One of the major difficulties in determining Zac Efron’s net worth is a common refrain across the entertainment world, namely that the future is always in flux, even, paradoxically enough, when it comes to the past. Banquo of Shakespeare’s Macbeth asks the Witches “If you can look into the seeds of time, And say which grain will grow and which will not, Speak then to me.” And we all (well, those of us that passed high school English) know how well things turned out for him.
Still, the problem remains. The safest way to calculate one’s net worth is generally to take the totality of their interests—fixed and liquid—and weigh them against liabilities, with the specter of potential growth or recession being taken into account as well. Efron, as opposed to other celebrities, is pretty solid in terms of what he’s best known for, namely Disney’s mid-2000s teen and tween-pleasing trilogy of High School Musical films. At the time, some compared those films to Grease. Still, as the Witches—or Disney marketing execs—might tell you, determine just how well those “seeds of time” grow and age is difficult to gauge. How well a career-defining property ages can have a profound impact on an actor’s net worth—just ask Mark Hamill.
Zac Efron’s career got off to a good, Disney-fueled start monetarily-speaking, with much of his estimated $18 million coming as a result, one way or another, of
But that’s the problem with having your signature role and franchise marketed to teens—eventually, they grow up, and when they do, will they keep caring? Will later generations of teens, and the marketing departments that care so much about their consuming power?
Generations have at least heard of the songs “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightning,” and of course the maddeningly (some might even say annoyingly) catchy “You’re the One That I Want,” the latter having over 99 million views on YouTube as just one metric of its enduring success. Granted, that might not help John Travolta’s personal stock, and of course High School Musical has no shortage of views, but no matter how much fans might insist that they’re “All in This Together,” it’s been years since the last High School musical film.
The Lorax, We Are Your Friends, That Awkward Moment—not exactly box office or critical success stories. Still, Neighbors is getting a sequel, so we’ll have to see if that franchise proves, in net worth terms, a career asset or liability.