David Copperfield boasts a net worth of $875 million, the world’s largest collection of magic memorabilia and the title of world’s highest-paid magician—now for the fourth consecutive year—yet the 63-year-old is hardly ready to disappear.
Copperfield performed a stunning 654 shows at the MGM Grand in 12 months ending in June, helping him tally an estimated $60 million in pretax earnings. The famed illusionist, known for walking through the Great Wall of China and making the Statue of Liberty disappear, also mints millions from exclusive tours and concerts on Musha Cay, his private-island resort; he owns 11 private islands in the Bahamas.
“I never wanted to be a businessman. It just happens,” Copperfield told Forbes in 2017. “You have to attend to the business side of things. … My work is how I have fun—though not without stress—and the islands, the museum, and developing them into something I’m proud of.”
Penn & Teller come in second with earnings of $28 million. The duo has performed together since 1975 and work their magic at The Rio in Las Vegas five times a week. Their popular magic competition show, Fool Us, is currently in its sixth season on The CW. The Illusionists round out the top three, performing more than 600 shows across the globe in our scoring period. They can currently be found on Broadway in Magic of the Holidays.
Five magic acts met our earnings cutoff of $10 million, earning $123 million combined between June 1, 2018, and June 1, 2019, before taxes and management fees. That’s a slight decrease of $4.5 million from last year’s haul from the top five. Figures are based on data from Pollstar Pro as well as interviews with agents, managers and other industry insiders.