How much is Michael Moore worth?
|Net Worth:||$25 Million|
|Date of Birth:||April 23, 1954 (age 68)|
|Country:||United States of America|
|Height:||5 ft 11 in (1.82 m)|
“I’m not a pundit. I’m not an analyst. I don’t want to participate in the existing debate that’s going on about whether or not you should be able to have as many guns as you want to have or that guns are even the problem.” Michael Moore
About Michael Moore
Michael Moore is a documentary film maker who is known for his controversial opinions when it comes to politics, gun control, and pharmaceuticals in America, which tend to be the main subjects of his movies. Though many of them tend to be highly controversial, the director has earned dozens of awards including an Oscar and the coveted Palm D’Or, and his filmography includes Roger & Me, Bowling For Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, and Sicko.
Moore is also well known for having his likeness appearing against his will as a puppet in the similarly controversial (but entirely different kind of movie), Team America: World Police.
“I don’t want to do anything that violates my own personal code of ethics and morals.” Michael Moore
As Moore worked for a local newspaper in his early years, he had always been keen to pursue journalism, but in 1989, the filmmaker switched mediums. Deciding to make the documentary, Roger & Me, about the role that GM’s manager Roger Smith played in closing down several auto plants in Flint, which caused a seismic shift in the town’s economy. The movie made $7.7 million worldwide, and though that might not sound like much, the movie had a micro budget of just $140,000.
It was so successful that by the time Roger & Me was released, GM had already lost 8% of its market share. Though Roger & Me had found success in a niche area of the film industry, it was Bowling for Columbine that put Moore on the map and turned him in to a force to be reckoned with.
The movie follows Moore on his pursuit to change gun control, as the film begins with him being given a free gun after opening a bank account. The movie went on to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary the year of its release. By this point, Moore was seen as something of a rockstar in the movie industry and his profile was partly responsible for the next and biggest success of his career.
Fahrenheit 9/11, a documentary about the terrorist attacks on 9/11, saw Moore, an obese and gruff documentarian, become as famous in Hollywood as George Clooney. The movie holds box office records and it won the most prestigious award in film history, the Palm D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. “War is always good for certain companies that are in the war. The business of war. If it wasn’t for the oil, nobody would be there. Nobody would worry about it.” Michael Moore, Fahrenheit 9/11
Unfortunately, people aren’t always famous for being beloved national treasures, and though that’s what Moore is seen as for the most part, the filmmaker has been a victim of character mockery by Matt Stone and Trey Parker. The two comedians created Team America: World Police, a movie featuring Thunderbird-style puppets, in which Moore’s model is blown up and turns out to be made entirely out of ham. The movie has been seen by millions and it has become a comedy classic. And unfortunately for Moore, it will be remembered for decades to come.
As his first movie, Roger & Me, was entirely produced by Moore, he had the sole rights to the movie, and Warner Bros bought distribution rights from Moore for $3 million which was unheard of at the time for a documentary. Not only that, but Moore and Warner Bros came to one of the strangest agreements the film industry has ever seen; on top of the three million dollars, Moore asked the film company to pay rent for two years to those GM workers who were evicted in the movie.
“What really went wrong is that General Motors has had this philosophy from the beginning that what’s good for General Motors is good for the country. So, their attitude was, ‘We’ll build it and you buy it. We’ll tell you what to buy. You just buy it.'” Michael Moore
Though Moore is anti-capitalist, it doesn’t mean the success of his documentary films won’t bring him wealth. Moore has created some of the most famous documentaries that have made hundreds of millions worldwide. His breakthrough movie, Bowling For Columbine made a massive $58 million from its $4 million budget. But the director’s follow up, Fahrenheit 9/11, grossed over $222.4 million, which makes it the highest grossing documentary of all time. Moore received an amazing 22% cut of that movie’s profit. And with a budget of just $6 million, that equates to $47.6 million before taxes.
Michael Moore’s opinion has been that”Capitalism is an organized system to guarantee that greed becomes the primary force of our economic system and allows the few at the top to get very wealthy and has the rest of us riding around thinking we can be that way, too – if we just work hard enough, sell enough Tupperware and Amway products, we can get a pink Cadillac.”
As Moore is left-wing and very anti-capitalist, he is dedicated to exercising his ideas and opinions at political rallies and protests. He is so committed to his work on battling the political system.
Moore is very calm when interviewing people, and his method is to make interviewees feel comfortable and like they can relax, and that’s when Moore starts to ask the bigger and more combative questions. This was easy for him earlier in his career, as not many people knew who he was and the power that he could hold over his interview candidates. The best example of this is at the end of Bowling For Columbine when Moore visits Charlton Heston, a former movie star and, at the time, current spokesperson for the NRA. Moore puts Heston at ease by telling him that he is a lifetime member of the NRA and shows proof of this. Then, after a couple of jokes made by Heston, Moore starts asking about the connection between the NRA and school shootings.
One thing that helps Moore’s movies have a much broader appeal than they otherwise would is by interviewing personalities who could be influential in shaping today’s youth, which makes the film more popular in that demographic.
Bowling for Columbine featured interviews with Marilyn Manson and Matt Stone. As Marilyn Manson is a rock star, wears black face paint and writes controversial music, voicing his opinion on gun crime to his fans and their parents who had preemptive opinions of him was important and necessary.
Moore wouldn’t have amassed the wealth he has if it wasn’t for entirely producing and funding his movies by himself. And along with his high risk, high reward business decisions, Moore’s unique approach to journalism has broad appeal, even if it is controversial. Thanks to this, Michael Moore has an estimated net worth of $25 million. Though Moore is long passed his peak, as he has released several movies since Sicko but none have seen close to the same exposure, the filmmaker is still working.
More recently, he produced the documentary Planet of the Humans for YouTube, which argues that renewable energy isn’t as renewable as people may think.