasure, Raising Arizona, Leaving Las Vegas, Face/Off, Snake Eyes… I celebrate the man’s entire catalog. I realize that some of Nick’s movies can be perceived as slightly cheesy or even flat out bad, but you have to admit his movies are rarely dull.
This weekend, a new Nicolas Cage movie is debuting in theaters. In “Renfield,” Cage stars as Transylvanian Count Dracula. Let me repeat that. Nick Cage stars as Count Dracula. Enough said, right?
My sources tell me Nick is making in range of $4-5 million for his work in Renfield. That’s a perfectly respectable amount, but a far cry of his peak per-movie salary.
At the peak of his career, Nick was one of the highest paid celebrities in the world. For a mid-budget movie he easily made $10 million for a few weeks of work. For big budget blockbusters, his base salary was $20 million. In a very average 1990s year, Nick made $40 million per year. That would be like earning $80 million per year today after adjusting for inflation.
Here are some particularly notable salaries:
- $16 million for Snake Eyes
- $20 million for Gone in Sixty Seconds
- $20 million for Windtalkers
- $20 million for National Treasure
… just to name a few.
If you just add up his known salaries, between 1996 and 2011 Nicolas cage made $150 million from acting salaries and back-end points. Call it $200 million after adjusting for inflation.
Not surprisingly, as his income went up so did his spending habits. Actually, to be fair, as his income increased Nick’s spending habits SKYROCKETED.
Between 2000 and 2007 Nick went on a spending spree that would make the Sultan of Brunei blush. During that time Cage made the following purchases:
- 15 Personal Homes
- A Private Island
- Four Luxury Yachts
- A Fleet of Exotic Cars
- A $30 Million Gulfstream Private Jet
Unfortunately, during this same period, Nick was not spending money on… his IRS bills. By 2009, his unpaid tax bill and penalties reportedly totaled more than $13 million. Cage subsequently filed a $20 million lawsuit against his business manager, accusing him of negligence and fraud.
Starting around 2009, Nick began attempting to dump as many of his assets as possible, starting with the houses. Unfortunately, as you may recall, 2009 was quite possibly the worst time in the last 100 years to try and sell a house in a pinch.
But let’s go over the fun purchases one by one, starting with…
15 Personal Homes
At the peak of his spending spree, Nick Cage owned 15 personal residences. All of his purchases were made in the years leading up to the 2008 real estate bubble explosion. So in other words, he bought almost all of his properties at peak valuations.
His property portfolio included an $8 million castle in England that he plunged millions more into remodeling. He never spent a single night in the castle.
He also bought a second castle in Bavaria, two multi-million dollar mansions in New Orleans, a $17.5 million palace in Bel Air, a $10 million Malibu beach house, a 24,000 square foot home in Rhode Island, a mansion in Las Vegas and a getaway property on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.
A Private Island
Apparently having a house on Paradise Island didn’t fill Nick’s penchant for the Bahamas because in 2006 he spent $7 million on a 40 acre private island 85 miles south of Nassau.
Four Luxury Yachts
Cage at one time owned four luxury yachts including one called Sarita that had 12 master bedrooms and was valued at $20 million.
Fleet of Exotic Cars
At its peak, Nick Cage’s garage contained dozens of high end luxury vehicles including nine Rolls Royces. He owned an extremely rare $500 thousand Lamborghini and a $1 million Ferrari Enzo, one of only 349 produced. He also owned 30 motorcycles.
Gulfstream Private Jet
Nick’s private plane of choice was a $30 million Gulfstream. A private jet of this caliber almost certainly cost an additional $1 million per year in gas, pilot salaries and maintenance.
Nick also bought around 50 expensive works of art, dozens of jewels, two extremely rare albino King Cobras and a 67 million year old dinosaur skull.
The good news is that Nick is still a bankable star. He continues to star in several several films pretty much every year. The National Treasure movies alone have grossed a combined $1 billion. He could probably make $20 million making new National Treasure movie every couple years and that would be an amazing life (plus we would get a new National Treasure movie every couple years!).
As of this writing, we estimate Nicolas Cage’s net worth at $25 million. A perfectly respectable fortune, but a far cry from the hundreds of millions he very likely should be worth today.
But hey, you can’t take your money with you to the after life! Actually, if anyone could do that, it would probably be Nick Cage.