Joaquin Phoenix's Net Worth: How Much Is The Joker Star Really Worth?

Joker star Joaquin Phoenix is one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood. His turn as the green-haired villain from the Batman canon earned him a Golden Globe award, a BAFTA award, an Oscar nod ... and a decent paycheck. The former child actor reportedly took home a salary of about $4.5 million for 2019's Joker. That flick brought in more than $1 billion in ticket sales across the globe, and according to Celebrity Net Worth, it's possible the savvy actor negotiated for a percentage of those profits to sweeten the deal.

With his name attached to such big-ticket flicks, it's no surprise that Phoenix is worth an impressive $35 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, but this actor's Hollywood story hasn't been paved in red carpet riches. Phoenix slipped out of the spotlight in the late 2000s after he took a brief — and arguably weird as all get-out – respite from acting to pursue a "rap career" that nearly derailed his financial success. 

Let's take a closer look at the rise and fall of Phoenix's fortunes, particularly the joke that almost got the best of the joker. 

His budget took a big hit, but Joaquin Phoenix is still here

Joaquin Phoenix's starring role in Joker certainly wasn't his first high-profile — and high-paying — movie gig. His Oscar-nominated stint as Johnny Cash in 2005's Walk the Line earned the actor about $3.5 million, according to Men's Healthand he supposedly stuffed his pockets with a healthy $5 million for his turn in M. Night Shyamalan's The Village in 2004. Those are wonderful numbers, but they preceded the great Phoenix flop of 2010. We're talking about the mockumentary, I'm Still Here.

That money pit of a project was directed by Casey Affleck, who was Phoenix's brother-in-law at the time. The film followed Phoenix's huge-hoax-nobody-understood "rap career," but it flopped hard, bringing in less than $100,000 its opening weekend, according to The TelegraphIn Hollywood money, that's pocket change, and the stunt almost thrust Affleck into bankruptcy. "I went broke. I hadn't worked for more than a year, and I was pouring money into the movie," he told The Telegraph

"It felt like there was no way we could do this without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars," Phoenix told Time. He seems to view that financial gamble from a glass-half-full perspective. "I wanted to put myself in a situation that would feel brand-new and hopefully inspire a new way of approaching acting. It did do that for me." 

Okay, Joaquin. Whatever it takes. You are definitely still here in a big way.