Matt Damon’s Net Worth Could Have Gained a $290 Million Boost Had He Accepted 10% Shares in the Original Avatar Movie

Matt Damon and Avatar movie

Hollywood is full of stories of actors and producers missing out on big profits by opting out of movies that went on to be massive hits. Until now one of the largest regrets was when Russell Crowe opted out of a 10% revenue share in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings, causing the actor to lose out on around $100 million in potential earnings. But it seems that even that heartbreak falls short of the $290 million relationship that could have been mustered between Matt Damon and Avatar when he was offered a 10% share of the profits by James Cameron.

Matt Damon Misses Net Worth Boost with Avatar

As one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars, Damon is certainly not in trouble financially. In fact, Matt Damon’s net worth is at the $200 million mark already. His movies have collectively earned nearly $4 billion in revenues at the Box Office. But after taxes, Matt Damon’s wealth could have looked far more fetching than it does today had he not turned down the Avatar role. Given the fact that Avatar II launched in the cinemas in December 2022, he must feel even more regret for saying no. The movie earned an impressive $855.4 million globally, in just its first 10 days at theatres. Had his share deal remained the same as his initial offer for the original film, 10% of the profits would have made their way into Matt Damon’s net worth purse.

Avatar The Way of the Water Movie

The Avatar Sequel – Credit: 20th Century Studios

Matt Damon’s Net Worth Blunder – The Story Behind Matt Damon and Avatar

In a live interview at the Cannes Film Festival in 2021, Matt Damon revealed that Director/Producer, James Cameron, had pursued him for the main role in the original Avatar movie that was released in 2009. In fact, he had offered him a 10% stake in the movie’s global revenues; a share value that is worth around $290 million, after the box office grossed $2.9+ billion.

Damon went on to explain why he chose to forgo the opportunity when it was presented to him. He was busy during post-production on the set of The Bourne Ultimatum at the time. This is usually a very busy time for the actors and production staff, and he felt that he needed to dedicate as much time as possible to the process. His explanation of the turn of events certainly did exude great regret and he even went on to say, “You will never meet an actor who turned down more money than me.”

Here is a short clip of the interview:

Thankfully, not all of Matt Damon’s casting near misses have cost him and affected his net worth negatively. In 1999, he was given the option to play the lead role in the Dare Devil film by Miramax Films. Thankfully budget constraints caused the production to take another root and Ben Affleck landed the role instead. The movie was fiercely criticized and received some bad reviews. Misses like that are often a good thing for a growing career.

Matt Damon’s Successes

Despite the Matt Damon Avatar debacle, the actor is still able to live a high-quality life, so there is very little reason for us to feel sorry for him. While it is a cringe-worthy moment, Matt Damon’s net worth is more than most people could dream about making in a lifetime. With a string of successful movies under his belt, he is most certainly one of the top names in the business.

Matt Damon Movies

Top left to right: Good Will Hunting (Miramax), Saving Private Ryan (Dreamworks/Paramount), Ocean’s Eleven (Warner Bros.)
Bottom Left to right: Bourne Ultimatum (Universal), The Martian (20th Century Fox), Interstellar (Paramount)

He has come a long way since Mystic Pizza, which was the first film he ever acted in back in 1988. Some of his most notable movies to date include Good Will Hunting, Saving Private Ryan, the Ocean’s Eleven franchise, the Jason Bourne franchise, Elysium, The Martian, The Adjustment Bureau, and Interstellar.

Ten of Matt Damon’s highest-earning movies:

Movie Title Revenue Earned Personal Earnings
$673 Million Est. $8 Million
The Martian
$630 Million  Est. $25 Million
Saving Private Ryan
$482 Million Undisclosed
Ocean’s Eleven
$451 Million Est. $5.5 Million
The Bourne Ultimatum
$443 Million  Est. $26 Million
Jason Bourne
$415 Million Est. $25 Million
Ocean’s Twelve
$363 Million Est. $5 Million
Ocean’s Thirteen
$311 Million Est. $5 Million
The Departed
$290 Million    Est. $10 Million
The Bourne Supremacy
$289 Million    Est. $26 Million

Advertising Boost

Damon’s success on the silver screen has made him worth a lot of money. So much so, that when advertisers come knocking, they have to pay him BIG bucks for his services. In 2013, he appeared in a 20-second TV commercial for Nespresso. That brief appearance earned him a whopping $3 million. Not many people can boast that they have the capacity to earn $150,000 per second. What an awesome boost to the Matt Damon net worth portfolio that was.

Matt Damon Turns His Net Worth Successes into an Opportunity for Philanthropy

Matt Damon has turned his mammoth net worth portfolio into an opportunity to give back. He supports more than 30 charitable organizations and even spearheads the H2O Africa Foundation which actively combats hunger and starvation in Africa’s poorest countries. Damon is also the co-founder of Not on Our Watch – an NPO that works to prevent mass genocide in war-torn countries.

Is Matt Damon a Big Spender?

In keeping with Matt Damon’s philanthropic worldview, he is not a big fan of CO2-heavy sportscars, it seems. While he does own a V8 Cadillac Escalade and a Toyota Sequoia, he has opted for the electric route with his other cars. He owns a Tesla Model X and a Tesla Roadster. Then, to mix things up a little, he’s opted for a 2021 Toyota Prius, which is a hybrid petrol and electric combo. This car is quite popular among green celebrities and is owned by stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, Jessica Alba, Bradley Cooper, and others.

Matt Damons Cars

Matt and his Cadilac Escalade (left) – Credit: Auto Evolution, Matt Damon’s Tesla Model X (top) – Credit: Autofiends, Damon in his Tesla Roadster (bottom) – Credit: Celebrity Cars – Collage Compilation by PokCas

When it comes to living lavishly, Matt Damon bolsters his net worth by owning some expensive real estate. He purchased a $16.7 million penthouse apartment in Brooklyn, New York, after relocating to the East Coast of the US in 2018. As a result, he and his wife, Luciana Bozán Barroso, sold their Pacific Palisades mansion in Los Angeles for $18 million.

It was initially listed for $21 million, but the actor dropped the price to let it go for $3 million more than he paid for it in 2012. The 13,508-square-foot home sits on .68 acres of ground and boasts 7 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, and open-plan living spaces, with all the extras you could hope for in a modern home.

Matt Damon's LA Mansion

Matt Damon’s Pacific Palisades home sold for $18 million – Credit: Alexis Adams

 5 Interesting Facts That You Might Not Have Known About Matt Damon

1. Damon is a College Drop Out

Few people know that Matt Damon was studying English at Harvard University when he dropped out to pursue his acting career. As you can imagine, it went down like a lead balloon with his parents. What makes things more shocking is that he was only 12 credits away from earning his degree.

2. The Mark Wahlberg Curse

Damon had admitted that he has been mistaken for Mark Wahlberg on a few occasions. The irony in this is that his ex-lover, Wynona Ryder, eventually broke up with him in pursuit of a relationship with Mark Wahlberg. We guess she must have a certain type.

3. A Testament to Hypnosis

While some people are skeptical about the power of hypnosis, it has been used by mental health professionals to accomplish way more than making a person cluck like a chicken. In fact, after seeing a hypnotherapist in 2004, Matt Damon was able to give up smoking.

4. Mr. Piano Man

It takes professional musicians years to master their craft, yet through sheer determination and dedication, Matt Damon learned to play jazz piano for his role in ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley‘ in 1999. Over the years a few good performers have actually done this, including Dennis Quaid (Great Balls of Fire), Joaquin Phoenix (Walk the Line), Robert Downey Jnr (Chaplin), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), and Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born).

5. Card Shark Damon

Many of you might remember Matt Damon from the iconic movie, Rounders. Well, it seems that poker is not only a game that Damon does well at on-screen. He has competed in several World Series of Poker Events (WSOP). The most memorable did not bode well for Damon though. Matt was kicked out in the main event in 1998 by none other than Doyle Brunson. Unfortunately, Brunson’s two aces edged out Matt’s pair of Kings. So, maybe poker is not a big contributor to Matt Damon’s net worth.

A Few Hundred Mill Leaner

The difference in Matt Damon’s net worth in 2021 and Matt Damon’s Net Worth at the end of 2022 could have been staggering with the introduction of Avatar 2. It would have added tens of millions to his bank account had the 10% profit share still been on the table. With the $290 million from the original movie combined, Damon’s total losses are slowly creeping towards $400+ million.


Sean van der Merwe

Sean is a senior writer at PokCas. He is an Entertainment, Gaming & Cryptocurrency News Reporter. He has more than 5 years of full-time writing experience.