If you're looking for a career that will allow you to live the really really good life, let me remind you that show business is EXTREMELY lucrative. Not only do A-List actors get paid huge salaries to appear in movies and TV shows, if the project is a huge success, those big checks keep coming every year forever. It's probably one of the only industries where getting paid in perpetuity for work that you've done, is par for the course once you hit a certain level of stardom. And if you think we're talking about a few hundred or a few thousand dollars in residuals per year, wait til you hear how much Hollywood legend James Caan makes every year just off royalties.
We are privy to Caan's residual situation because he is currently involved in a relatively bitter divorce from his ex-wife Linda. As you're about to learn, even decades after the relative peak of his career, James continues to get paid big big big bucks…
Unfortunately for him, the reason this is all going public now is because his estranged wife Linda is demanding more child support payments from the star. Linda says she is entitled to half of the star's residuals from movies like Elf and The Godfather. For James' part, he's claiming that he barely has enough income to pay what she's already getting, claiming in court that he's had to take "unworthy roles" in recent years in order to stay in the black. He's also cited a variety of lavish assets acquired by the couple as evidence of her not needing any extra money, including paintings by Picasso and Dali, and a crossword puzzle given to them by Bill Clinton.
So how much are his residuals?
According to the court documents, in 2015 James Caan made over $1 million just from residuals on past performances. Do you love the movie Elf? I bet you don't love it as much as James Caan! In 2015, Mr. Caan earned $140,000 in residuals from Elf alone. That movie came out 13 years ago. Not a bad little stream of passive income!
Obviously, Caan's Elf money is driven by the fact that this movie is shown nearly around the clock around Christmas. Which reminds me, if you really want to make A TON of money every year for the rest of your life, go out and write a Christmas song. Don't believe me? Read this article.
Interestingly, Caan also told TMZ that he doesn't take any of the financial disputes between himself and his (presumably) eventual ex-wife personally, saying: "Linda is a beautiful woman who gave me 2 beautiful sons, which helped enrich my life tremendously, and I'll always be indebted to her for that."
Just how "indebted" he should be is what appears to be open to debate, but luckily for him, he has more than a million dollars in annual residuals to rely on, no matter what happens in his home or career.