In 2004, Forbes first released a list of the best-paid magicians in the world with the likes of Siegfried and Roy, Michael Flatley, David Blaine and David Copperfield on the list. 12 years later in October 2016, Forbes released another list of the best-paid magicians in the world and the only person from the 2004 list that made it to this current one was David Copperfield.
David Copperfield sits atop the list after he made a whopping $64 million pretax in the last 12 months – from June 2015 to July 2016.
But the illusionist who is famed for walking through the Great Wall of China isn’t the only one on the list. There are Penn and Teller coming in at $31.5million as well as the man who walks on water Criss Angel at $19 million.
Here’s a full rundown of the 2016 best highest-paid magicians in the world…
- David Copperfield: 60-year old workaholic illusionist who not only levitated over the Grand Canyon but also walked through the Great Wall of China as well as made the Statue of Liberty disappear sits on the number one spot on this list at $64 million. Within the last 12 months, Copperfield has held over almost 640 shows at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. His current net worth is estimated at $800 million.
- Penn & Teller: Popular hosts of the Fool Us TV show Penn Jillette and his silent-half Teller are the next in line on the list. With an estimated income of $31.5 million dollars, the duo who started performing together in 1974, is doing well. In 2015, they performed for 6 weeks and held audiences at the Broadway spellbound. Their shows at the Rio are always filled to the brim with thrilled guests.
- Criss Angel: Here’s one man who defied gravitational forces and did only what Jesus could do; he walked on water. In the last 12 months according to Forbes list, the Criss Angel Believe show host earned $19million as against the $80 million which Bloomberg stated he earned. Angel’s Mindfreak LIVE! is one popular show many people wouldn’t afford to miss. Criss, Penn & Teller, and Copperfield are the Las Vegas Magicians that took away the first three spots on this list, with a combined income of $114 million.
- Dynamo: English magician Steve Frayne otherwise called Dynamo smiled to the bank very well in the last 12 months with an income of $18million, slightly below Criss Angel. He currently hosts the popular show Dynamo Live at The O2, while his Seeing is Believing tour is widely acknowledged. Samsung was also reported to have enlarged Dynamo’s paycheck after he featured in their Samsung Galaxy ad campaign.
- The illusionists: This group of magicians amongst whom are Las Vegas Kevin James and Jeff Hobson, kept their audiences entertained in the last 12 months at the cost of $11 million. Their 2015 tour brought in $6 million and broke different records at theaters where they performed.
- Derren Brown: British-born illusionist and mentalist Derren Brown has also had his own share of the income. With a paycheck of $8 million, his Miracle Tour and his show Pushed to the Edge have done quite well for him. His new book “Happy” is currently a bestseller.
- Michael Carbonaro: The Carbonaro Effect on TruTV is one of Michael’s income generators. He netted $6 million after becoming the first recipient of the Copperfield Prize – An award for outstanding achievement in the Art of Magic.
The likes of Blaine haven’t been very active in the last one year, but would surely bounce back when the list is updated in 2017. One wonders where the likes of top female magicians in the world like Ning, Lady Amila, and Alana are.
Who are your favorite magicians to see in Las Vegas??