(NEXSTAR) — A new Batman hit theaters last week with the premiere of “The Batman,” the latest reboot in the long-lived Batman film franchise. The film marked Robert Pattinson’s debut as Bruce Wayne, with fans worldwide wondering what he’ll bring to the iconic character.
From Adam West to Ben Affleck, every actor to don the cape and cowl has presented different men, but a few things remain the same. One big one: Bruce Wayne is really, really rich. But just how rich is he?
Depending on the adaptation or iteration, Wayne is generally the owner and chairperson of Wayne Enterprises, the global conglomerate left to him after the death of his parents. The corporation can account for a huge chunk of Bruce’s pocketbook but it’s important to remember father Thomas was a doctor and his mother, Martha Wayne (née Kane), was an heiress of one of Gotham City’s wealthiest families.
Wayne is estimated to have a net worth of around $9.2 billion, as reported by Money. The only superheroes worth more are Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, at $12.4 billion, and T’Challa, or Black Panther. Money estimates that the king of Wakanda (portrayed by the late Chadwick Boseman in 2018’s film) is the wealthiest superhero of all time.
Wayne Enterprises, meanwhile, is estimated to be worth about $31.3 billion. The Caped Crusader has also appeared in every entry of Forbes’ Fictional 15, a sporadic ranking of fictional characters’ wealth. He’s never claimed the top spot, however, and has been edged out by the likes of “DuckTales” billionaire Scrooge McDuck and the gold-hoarding dragon, Smaug, from “The Hobbit.”
In real life, Bruce Wayne would rank around 236 on Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires list, which is updated daily to reflect gains and losses. Some of Wayne’s real-life contemporaries would be Charlie Ergen, founder and CEO of Dish Network, and Polish businessman Michael Otto, the supervisory board chairman of the world’s largest mail-order company, Otto Group, located in Germany.
Like many tycoons, however, Wayne has lost fortunes over the years. In 2012’s “The Dark Knight Rises,” a Gotham Stock Exchange heist by terrorist supervillain Bane leaves Wayne totally cash poor. He gets to keep Wayne Manor, however.
Meanwhile, the 2020 comic crossover event “Joker War” saw an even richer Wayne lose his $100 billion fortune when arch rival the Joker drains all of his Batman-funding bank accounts. As Looper explains, even though the Joker is caught, government attention on Wayne’s finances makes it virtually impossible to bankroll whatever he might need for Batman activities. “Joker War” also ended with Bruce being removed from the Wayne Enterprises board and given an annual stipend to stay away from the company.
Wayne’s fortune has been a contentious issue among Batman fans and creators alike, with critics saying his fortune is a crutch. “The hero’s endless fortune doesn’t just invite questions about his civic responsibilities, it’s also come to function as a deus ex capitalism, handwaving any level of property destruction and excusing any reveal of a new gizmo or vehicle,” writes Susana Polo for Polygon.
“The Batman” opened March 4 after several COVID delays. Two sequels and two HBO Max shows are planned to follow.