Mel Gibson, a renowned American actor, is best known for his roles in Braveheart, Conspiracy Theory, and the Lethal Weapon movie franchise. Starting his acting career in the late 1970s, Gibson has appeared in more than 70 movies and television series.
However, it’s not solely his performances on the silver screen that have played a role in his financial success and fame. Mel Gibson’s net worth is equally influenced by his directorial work, his production company, and his real estate investments. Continue on to discover his most successful projects and biggest paychecks and trace his career from the 1970s until now.
Mel Gibson was born on January 3, 1956, in Peekskill, New York. His parents, Anne Patricia Reilly and Hutton Gibson, moved the family to Sydney, Australia, when Gibson was just 12 years old. However, he wasn’t alone, as he was the sixth of 11 siblings.
Gibson received his education at St Leo’s Catholic College in New South Wales, under the tutelage of the Congregation of Christian Brothers.
Gibson’s earliest acting experiences were in the mid-1970s while he was a student at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney. Along with actress Judy Davis, who was his classmate at the time, Gibson starred in a stage production of Romeo and Juliet. He also performed in A Midsummer Night’s Dream as Queen Titania.
After graduating in 1977, Gibson continued to perform on stage at the Adelaide Festival of the Arts. He often performed with Australian actor Colin Friels in plays like Oedipus the King and The Les Darcy Show.
Also in 1977, Gibson first appeared on the big screen in an uncredited role of a baseball player in I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. Shortly thereafter, he would have his official film debut in the Australian drama thriller Summer City. He received a salary of $400 for playing the role of Scallop.
In 1979, Gibson snagged a starring role in the dystopian action film Mad Max. For his portrayal of the title character, Gibson was reportedly paid $15,000, which, in 2022, would be $61,572.73, if adjusted for inflation. It went on to earn $8.8 million at the box office, which was pretty impressive at the time, especially considering the film’s budget was just $300,000.
In 1981, Gibson would return to reprise his role in Mad Max 2, also known as The Road Warrior. The box office numbers were much higher at $23.7 million, which would be close to $75 million today.
Although Mel Gibson’s net worth would still take a few years to build up, it did get a significant nudge from the Mad Max films. The third installment, in particular, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, gave Gibson his first million, with a $1.2 million paycheck. It also did well in theaters, raking in $36.2 million from a worldwide run.
Lethal Weapons Movies
The film franchise that would have the biggest impact on Mel Gibson’s net worth would be Lethal Weapon, where he co-starred with Danny Glover. The first movie was released in 1987, and it was well-received by moviegoers. Opening weekend was very promising as it brought in $6.8 million. By the end of the theater run, the action film had earned more than $120.2 million globally.
Two years later, Lethal Weapon 2 came out. It earned nearly twice as much as the first film, with total gross earnings of $227.9 million. And in 1992, the partners returned once again in Lethal Weapon 3. It raked in more than $321.7 million against a budget of $35 million.
Gibson’s salary for the first two installments of the franchise is undisclosed. But reports show that he received a respectable $10 million paycheck for the third movie, and a much bigger $25 million for the fourth film, which was released in 1998.
The Man Without a Face
Gibson would have his first taste of directing in 1993 with the film The Man Without a Face, where he also plays the lead role. It did not have a spectacular turnout at the box office but it did attract favorable reviews from critics.
A year later, he would star as Bret Maverick alongside Jodie Foster and James Garner in the Western comedy Maverick. He received a reported salary of $15 million for the role.
The film was also a box office success, grossing $183 million against a $75 million budget.
In 1995, Gibson would have one of the best years of his career. He starred as Sir William Wallace in the historical war drama Braveheart. Additionally, he also produced and directed the film.
He took home two Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director for the movie, and he also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Director. To top it all off, the film was also a huge blockbuster, grossing more than $213.2 million on a budget of $72 million.
Another big boost to Mel Gibson’s net worth came in 1996 with the film Ransom. Gibson was reportedly paid $20 million for the thriller. He also got nominated for another Golden Globe for his work in the movie.
Ransom was another box office success for Gibson, grossing almost $309.5 million, making it his sixth-highest-grossing film as of 2022.
In 1997, Gibson co-stars with Julia Roberts in the political thriller Conspiracy Theory. He reportedly earned another $20 million for his work on the film, which went on to earn $137 million from theaters around the world.
What Women Want
2000 brought Gibson’s third-highest-grossing film to date. He starred alongside Helen Hunt in the romantic comedy What Women Want. It wowed at the box office, generating $374.1 million in theater revenues on a $70 million budget.
In 2002, Mel Gibson’s net worth went up another $25 million from his salary for M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs. The sci-fi mystery performed very well in theaters, closing its run with a total of $408.2 million in gross earnings against a $72 million budget.
Also in 2002, Gibson received another reported $25 million for starring in We Were Soldiers. This war film made $115.4 million at the box office against a budget of $75 million.
The Passion of the Christ
In his subsequent films, Gibson would try his hand at writing for the first time. The Singing Detective in 2003 would mark his screenwriting debut. However, it was The Passion of the Christ that grabbed the attention of critics and the audience.
For the first time, Gibson did not join the cast. Instead, he concentrated on directing, screenwriting, and producing. And it all paid off as it earned him awards for both directing and producing. It also garnered a host of other awards and nominations.
As for box office performance, The Passion of the Christ would be Gibson’s highest-grossing film to date, with gross earnings of a little over $612 million. This was despite having a $30 million production budget, which is relatively low compared to Gibson’s past films.
In 2006, Gibson repeated this feat in the action-adventure film Apocalypto. Once again, he directed, produced, and wrote the script for the film. It was not as explosive as The Passion. However, it was still a huge success with box office revenues of $120.7 million against a $40 million budget.
The Expendables 3
In 2014, Gibson would join the Expendables franchise in its third film. The movie features an ensemble cast that includes Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Antonio Banderas, Wesley Snipes, and many more.
With these big names, the action film went on to earn $214.7 million at the worldwide box office against a budget of $80 million.
Gibson has done a lot of work in 2022, appearing in seven films, including Last Looks, Panama, and Father Stu. This eclectic list covers a variety of genres, from drama to action to mystery.
Gibson is also set to appear in the adventure film Boys of Summer, which is in post-production.
Also adding to Mel Gibson’s net worth is the production company he established in 1989, Icon Productions. Through this company, Gibson produced more than 70 films and a number of TV series, with several more in the works.
Some of the company’s most financially successful films include The Passion of the Christ, Braveheart, and Maverick.
Mel Gibson’s net worth has also been greatly impacted by his numerous real estate investments over the years. He has been known to have properties all over Australia and the United States, and other locations.
In 2005, Gibson purchased Mago Island, a private island in Fiji, for $15 million.
In 2013, Architectural Digest highlighted his Costa Rica estate, Playa Barrigona. The property includes 500 acres of privately owned jungle. With 11 bedrooms and 14 bathrooms, the home was valued at $29.8 million.
Mel Gibson’s first wife was Robyn Denis Moore. They met after the filming of Mad Max when Gibson was still in the very early years of his acting career. Moore was a dental nurse at the time. Gibson and Moore got married in 1980 and went on to have seven children.
In 2006, Gibson was arrested for drunk driving. That incident also included Gibson’s anti-Semitic rant, which would have a significant impact on his career for a number of years. Gibson and Moore seperated shortly after, but Moore didn’t file for divorce until 2009, after she discovered that Gibson’s girlfriend, musician Oksana Grigorieva, was pregnant.
When the divorce was finalized at the end of 2011, the divorce settlement would take a huge toll on Mel Gibson’s net worth. While the pair requested their financial documents be sealed, Gibson’s net worth at the time was estimated at $900 million, which could make the settlement one of the most expensive in Hollywood history.
Gibson and Grigorieva eventually had a daughter named Lucia, who was born in 2009. A year later, the couple broke up, with Grigorieva citing domestic violence as one of the reasons. His agency quickly dropped him almost immediately.
A lengthy legal ruckus between the ex-couple ensued, involving restraining orders and misdemeanor charges. Gibson decided to plead no contest to keep the matter from dragging on. Grigorieva got joint custody of their daughter, a house in California (until their daughter turns 18), and $750,000.
Gibson is currently in dating Rosalind Ross, who is a writer and an equestrian vaulter. They have a son together named Lars Gerard, who was born in 2017 in Los Angeles.
Mel Gibson’s Net Worth Today
As of 2023, Mel Gibson’s net worth is estimated at $425 million. While Gibson’s acting career is responsible for a portion of his net worth, most of his financial success comes from his work as a director, his production company, and real estate investments.
Fans of Gibson can look forward to seeing him next in the John Wick prequel The Continental. The Continental “movie” is scheduled for release on September 22, 2023, on Peakcock, and will be made up of multiple episodes, titled “Night One,” “Night Two” and “Night Three.” “Night Two” will air on September 29 with “Night Three” following the next week on October 6.
IMDB also notes him as being in pre-production on Lethal Weapon 5, which Danny Glover is also returning for. In addition to starring in the film, Gibson will also direct the flick for Max (formally known as HBO Max). No word yet on an official release date for the film, or how the current WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes are delaying the project’s timeline.