Some people are born into money, some luck into it, and then there’s Miley Cyrus. According to the new issue of People magazine, the “Hannah Montana” star — who recently was the subject of a racy-photo scandal — is on track to rack up $1 billion in “Montana”-related sales during the 2007-08 fiscal year, putting her at the top of the heap of teen superstars earning adult-style wages.
But despite the $17.5 million she’s expected to rake in from her sold-out tours (an estimated $1 million a week from the $50 million in tour grosses), the $65 million her concert movie brought in and a seven-figure book deal for her memoir, the 15-year-old — who topped the teens two weeks ago on Parade magazine’s “What People Earn” list — isn’t likely to go on a shopping spree anytime soon.
Her mother told the magazine that much of the earnings go to an investment fund the singer/actress can’t touch until she turns 18. “At the end of the day, she doesn’t have much left,” Tish Cyrus said of her daughter’s walking-around money. One thing Miley does have her eye on? A vintage Corvette once she’s old enough to drive. For now, though, she collects old-school Electra bicycles.
Other kids on the list splurged more, like the Jonas Brothers, who used some of the $12 million haul from their tour with Cyrus, album sales, merchandise and appearances to buy new computers and a diamond-encrusted Chopard watch for their mom. Brother Nick, 15, also has a passion for shoes, dropping $1,550 on a pair by John Lobb, though the brothers do give 10 percent of their earnings to his charity, the Change for the Children Foundation. Some stars are on a tighter leash, like Oscar-nominated “Little Miss Sunshine” star Abigail Breslin, 12, who gets a weekly $11 allowance, despite pulling down an estimated $2 million a movie. What does she spend her money on? American Girl dolls and, of course, Jonas Brothers CDs.
Things aren’t quite as tight for “Ugly Betty” star Mark Indelicato, 13, who gets a whopping $50 a week to spend on computer games and clothes (and Kiehl’s and Clarins skin-care products to avoid breakouts), a drop in the bucket compared to his estimated $460,000 annual salary on the hit show.
Other moneymaking teens on the list include “Two and a Half Men” star Angus T. Jones, 14, and “Everybody Hates Chris” star Tyler James Williams, 15, who both bank an estimated $1.2 million per season on their hit sitcoms. Precocious “War of the Worlds” star Dakota Fanning, 14, can get as much as $4 million for her big studio pictures, but does not get an allowance at all because, as she told Barbara Walters, “My [parents] want me to [help] because I want to.”
Some graduates of the teen machine aren’t doing too bad, either. According to the magazine, the three “Harry Potter” series stars are rolling in dough, with headliner Daniel Radcliffe, 18, expected to earn $50 million from the final three films, and Emma Watson, 18, and Rupert Grint, 19, each getting $4 million per “Potter” film. “High School Musical” has been good to Vanessa Hudgens, 19, and Zac Efron, 20. Hudgens banked $2 million in 2006, in addition to securing a number of major endorsement deals, and Efron was paid $3 million for the third “HSM” movie.
Then there are the kids who were born into it, like Microsoft founder Bill Gates’ three tykes, 12-year-old Jennifer, 8-year-old Rory and 5-year-old Phoebe, who are the heirs to a reported $58 billion fortune, and “Star Wars” creator George Lucas’ teenage son Jett and his two older siblings, who will share their dad’s $3.9 billion empire.