Michael Bay – Net Worth, Career, Sources of Income

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By David

Real Name:Michael Benjamin Bay
Birthday:February 17, 1965
Net Worth$430 million
Height:185 cm
Occupation:Film director and producer

Michael Bay is one of the most recognizable directors in Hollywood. He is also one of the richest directors. His movies earned more than $5 billion in total. An American director and film producer, Bay is famous for directing huge blockbuster movies. Some of them are Bad Boys, Transformers, Pearl Harbor, and Armageddon.

Besides to blockbuster movies, he produced classic horror movie remakes. For example, he produced a remake for Friday the 13th, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and more.

Career Start

Fun fact: Michael Bay once worked with George Lucas. He got his start as an intern for George Lucas. Michael was just 15 years old at the time. He filled the storyboards for Raiders of the Lost Ark. At the time, Bay thought the movie will be terrible. But his opinion changed after seeing the movie in the theater.

That is when he decided to be a film director. The experience impressed him. Michael Bay graduated from Wesleyan University in 1986, with a major in English and Film. He was a member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity.

He got his start for Propaganda Film. At the time, Michael Bay directed commercials and music videos, just two weeks his post-graduation. His most successful early work was the 90-second World War II-inspired Coca-Cola advertisement. Capitol Records picked it up, and he then got a national commercial for Red Cross. He won a Clio Award in 1992 with the Red Cross commercial.

The next year, he directed the Got Milk? advertisement campaign for California Milk Processors Board. But it was his success in music that helped launch a movie career. Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson noticed him and asked him to direct Bad Boys. This was his first feature-length film. Shot in Miami in 1994, the movie starred Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.

The movie was a break-out role for Smith and a breakthrough for Michael Bay. Bay got a budget of $19 million for the movie. Bad Boys grossed $141 million at the box office, a remarkable amount for the time. He shot another action movie two years later. The Rock, set on Alcatraz Island, starred Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage in the main roles. Connery and Cage won Best On-Screen Duo Award.

Thanks to the success of The Rock, Michael Bay established his production company, Bay Films. He got a two-picture deal with Disney.

His next movie was Armageddon, arguably his best work. The movie follows a group of tough oil drillers sent by NASA to deflect an asteroid. With actors like Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, and Billy Bob Thornton, the movie was an instant success. The movie got 4 Oscar nominations. Bay worked with a budget of $140 million, one of the highest of the summer of 1998.

Armageddon grossed more than $500 million. That made Bay a great choice for directing blockbuster movies. His movies earn a lot of money. And he followed that with Pearl Harbor, Transformers, and more movies.

Net Worth and Sources of Income

In addition to his movies, Michael Bay earns money from other sources. He is the co-founder of Platinum Dunes, a production company. They produce remakes of old horror movies, including Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and more.

Nickelodeon recognized their success. In 2020, they will release a remake of the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Michael Bay also has a production company for commercials. The list of customers includes Nike, Lexus, Reebok, Mercedes Benz, Victoria’s Secret, and more.

But his biggest career success was Transformers. Directing the Transformers Trilogy with Steven Spielberg as producer enabled him special negotiations. He got a partial ownership of the movies he directs or produces. He also gets a percentage of the merchandise sales, on top of box office receipts.

With that in mind, here are his most successful movies in terms of box office success.

  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon, $1.124 billion at the box office
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction, $1.104 billion at the box office
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, $836 million at the box office
  • Transformers, $709 million at the box office
  • Armageddon, $553 million at the box office
  • Pearl Harbor, $449 million at the box office
  • The Rock, $335 million at the box office

Wealthiest directors in Hollywood

With a net worth of $430 million puts him among the wealthiest and richest directors in Hollywood. His net worth will go up with more and more projects in 2020. Here is the list of the top 5 richest directors.

  • George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, net worth of $4.9 billion
  • Steven Spielberg, head of the Jurassic Park franchise and more iconic movies, a net worth of $3.7 billion
  • James Cameron, directed the Terminator franchise, Alien, Titanic, and Avatar, a net worth of $700 million
  • Peter Jackson, creator of Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit franchise, a net worth of $450 million
  • Michael Bay, the creator of Transformers franchise, a net worth of $430 million

Personal Life

Michael Bay lives in Miami. It is fitting, given that Bad Boys launched his movie career. He lives with his three English mastiffs. They carry a name by characters in his movies. Bay often includes his dogs in his movies. As a boy, he donated his Bar Mitzvah money to an animal shelter. Michael is a huge animal rights supporter.

His dog Bonecrusher appeared in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, as Mikaela’s dog. Mason is his first English mastiff. He carries the name for John Patrick Mason, a character played by Sean Connery in The Rock. Mason appeared in Bad Boys II as Marcus’ dog, and as Miles’ dog in Transformers. Mason died during the production of Transformers in 2007.

Michael Bay is not married. He has no children. Sources claim he dated at least four girlfriends, but he is single now. He dated Jaime Bergman and Lisa Dergan.