Tim Burton is one of the greatest visual storytellers of the film world. Where does he get the inspiration to fuel his creative genius? Read more about his life, career, and Tim Burton net worth.
Did you know that Tim Burton directed one of the episodes in the revival series of Alfred Hitchcock Presents? The episode was entitled, The Jar, originally aired on April 6, 1986—written by Beetlejuice scriptwriters Michael McDowell and Larry Wilson.
Burton is the filmmaker behind iconic movies like Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow, and the animated film Corpse Bride.
Burton has only 40 credits as a director and 26 as a producer, yet the filmmaker has been nominated for an award 76 times, winning 27 of them. It includes two nominations from the Academy Awards, four nominations from the Golden Globe, four nominations from BAFTA, and one win from Daytime Emmy for the 1990 animated series Beetlejuice.
Today, Tim Burton net worth is estimated at $100 million. The famous director’s career began in 1971 and has been riddled with many setbacks despite being the apparent genius from the very beginning. It took Burton many years before reaching the success he currently has.
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Tim Burton – Short Bio
Timothy Walter Burton was born on August 25, 1958, in Burbank, California. His father, William “Bill” Burton, was formerly a professional baseball player who tried to pass his dreams on to his son. Unfortunately for the elder Burton, Tim had more similarities in interests with his mother, Jean Burton, who owned and ran a cat-themed gift shop, located not too far from their home.
Burton grew up watching monster films, and instead of rooting for the protagonists, young Tim found empathy for the weird and often misunderstood creatures. Because he felt like he was out of place, just like them. His anxiety became the root of the horror-fantasy genre Burton became known.
Tim Burton loved to paint and draw. His talent became the key to his admission to the California Institute of the Arts, where Burton studied character animation. As a student, two of Burton’s projects were animated shorts of Stalk of the Celery Monster and King and Octopus.
Tim Burton’s Career
In order to bring his movies to life, Burton relied on his imagination and a certain few who filled up the rest of the essential elements for his craft. First on his list is American composer Danny Elfman who provided music to 16 of Burton’s films, like Batman and Alice in Wonderland.
Tim Burton worked with many screenwriters on the story side. But he relied on Academy nominated John August to perfectly pen Burton’s fantasy world in a handful of films like Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, Frankenweenie, and the story for Dark Shadows.
And on top of the director’s favorite list of actors is Johnny Depp. Their collaborations include Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Corpse Bride, Sleepy Hollow, Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Dark Shadows.
Tim Burton Career Beginnings
But before the impressive filmography and immense wealth, Tim Burton was a quiet, awkward boy who turned to films as a form of escaping his rather mundane reality. His parents were often busy, so he turned to his drawings and created an alternate reality that appealed to him.
Tim spent a lot of time in their backyard, putting together short films, one of which was The Island of Doctor Agor, written and directed by thirteen-year-old Tim Burton. Equipped with his trusty Super 8 camera, Tim’s adaptation of H.G. Wells’s Island of Doctor Moreau starred his friends and classmates and was completed using crude stop motion animation technique.
True enough, Burton’s first apprenticeship after graduating from California Institute of the Arts was at Walt Disney Studios. Burton was involved as an animator, storyboard artist, graphic designer, art director, and concept artist on films such as The Fox and the Hound, Tron, and The Black Cauldron. Unfortunately, his contributions never made it to the final cut.
Burton’s first creation with the studio was a six-minute silent film in black and white entitled Vincent. The story came from Burton’s childhood experiences, set in a rather grim environment influenced by 19th-century gothic literary writer Edgar Allan Poe and actor Vincent Price, famed for his performances in many classic horror films.
His second black and white film was the live-action animation, Frankentweenie. Despite its potential, the studio deemed the film inappropriate for children and fired Burton for wasting the studio’s resources. Luckily, it was a minor setback for the aspiring director.
Directorial Debut and Bigger Projects
Because of the positive reception ofVincent, Tim Burton landed his directorial debut with Pee-wee’s Big Adventure in 1985. He then directed Beetlejuice in 1988, starring Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, and Alec Baldwin. A follow-up collaboration with Keaton as the Dark Knight was Burton’s 1989 version of Batman, reeling the hero’s story to a darker twist.
Edward Scissorhands came in 1990 with Burton sitting as director, producer, and writer. Burton’s first collaboration with acclaimed actor Johnny Depp is the iconic film.
Tim Burton Films between 1992 to 1999
- 1992 Batman Returns – Batman sequel, Grossed the box office with $266.89 million
- 1993 The Nightmare Before Christmas – Animated Film, box office $91.5 million
- 1994 Ed Wood – Biographical comedy-drama, box office $5.9 million vs. $18 million
- 1996 Mars Attacks – Comic science fiction, box office, $101 million
- 1999 Sleepy Hollow – Gothic supernatural horror, box office $207 million
The Tim Burton film, a remake of Planet of The Apes, was released in 2001 and distributed by 20th Century Fox. Though ticket sales reached $362.2 million versus the $100 million budget, many critics still believe that Burton’s version was far from the original film.
But despite the 50-50 viewer response, Burton didn’t just have a successful film. He also met actress Helena Bonham Carter with whom he shared fourteen years and two children. Though the two eventually went their separate ways, they settled amicably and maintained a healthy co-parenting relationship. They remained friends and collaborated in many films after their split.
Carter portrayed Bellatrix Lestrange in the final four films of Harry Potter. The actress worked on eight films with Burton, some of her iconic roles being Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
Tossed into the fray of Burton’s few reliables is Eva Green, joining the fold in 2016 with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children as Alma LeFay Peregrine, headmistress of the house. Green returns in Burton’s 2019 rendition of Dumbo, which initially hit the big screen in 1941.
The cast includes Batman returnees, Danny DeVito playing the part of the kind-hearted ringmaster Max Medici, and Michael Keaton, who took the role of the ruthless V.A. Vandevere.
Burton is known as a director, and is not very keen on making sequels for his films. He did, however, make consideration for the film Batman Returns. And though tempted, he passed the torch to director James Bobin for Alice Through the Looking Glass, which was released in 2016.
He was also involved in Batman Forever but only as a producer.
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Tim Burton Net Worth – Frequently Asked Questions
How Much is Tim Burton Net Worth?
Tim Burton net worth is $100 million. His most recent movie was the live-action remake Dumbo, the flying elephant. Originally a Disney animation released in 1941.
What is Tim Burton’s Most Successful Movie?
Beetlejuice is considered the most successful and the most iconic movie in Tim Burton’s career. Released three years after his debut, Beetlejuice grossed $74 million in 1988. Earnings from the film gave Tim Burton net worth its initial boost and freedom to invest in projects.
Why Did Tim Burton Leave Disney?
Disney Pictures fired Burton after deeming his second short film, Frankenweenie, as a waste of studio resources. The feature film is a Burton original, and for those who don’t know, almost all of Burton’s animated movies have a dog in them, like Scraps in the film Corpse Bride.
Inspired by Shelley’s Frankenstein, Burton created Frankenweenie to remember the dog he lost as a boy. Years later, it became a successful film.
Why Does Burton Always Cast Johnny Depp?
After Depp’s title role in Burton’s film, Edward Scissorhands, the two collaborated in many films. One can say their careers grew with the help of each other. The director was drawn to Depp’s impeccable understanding of movement and physical humor.
Today, Tim Burton net worth reached $100 million, and Johnny Depp is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood and amongst the wealthiest in the industry.
Tim Burton Net Worth – Final Thoughts
Burton created iconic characters like Jack Skellington of Halloween town. Plus, he gave one of the most famous actors in the world, Johnny Depp, his title role as Edward Scissorhands.
And from their relationship, they gave us many eccentric yet charming characters like the awkward vampire from Dark Shadows, the Mad Hatter who’s actually mad, and creepy Willy Wonka.
Despite gracing Hollywood with many blockbusters and top-grossing films, the director is stuck as a nominee for major award-giving bodies. He received nominations for an Academy Award for Best Animated Film for Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie and four nominations from the Golden Globe Awards for Best Director, Best Motion Picture, and Best Animated Film.
Tim Burton net worth makes him one of the most influential filmmaking icons in film history. He is one of those brilliant directors who doesn’t rely on special effects to make a film look exciting and has overwhelmed the domestic box office and worldwide box office many times.
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Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.