11 Feb 2022

Sir Peter Jackson tops Forbes' highest paid entertainer list

11:11 am on 11 February 2022

Sir Peter Jackson has topped the Forbes highest paid entertainers list after the sale of part of his digital effects company.

Director Peter Jackson of New Zealand on December 9, 2013

Sir Peter Jackson topped the list after the Weta Digital sale, according to Forbes. Photo: AFP / Getty

The Lord of the Rings director's earnings last year of US$580 million (NZ$869 million) put his name at the head of rankings in the big earners list.

Sir Peter sold part of Weta Digital to Unity Software for US$1.6 billion in November, which Forbes said made him only the third person in history to become a billionaire y making movies, after Steven Spielberg and George Lucas.

Bruce Springsteen's sale in December of the masters and publishing rights to his recorded music and songwriting landed the musician in second spot, according to Forbes.

Jay-Z, 4, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Kanye West made up the rest of the top five.

Bruce Springsteen performs onstage during the 15th Annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit at Alice Tully Hall presented by Bob Woodruff Foundation and NY Comedy Festival on November 08, 2021 in New York City.

Bruce Springsteen was in number two spot. Photo: AFP / Getty Images

Sir Peter's latest project saw him restore more than 50 hours of out-takes from the 1970 documentary Let It Be and piece them together into a three part documentary The Beatles: Get Back, telling a more positive version of what happened in the studio in 1969. The Beatles: Get Back.

The full list:

1 Peter Jackson ($580 million)

2 Bruce Springsteen ($435 million)

3 Jay-Z ($340 million)

4 Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson ($270 million)

5 Kanye West ($235 million)

6 Trey Parker and Matt Stone ($210 million)

7 Paul Simon ($200 million)

8 Tyler Perry ($165 million)

9 Ryan Tedder ($160 million)

10 Bob Dylan ($130 million)

11 Red Hot Chili Peppers ($116 million)

12 Reese Witherspoon ($115 million)

13 Chuck Lorre - showrunner ($100 million)

14 Sean "Diddy" Combs ($90 million)

15 Dick Wolf - Law & Order creator ($86 million)

16 Howard Stern ($85 million)

17 Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman and David Crane - Friends showrunners ($82 million)

18 Shonda Rhimes - Bridgerton producer ($81 million)

19 Neil Young ($80 million)

20 Greg Berlanti - showrunner ($75 million)

21 Lindsey Buckingham ($73 million)

22 Mötley Crüe ($72 million)

23 The Beach Boys ($64 million)

24 Blake Shelton ($55 million)

25 Taylor Swift ($52 million)

- Source: Forbes

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs