Here's How Much Zac Efron Is Really Worth

"My mom dropped me off out of a minivan somewhere in North Hollywood" doesn't sound like the start to a glamorous story, but it was the beginning of Zac Efron's big break into the entertainment industry, which he recalled during a 2014 interview with The Hollywood Reporter. That drop-off was for a casting call for the Disney Channel movie High School Musical.

For the audition, Efron was paired up with Vanessa Hudgens, who would become his on-screen and off-screen love interest. Of course, he ended up getting the part. The movie was so popular that it spawned another TV sequel in addition to a third film that was released in theaters in 2008, making $252.9 million globally. Those movies demonstrated that Efron could act, sing, dance, and bring a loyal fanbase to pretty much any project he's a part of, including the movie Hairspray.

Even so, he was wary about being pigeon-holed for his participation in musicals, which is why he turned down the opportunity to star in a Footloose remake with High School Musical director Kenny Ortega. Efron admitted to THR, "I was aching to do it." However, he acknowledged, "I knew if I did that, it would ultimately be limiting." Efron recalled, "And at that point, I was really searching for something else. It was never about money for me." Money may not have been at the forefront of Efron's decision-making, but he sure wasn't working for free.

Zac Efron has created his own projects

The Chicago Tribune reported Zac Efron received "closer to $3 million" for the third High School Musical movie. A talent agent explained that he was well worth that price "because without him, they don't have a movie." Even Disney Channel president Richard Ross described Efron as "the BMOC," a.k.a. "Big Man On Campus" within the ensemble cast. When Efron signed on for the Hairspray remake, another musical with an ensemble cast, he reportedly made "slightly less than $1 million." And these numbers were reported early in his career. His star power and earning potential has only increased since then.

It may not be "about the money" for Efron, but he has made a power move to ensure that he can participate in projects he's passionate about. In 2010, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that he started his own production company, Ninjas Runnin' Wild Productions, per The Wrap. According to IMDb, the company produced That Awkward Moment, Dirty Grandpa, and Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, which all starred Efron. In addition to being in these films, Efron earns backend revenue as well. Efron's production company is also behind his Netflix docuseries Down to Earth With Zac Efron, which premiered in 2020.

It's unclear how much Efron has made from each of his endeavors, but Celebrity Net Worth reports that he's worth $25 million, something he probably didn't expect when he hopped out of his mom's minivan to audition for High School Musical.