Some say academia is not very lucrative, but no one told Dr. Henry Jones, Jr., aka Indiana Jones. Of course, globetrotters and treasure hunts pay the bills, and the intrepid archaeologist is the highest paid individual character on this list. No complicated mythologies. No massive sets. Just a felt tip, a boost and Harrison Ford is all this series needs. In the late 1970s, Steven Spielberg was twice rejected for his dream job of making a James Bond film, the first time after “Jaws”, because it was not deemed fit for the mission, and the second time after “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, when the producers thought it would cost too much. So legend has it that his old pal George Lucas got Spielberg to lead his big idea, an American response to James Bond named Indiana … Black-smith.
Luckily they changed the name, although the studios backed down from the $ 20 million prize and surprisingly Spielberg as a director, as he had just had a huge bombshell with (“1941). Lucas stuck with it. Spielberg and they finally found a buyer at Paramount. It worked pretty well for all parties. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” won $ 225 million, at the top of the year-end box office and bring Spielberg back to his winning ways. The Indy trio of Spielberg, Lucas and Ford would return for three more films over the next 24 years, resulting in total domestic revenue of $ 919 million. That’s impressive in itself, but when adjusted for inflation it’s downright staggering – $ 2.074 billion.