Sigourney Weaver is an acclaimed American actress known for her roles in films like the Alien franchise, Ghostbusters, Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl, and Avatar.
Over her decades-long career spanning stage and screens both big and small, Weaver has amassed considerable wealth. Her net worth provides insight into how much money she has accumulated from her highly successful acting endeavors.
What Is Sigourney Weaver’s Net Worth?
According to multiple reputable sources, Sigourney Weaver’s net worth is estimated to be around $40 million. The majority of her wealth comes from her salaries and backend points earned from starring in blockbuster Hollywood movies.
As shown in the table above, Weaver’s net worth has steadily increased over the past few years, gaining $10 million from 2020 to 2023. This uplift is largely attributed to residuals from her films, investing, and other business ventures.
How Did Sigourney Weaver Build Her Wealth?
Weaver laid the foundations of her wealth starring as warrant officer Ellen Ripley in the sci-fi/horror Alien film franchise. Her breakout role in 1979’s Alien, plus subsequent sequels Aliens, Alien 3, and Alien: Resurrection collectively grossed over $1 billion at the worldwide box office.
The actress likely earned millions from the Alien movies through upfront salaries and backend deals entitling her to a cut of the profits. The same goes for many of her other hit films like Ghostbusters, Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl, Holes, and Avatar.
Additionally, Weaver continues earning residuals – royalties whenever her movies air. She also makes income guest-starring on TV shows, doing voice acting roles, brand endorsements, and investing in startups like tech firms. Over time, the dollars have added up to her current $40 million net worth.
Starring as Ripley in the Alien series was Weaver’s big break and largest source of wealth. She earned her first-ever Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for 1986’s Aliens, cementing her as a bonafide movie star able to command big paychecks.
Reports indicate Weaver earned $35,000 for the first Alien film, which seems low now but was considered a good salary for a relative unknown in 1979. By the time she returned as Ripley in Aliens, she had much more leverage to negotiate a $1 million payday – a huge sum then.
Her backend deal entitled Weaver to get 15% of Aliens’ gross profits. Since the $18.5 million budget film went on to earn $183 million globally, her share likely amounted to over $10 million. Similar or even more lucrative deals were likely struck for Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection.
In total, Weaver has probably earned $25+ million from the Alien franchise thus far between upfront salaries and backend points. When including residuals, that number grows higher.
Ghostbusters & Other Hit Movies
Aside from Alien, Weaver has also headlined several other mega-successful movies that contributed mightily to her wealth.
Most notable is the 1984 comedy blockbuster Ghostbusters alongside Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd. The beloved supernatural movie was the highest-grossing comedy of all time upon release. While Weaver’s salary for her supporting role as Dana Barrett is unknown, she certainly got a cut of the $295 million gross.
Working Girl (1988) earned Weaver her second Oscar nomination. The romantic comedy was made on a $29 million budget but went on to make $103 million worldwide. As the star, she likely took home one of her biggest paychecks up to that point.
Other major commercial hits include Gorillas in the Mist and Holes, plus her supporting role in Avatar which briefly became the highest-grossing movie ever. Weaver has expertly balanced leading big movies and ensemble roles in hits, maximizing her earning power.
Investments & Other Endeavors
A savvy businesswoman, Weaver has allocated some of her movie millions into investments and side businesses.
In 2012, she co-founded a production company called Goatsingers in partnership with former MTV executive Janet Yang. The shingle focuses on developing film, TV, and digital content out of China. This allows Weaver to leverage her Hollywood status to build new revenue channels as a producer.
The actress has also invested in multiple Silicon Valley tech startups. Some of her portfolio includes stock in GlamSquad, Fundrise, Getsafe, as well as products she personally uses like Peloton. Again showing business acumen to diversity her income streams into potential growth companies.
Additionally, Weaver can occasionally earn extra money doing product endorsements, book narration gigs, and guest appearances on TV. While not a huge money spinner, every bit helps perpetuate her wealth.
Sigourney Weaver’s Career Earnings Over Time
Examining key inflection points in Sigourney Weaver’s career sheds light on how she strategically built her fortune over decades through high salary demands and backend profit deals.
Early Breakout – “Alien” Franchise
Starring as Ripley in the original Alien film put Sigourney Weaver on the map as an actress to watch. But reprising the iconic heroine for 1986’s Aliens proved career-defining, earning Weaver’s first Oscar nomination and chance to negotiate a $1 million paycheck.
Her 15% backend profit share deal earned an estimated additional $10+ million as Aliens became a breakout box office smash. This sudden fortune gave Weaver her first major wealth boost while still early in her career.
Peak Earning Power – “Alien: Resurrection”
A decade after skyrocketing to stardom in Aliens, Sigourney Weaver leveraged her success into a massive $11 million salary to headline Alien: Resurrection in 1997. Coming off recent hits like Copycat and Dave, she was at peak demand to return for a fourth Alien.
Alongside her enormous paycheck, Weaver also secured backend points granting further millions as Alien: Resurrection earned over $160 million worldwide. The deal demonstrated Weaver’s top tier earning power andprofitable box office appeal.
Residual Income – Movie Catalog
While she continues earning big paychecks for select projects like Avatar sequels, much of Weaver’s current wealth stems from residual income off her deep movie catalog. Films like Ghostbusters, Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl and Avatar replay endlessly generating royalties.
Combined with real estate and business investments, these residual checks provide financial security so Weaver can pick and choose roles rather than scramble for paydays. As long as her movies keep airing, sizeable checks will keep coming in perpetuity.
Ongoing Work – TV & Streaming Projects
Even as she enters her 70s, Sigourney Weaver shows no signs of full retirement. Recent TV projects include recurring roles on shows like The Defenders and popular streaming series like The Romanoffs. Voice acting gigs for animated hits like The Incredibles also provide income.
Of course the Avatar sequels beginning with 2022’s The Way of Water will likely provide another massive financial windfall both upfront and over years of residuals. Work begets more work — and more millions.
In summary, Sigourney Weaver has accrued an estimated $40 million net worth through decades starring in some classic Hollywood blockbusters. Early breakout roles in the Alien and Ghostbusters franchises put her on the path to fortune through seven and eight figure movie salaries.
Weaver then parlayed her stardom into backend profit participation deals granting additional millions off hits like Working Girl and Avatar atop her sizable acting fees. When accounting for residuals and real estate assets, her wealth swells higher every year even into her 70s semi-retirement.
Rather than squandering all profits on depreciating luxuries, the Ivy League-educated actress has also made smart investments in startups and production companies. This further grows her assets with the potential for higher future windfalls.
Now financially set for life barring any radical changes, Weaver can maintain her comfortable lifestyle while continuing to take select acting roles at her discretion rather than for paychecks. But looks to keep earning – and banking – for years to come off her enduringly popular movies.
FAQs About Sigourney Weaver’s Net Worth
Has Sigourney Weaver’s net worth changed over time?
Yes, Sigourney Weaver’s net worth has risen substantially over her long career. Early breakout hits like Alien, Ghostbusters and Gorillas in the Mist accelerated her wealth. Recent roles in Avatar sequels continue pushing her net worth higher even today.
|1986 (post Aliens)
As evidenced in the table, Weaver’s net worth has risen eighty-fold from just before her star-making turn in Alien to today. Her shrewd career choices and business investments compound Hollywood salaries to her current wealth.
How much does Sigourney Weaver make per movie?
In Weaver’s early career, she was earning a few hundred thousand dollars per film typically. After breakout hits like Alien and Ghostbusters, she could command $1-3 million per movie by the late 1980s. For sequels like Alien 3 and Avatar 2, she likely earned high seven to eight figure backend deals on top of seven-figure salaries.
Today, with compounding residuals and producer credits, Weaver can make $10+ million per high profile movie between upfront salary and profit participation. That number could rise higher if any of her current projects become major box office smashes.
What was Sigourney Weaver’s biggest movie salary?
It is believed Sigourney Weaver’s biggest single movie salary was $11 million for reprising her role as Ripley in Alien: Resurrection (1997). After earning her second Oscar nomination for the first sequel Aliens, she had major leverage negotiating her deal for the fourth Alien film.
The actress was also able to secure a lucrative profit participation deal granting additional backend compensation on top of her enormous $11 million payday. Factoring that in, Resurrection probably gave Weaver her biggest career paycheck for a single film.
Has Sigourney Weaver ever had financial troubles?
No, there are no reported instances of Sigourney Weaver facing financial troubles or going bankrupt. Quite the opposite, she has consistently worked throughout her long acting career leading blockbuster movies and acclaimed indies alike. Lucrative upfront deals plus residual checks keep her wealthy.
Weaver has also smartly invested some of earnings into startups and production companies. This provides potential upside and diversified income that protects her from reliance solely on acting.
Thanks to fiscal discipline and steady work, she has enjoyed a financially healthy career trajectory culminating in a $40 million fortune today. Barring any disastrous investments, Weaver should remain quite prosperous into retirement.
How does Sigourney Weaver spend her money?
While ostentatious displays of wealth seem uncommon for the low-key actress, Weaver does own a valuable real estate portfolio including her longtime home in Manhattan. Built in the 1920s, tax records value her 3-bedroom apartment on Central Park West at nearly $5 million.
She also previously owned a Hamptons beach house valued around $4 million before selling it in 2000. The Idaho-bred actress is an avid skier and frequents luxury resorts out West.
Otherwise, Weaver does not exhibit many flashy hobbies or known splurges typically associated with extreme wealth. Her largest non-real estate assets appear to be diversified business investments built to sustain long-term financial security rather than squandered on depreciating luxuries.
Has Sigourney Weaver lost money on investments?
There are no publicly reported instances of Sigourney Weaver losing large sums of money on investments. As a savvy businessperson, she diversifies her holdings across various startups and companies to mitigate risk rather than gambling on speculative industries.
With experienced business managers, it’s doubtful Weaver makes high-risk investments prone to steep losses. The research-backed startups she backs like Peloton or GlamSquad may gain or lose value over time but have viable business models for sustainable growth.
Having built steady wealth for four decades now, she prioritizes smart money management and residual income over risky capital pursuits. This balanced approach has preserved her wealth quite well compared to less disciplined celebrities.