Tyler Perry tops 'Forbes' list of the highest-paid men in entertainment over the past year


Image Credit: Jim Spellman/WireImage.com

Madea Goes to the Bank. Okay, so that probably won’t be the title for the next installment of the wildly popular film series, but it could be considering Tyler Perry’s titular character has definitely helped him rake in the cash. This week, Forbes released their list of the highest-paid men in Hollywood (not to be mistaken with their list from last month of the highest-earning actors) and the multi-faceted Perry, who has taken on writing, directing, acting, and producing duties in film and television, topped them all with an intake of an estimated $130 million from May 2010-2011.

Perry, who was behind four movies from 2010 to 2011 (including Madea’s Big Happy Family and For Colored Girls) and his hit TBS sitcom Meet the Browns, likely won’t be falling far on the list either, as he’s already extended his partnership with Lionsgate with a multi-year deal and took over for Idris Elba’s role in the anticipated I, Alex Cross.

Perry edged out, by a fairly substantial margin, the man responsible for The Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who earned a reported $113 million over the course of the year. They were followed closely by Steven Spielberg at No. 3 with $107 million, Elton John at No. 4 with $100 million, and Simon Cowell at No. 5 with $90 million. Rounding out the top 10, in order, were James Patterson ($84 million), Dr. Phil McGraw ($80 million), highest-paid actor Leonardo DiCaprio ($77 million), Howard Stern ($76 million), and, finally — controversy and endorsement losses be damned — Tiger Woods ($75 million).

Who are you most surprised to see on Forbes’ list for the highest-paid men in entertainment, PopWatchers? Does it seem like the more markets you reach (television, movies, books), the more money you’ll make or is it simply by having one or two massive hits over the course of the year that can take you very far? Do you think these fellas are worth what they’re making? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!

Read more:
Leonardo DiCaprio is ‘king of the world,’ says Forbes
Tyler Perry extends deal with Lionsgate
Tyler Perry and the controversy over his hit movies

Comments (63 total) Add your comment
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  • UGH

    What a crime.
    The man puts out the worst movies and television.

    • Wickeddoll

      I don’t know if you’re white or not, “Ugh” but Perry’s films appeal to us, because we understand the characters, which, granted, are over the top. Madea, for instance, is exactly like women I’ve known my entire life. (they didn’t do the crazy things she did, but the persona is spot-on) So, we “get” it, and can appreciate that while it’s certainly not high art, it feels real. To paraphrase Chris Rock, it’s made for us.

      • Vivi

        Who’s the “us”? If the “us” is African-American folks, then that does not include me. I am African-American/black and I do not get the Tyler Perry appeal. He makes the most predictable movies and TV shows ever. I’ve tried watching this TV shows and I have not laughed once. Just one corny, unfunny situation after another. His movies are based on what exactly that appeal to “us”? Because I do not see it.

      • nikki

        And I’m white and love Tyler Perry. As do most people I know, whether Black, White, Cuban, or Asian. Pretty sure he crosses race and gender lines.

    • holt

      white people don’t get tyler perry, just like straight men don’t get glee.

    • Tom

      what a waste of money

  • KC

    That Alex Cross will film will flop with him in the lead.

  • Brian K

    And yet I doubt more than 1/3 of America would recognize him if they met him. But I’m not surprised he’s raking it in. The ones who surprise me are Leo and Elton.

  • Karate Pants

    I read that headline as “…highest overpaid men in entertainment…” at least three times.

    • Barry

      I read it as saying men. What is she doing topping the list?

  • Vinny

    I just can’t believe those horrible and lame Tyler Perry movies make money. They’re unwatchable!!

    • Cary


  • Volunteer Editor

    with an intake of an estimated $130 from May 2010-2011?

    • Little comment

      Entertainment Weekly is run by female teenagers and the gay men they go shopping with.

      • Cameron J

        Leave us teens out of it. We’re embarrassed by their grammar too.

  • Mr. Effing Tea Party

    I don’t like how this guy spoofs Vietnam war hero Captain Ernest Medina. I don’t like it.

  • Ruby

    Tyler Perry’s movies are GOD AWFUL. I recently had to watch Madea’s Big Happy Family for work. While I didn’t think it was possible, it has supplanted Legally Blonde 2 and Alien v Predator as the worst movie ever made. What an annoying film.

    • Haters Go Away

      You FACE is GOD AWFUL! Let’s see what you’ve done and how much you made last year.

      Why don’t you go create something and allow everyone to critique you

      • Me Fail English?

        No you.

  • amy

    I really don’t understand this at all! His tv shows on TBS are horrible! Bad writing and the acting is laughable (in a bad way not a good way)! His movies are just plain stupid!

    • Ki

      The shows are horrible. But I think some of the earlier movies were entertaining

    • NarkV

      His tv shows are the worst. I can’t believe anyone actually gets paid for that nonsense.

      • sTrue

        Just goes to show you that some folks will support any garbage with the pedigree they approve. Cough … White House … cough.

  • Sparky

    I say good for you tyler…far cry from being practically homeless. i cant stand your movies but i can respect your hustle!


    Tyler Perry is very successful. He is very smart when it comes to writing,producing,directing and acting in his own shows. He knows what it takes to make money in Hollywood. His TV SHOW SUCKS big time. I think his movies are very funny though. I have seen few of his movies and I laughed until I farted. Kudos to TYLER PERRY

  • freddy

    How did Elton John make 100 million. No movies, no hit album sales, no hit touring…. This boggles my mind.

    • @freddy

      I guess Las Vegas!

    • @freddy

      He also wrote all the music to that movie, Gnomeo and Juliet. He writes a lot of music for movies especially animated movies.

  • susan

    Im sorry, but Tyler Perry is f***ing funny, maybe one of the funniest guys around, let you barriers down long enough, or pay attention (if your intelligent enough) and you will get the jokes. Its real life, mixed wit real life comedy. Move over Bill Cosby, (amazingly funny man) Tyler is here, no his TV show isnt my favorite but his movies are…and he is a classy man…you dont see him in the tabloids all drugged/ drunk-ed up, hitting people..hes classy, he can speak with intelligence, dresses nice and lives clean……………GO Tyler (and all you haters I am white…hahahaaa)

    • whatevs

      Did you really just imply that people who don’t like Tyler Perry aren’t intelligent enough to pay attention? I’m pretty sure opinions on intelligence are only accepted from those who know what an apostrophe is.

    • NarkV

      Did you really just say that Bill Cosby is an amazingly funny man??

      • Templar

        Bill Cosby, in his prime, was a very funny man. I always was partial to Richard Pryor myself, but Cosby was PG rated so everyone could enjoy his work. Tyler Perry is a poor replacement for either one.

    • Sam

      So dressing up like a ghetto black woman and acting n i gg e r ish is classy?

      • Tranzchick

        Speaking of “classy”…. nice comment Adolph.

      • Pauline V., IL

        Your language is inappropriate. And perhaps worse!

  • Jerry


  • CJ

    I can respect Perry for wanting to put diversity in film and tv, but he REALLY needs to improve the QUALITY of those films and tv shows!

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