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How Much Money Has JK Rowling Made?

Shelby Chau / December 19, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is the latest film adaptation from the legendary Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling. Forbes reported that she’s become a billionaire from book sales and royalties, but in 2005 during an interview with Katie Couric, she denied that she’s joined the elusive billionaires club. Films, books, toys, video games, and attractions in theme parks in places like Orlando, Hollywood, and Japan. Rowling also pays her fair share of taxes and donates large sums of money to charities. She’s gone from struggling as a single mother on the brink of financial ruin to becoming a role model for young women all over the world – and now she’s got more money than most of them can even fathom. But just how much money does she have?


Due to Rowling’s need to keep as private as possible, it’s proven rather difficult to ascertain precise numbers regarding her revenue streams. According to interviews with top publishing and entertainment executives, even if they were to allot for a large margin of error, her net worth should be more than a billion.  



Her Harry Potter books sold a combined 450 million copies netting nearly $7.7 billion. The standard author’s royalty is 15%, or in Rowling’s case, a whopping $1.15 billion. An additional $50 million comes from spinoffs from the Potter series and books she’s published under her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith.


She’s made roughly $2 million from a deal with Warner Bros. for the film rights to the first 4 Potter films and a percentage of the films’ profits. The first 4 films showed a profit of $2.5 billion, and if she made 10% of that, it would mean she’d make out with $250 million.


The next 4 made over $4 billion and by this time she could have gotten herself a better deal, but by being conservative, this would still bring her $400 million. Then. her latest Fantastic Beasts could potentially net her another cool $50 million.



Again, the numbers surrounding her income from theme park attractions are kept on the hush, but it’s estimated that she’s earned around $30 million a year from ticket sales since the first park opened. Lets call it $100 million just to be safe.


NBC Universal bought TV rights for Harry Potter at the high price of $250 million and we can assume Rowling received half of that. All of this together is roughly $2.2 billion, and if she paid 45% tax on that, she’s left with $1.2 billion.



So there you have it – she’s made roughly $1.2 billion to date. She may not have been a billionaire when Forbes reported back in 2005, but we think it’s safe to say she sure as heck is now.

Featured image via: Huffingtonpost