Over the years, David Copperfield has pulled off some extraordinary and unbelievable stunts. He’s made islands, jets and even whole monuments disappear into thin air. He walked through the Great Wall of China. He levitated across the Grand Canyon. David’s efforts have earned him 11 Guinness World Records, 21 Emmy Awards, a Knighthood from the French government and “Living Legend” status from the US Library of Congress. Impressed yet? It gets better. As of today, you can add one more extraordinary and unbelievable achievement to his resume: David Copperfield has officially become a BILLIONAIRE.
David Copperfield has been performing magic for over 40 years. His first major media exposure came in 1977 when he hosted an ABC special called The Magic of ABC. This appearance led to a series of specials on CBS called The Magic of David Copperfield that aired between 1978 and 2001. As of this writing, David has hosted 17 specials and two television documentaries.
As we alluded to in the opening paragraph, some highlights of his television career include making a Learjet disappear (1978), making the Stature of Liberty disappear (1981), levitating over the Grand Canyon (1984) and walking through the Great Wall of China (1986).
Beginning in the early 80s, David began embarking on worldwide tours. As of this writing he has produced nine world tours, the most recent being the currently-running “David Copperfield: An Intimate Evening of Grand Illusion” which has been housed at the MGM in Las Vegas since 2003.
David’s tours aren’t just successful. They are EXTREMELY successful. During his career he has sold more than 40 million tickets worldwide which has led to more than $4.5 BILLION in gross earnings. That’s more than any other solo entertainer in history. He performs over 500 shows per year. At his Vegas show, there are as many as three shows each day, seven days a week, 42 weeks a year in a theater dedicated to David himself. Ticket sales gross roughly $50 million each year and that doesn’t include merchandising, which, by the way, Copperfield owns entirely.
David is consistently ranked as one of the highest paid celebrities in the world each year with earnings of $60-80 million.
David Copperfield’s Real Estate Portfolio
David isn’t a one-trick magician. Over the years he has used his income to make extremely wise investments outside of his stage show. And he has an especially magic touch when it comes to real estate acquisitions. When in Las Vegas, Copperfield and his 20-something year old French fiance live in an $18 million mansion located in a gated community in the affluent Summerlin community just a few minutes from the Strip. This home features a private, fully-functioning nightclub. The subterranean garage can easily park 25 cars. It features a movie theater, several guest houses, multiple pools and a golf simulator. It’s the most expensive house in Las Vegas.
Outside of Nevada, David owns a four-story penthouse in New York City. The first floor of the NYC apartment is entirely devoted to antique arcade games. He spent $7.4 million for the apartment in the 1990s and then spent five years and countless millions furnishing and restoring the property. Today his NYC home is worth north of $60 million.
But the real gem of David Copperfield’s real estate portfolio is very far from glitzy Vegas and New York City.
In 2006, David spent $55 million to acquire eleven islands in the Bahamas called Musha Cay. Over time, he bought several more additional islands and, in total, spent $40 million of his money to build his own private version of Fantasy Island.
Today the property is 150-acres of pristine and private paradise 85 miles from Nassau.
David slowly transformed the property into one of the most exclusive resorts in the world. The resort features five waterfont plantation-style villas that can accommodate a maximum of 24 people. Visitors pay $40,000 – $50,000 per night and they must book four nights minimum. That’s not all. Visitors must rent the entire resort. You can’t rent just one villa. It’s all or nothing so you better rustle up 23 friends if you want to get your money’s worth.
During your stay at “Musha Cay and the Islands of Copperfield Bay”, you’ll be waited on by a staff of 40 who will lead you on a series of adventures and activities. But if you’re thinking those activities come with the cost of room and board, you are wrong. If you want a night of fireworks, that’s $25,000. The three-hour pirate-themed treasure hunt costs $20,000. Included in your booking fee is food, a laser tag night, boat trips and various other basic beach activities.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin held his 2007 wedding at Musha Cay.
This video gives a pretty good glance into life on Musha:
David owns the world’s largest collection of magic memorabilia. The collection contains more than 150,000 items and books with especially valuable items from Harry Houdini, Georges Melies, and the father of modern magic, Robert Houdin. The collection is housed in a 40,000 square foot warehouse located several miles off the Las Vegas Strip. The collection is irreplaceable and priceless. It is also open only to fellow magicians, historians, and academics as well as actors researching roles. He rarely opens the collection to a member of the media.
Copperfield’s International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts sounds like something out of the Harry Potter universe. His collection is truly priceless, but to put some numbers on it, he’s spent upwards of $200 million to assemble everything. That $200 million includes a monumental restoration process and safety precautions such as fireproofing the warehouse. Analysts have valued the collection at a mind-boggling $500 million. That $500 million is assuming you can even put a price on items such as Harry Houdini’s straight jacket, artifacts from 19th century magicians, and the Best Director Oscar for Casablanca.
A local art expert once described the art collection as follows:
“You cannot put a price on the sheer amount of memorabilia in the warehouse. Copperfield knows his place in the pecking order of magic, and yet, shows so much reverence for those who came before him. Everything from the giant French one sheets of the father of modern magic Robert Houdin’s shows, to unopened toy magic kits every kid from the 1950s to 1980s got for Christmas. His collection is awe inspiring, scary, and demands respect”.
Copperfield owns the original Howdy Doody dolls and Shari Lewis’ Lamb Chop puppet, which hang from the wall, grinning maniacally and staring you down. Robert Houdin’s mystery clocks and automatons dating back to the late 19th century are also housed in Copperfield’s collection, including the Singing Lesson – an over 100-year old machine valued at $1 million that teaches a robotic bird how to sing.
When we here at CelebrityNetWorth first performed a net worth evaluation of David back in 2009, we landed on a conservative $500 million estimate. By 2012 we had upped that number to $700 million. In 2014, Forbes jumped on the Copperfield train and valued his total net worth at $800 million. By our count, between $60 million in annual gross income and the global increase in real estate values over the last four years, we can now conservatively conclude that David Copperfield’s net worth is at least $1 billion. Perhaps more if we’re undervaluing his art collection.
That makes David Copperfield the world’s first billionaire magician… which is perhaps his greatest feat of magic yet. Hopefully he doesn’t make it disappear!
Oh, and by the way here’s a fun little fact: When he was young and just starting out, David’s mom told him “You’ll never make any money as a magician”