Franchises in Hollywood have been a major contributor to the establishment of the American film industry as the number one film industry in the world. Two of these franchises are Star Wars and Indiana Jones, both of which are the creation of George Lucas. Aside from putting Hollywood firmly in the number one position among film industries worldwide, they also helped George Lucas build a $6 billion fortune, and we now know how the media-shy filmmaker spends his billions.
In this article, we detail everything we have learned about how the Star Wars creator enjoys his massive wealth, through luxurious expenses and philanthropy. Check it out below.
How George Lucas Spends His Money
A strategic mistake by Fox to sell the rights of Star Wars to George Lucas for $500,000 because they were convinced the movie would flop has made the filmmaker the richest celebrity in the United States. Not only have the films themselves grossed more than $2 billion in theatrical release, but they have spurred many merchandise and entertainment options that have grossed more than $3 billion since they came into existence.
Through the franchise’s success, George Lucas’ studio, LucasFilm has become one of the most successful movie studios in Hollywood, which resulted in a sale to Disney for $4.1 billion in 2012, in stocks and cash, and giving him a total net worth of $6 billion.
Owning such a fortune opens up the boundaries of a person’s spending capabilities, to practically zero boundaries. Armed with his financial freedom, George Lucas has spent his money on several things, ranging from real estate to philanthropy. Here is a closer look at how he spends his money in each category.
A lot of billionaires are known to be ostentatious when it comes to their display of wealth, but that is something you are less likely to find with George Lucas, who, rather than spending his money on luxury cars and megayachts, has committed a significant portion of his wealth to real estate.
George Lucas, who primarily lives in Silicon Valley, has spent the majority of his real estate investments in California, with his most significant expense being the famous Skywalker Ranch, which he bought in 1978.
The Ranch, which is located in the north of San Francisco, has a size of 4,700 acres and the billionaire has spent more than $100 million of his fortune developing the property since he acquired it, with edifices on just fifteen acres of the massive ranch so far.
The Skywalker Ranch serves as the filmmaker’s retreat venue, as well as a work and studio space. On the ranch is a 153,000 technical building that houses 10 stages, multiple designs and editing suites, as well as a 300-seat theatre. The Ranch also has a house, with Victorian architecture, spread across 50,000 square feet.
The house has a fitness center, a cinema, screening rooms, a pool, as well as racquetball courts along with underground parking. As part of the security mechanism of the ranch, it has a fire brigade.
Other real estate investments George Lucas has spent his money on include a Hollywood house he bought and owned between 2008 and 2010. He also owned land in San Anselmo which he donated to San Anselmo Chamber of Commerce, which has now been turned into the Imagination Park, spread across 8,700 square feet.
George Lucas also spent $33.9 million of his billions on a Bel Air mansion in 2017. The mansion, which is locally known as Mi Patria, has nine bedrooms and eight bathrooms, as well as a courtyard, a library, a gourmet eat-in kitchen, as well as tropical gardens.
We mentioned earlier that George Lucas is very much a reserved man who prefers to live without public attention. Asides that, he is also quite the philanthropist and has donated more than a billion to charity works since he became a notable filmmaker.
One of the most significant acts of philanthropy George Lucas has spent his billions on is his foundation, The George Lucas Family Foundation, which he endowed with more than $1 billion.
Additionally, through the foundation, he has donated more than $64 million to 200 charity and philanthropic organizations, such as Film Foundation, Stand Up to Cancer, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and various other programs that cater to issues like inner-city youth support, museums, wildlife initiatives, and refugee aid.
George Lucas is also known to spend his billions giving out grants to students via the George Lucas Educational Foundation, which has been in existence since 1991. He has also donated more than $175 million to the University of Southern California, which he graduated from. In education, he has signed The Giving Pledge, committing to give out the majority of his fortune to education after he passes on.
Other philanthropic endeavors of his include a $1 billion non-profit venture to build a Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles. The project began in 2017 and it is expected to be completed in 2021, employing more than 1,400 people.