Barry Sonnenfeld Net Worth

$80 Million

Last Updated:

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What is Barry Sonnenfeld’s net worth?

Net Worth:$80 Million
Born:April 1, 1953
Height:1.66 m (5 ft 5 in)
Country of Origin:United States of America
Source of Wealth:TV/Film Director
Last Updated:August 2, 2022


The highly talented Barry Sonnenfeld is known to be one of the richest directors in the world. He’s directed many successful films, such as the big-budget “Men in Black” box office hit.

He produced and directed “The Addams Family”, one of the most iconic black humor movies of the 90s. In 1993, he produced the sequel “Addams Family Values”, which was even better than its predecessor.

Barry moved from low-budget cinematography to producing some of the highest-grossing movies in history.

As of February 2023, Barry Sonnenfeld’s net worth is estimated to be $80 Million.


Barry Sonnenfeld Facts

  • Barry directed the big-budget film, “Men in Black”, which was released in 1997.
  • He also directed “Men in Black II”, which went on to become one of the most successful sequels in 2002.
  • Barry’s own production company, “Right Coast Productions”, signed with Sony in 2007.
  • In 2016, he performed the voice of a cat in the movie “9 Lives”.
  • He survived a crash that involved his jet crashing into five other planes in 1999.


Early Life 

Barry Sonnenfeld was born April 1, 1953, in New York, United States of America. He was an only child in a Jewish household and had a classic, over-protective mother.

His parents, Kelly and Sonny Sonnenfeld, brought him up in a loving family and, after leaving school, Barry attended Hampshire College, graduating with a bachelor’s degree.

In 1978, he graduated from New York University Film School, where he learned the skills that would make him one of the best film and television directors ever.

During his early years, Barry worked on 9 pornographic films, but this was only for a short period before he found more lucrative work.

Not long after this, his career as a film director took off, marking the start of a very long and successful career as a director.



His first work was for a film called “In Our Water”, which ended up being nominated for an Oscar in 1982.

Barry worked with the Coen brothers after being hired for “Blood Simple”, in 1984, and went on to create “Miller’s Crossing” and “Raising Arizona” together with them.

The first glimpses of brilliance appeared when Barry directed the highly successful film, “The Addams Family” in 1991, at Paramount Pictures.

He made a comeback in 1995, by showing off his directing talent in the film “Get Shorty”, starring John Travolta, Danny DeVito and Gene Hackman.

Barry’s name spread rapidly through the film industry and caught the eye of Steven Spielberg. Not long after meeting with one of the richest directors in the world, Steven Spielberg, in 1996, he directed the high-budget and hugely successful movie, “Men in Black”.

Men in Black starred Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith, who were perfect in the roles, but not the producers’ first-choice actors. Barry had to undersell the movie to Chris O’Donnell and Clint Eastwood to secure his favorites for the parts.

Barry’s work hit a standstill after his unsuccessful movie, “Wild Wild West”, released in 1999.

He later released one of the most successful sequels in his career, ‘Men in Black II” and directed “Pushing Daisies”, which earned him an Emmy.

Barry was able to release another sequel, “Men in Black 3”, which became one of the highest-grossing films in the world. Josh Brolin and Alice Eve were two new additions to the Men in Black film franchise whom audiences loved.

Sonnenfeld released his memoir through Hachette Books, titled “Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother: Memoirs of a Neurotic Filmmaker”, in 2020.

Barry is far from finished and has many more projects that he is looking at. He is getting more involved with the DC universe and is working close by with Paramount Pictures.


Barry Sonnenfeld’s Career Earnings

From his inauspicious start, working on pornographic films, Barry Sonnenfeld has become one of the most celebrated directors in Hollywood.

Not only has he increased in stature, but his income has increased substantially over the years.

Here’s an estimated overview of Barry Sonnenfeld’s annual income:

  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Salary In 2013 – $6 million
  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Salary In 2014 – $4 million
  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Salary In 2015 – $5 million
  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Salary In 2016 – $3.1 million
  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Salary In 2017 – $2.5 million
  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Salary In 2018 – $1.8 million
  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Salary In 2019 – $2 million
  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Salary In 2020 – $2.1 million
  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Salary In 2021 – $2 million
  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Salary In 2022 – $2.2 million

Barry was undecided about what direction to take with his career when he left film school. But he did know that he needed to make some money quickly.

He knew he had good cinematography skills, so he bought a camera and hired it out for 9 straight days, virtually paying if off immediately.  

This was one of his best investments as he could also insist on being the cameraman on any future projects, because he owned the camera.


Barry Sonnenfeld’s Net Worth Annually

His ability to spot a good deal and take advantage of his talents and skills, saw him move from shooting films to directing them quite quickly.

When his films became hits, he was able to cash in and make huge profits from his initial ideas and limited budget.

Here’s a breakdown of Barry Sonnenfeld’s annual net worth:

  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Net Worth In 2013 – $66 million
  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Net Worth In 2014 – $68 million
  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Net Worth In 2015 – $68.5 million
  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Net Worth In 2016 – $70 million
  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Net Worth In 2017 – $71 million
  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Net Worth In 2018 – $73 million
  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Net Worth In 2019 – $75 million
  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Net Worth In 2020 – $78 million
  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Net Worth In 2021 – $79 million
  • Barry Sonnenfeld’s Net Worth In 2022 – $80 million

The first three movies that Barry directed for the Coen brothers made his name in the film industry. After that, he was able to get work based on his reputation, and his fees for each film project skyrocketed.

He discovered that writing the script meant he had control over who directed the movie, even when he had to go to the large production houses to get financing for the films.


Personal Life

Barry married his wife Susan L. Ringo in 1989. The couple has been married for 33 years and has a daughter, Cloe Sonnenfeld.

His daughter has become a well-known actress with her early experience coming from working on her father’s films.

Barry spent a great deal of time writing his memoirs, with a popular part of the book being a description of his over-protective mother.

He really enjoyed doing the audiobook version, as he could really get descriptive and use his tone of voice to get his message across.

You can follow Barry’s official Instagram account to see what he’s currently getting up to. You’ll also get to see some of his brilliant photographic skills.


Awards & Achievements

Barry has been nominated for a variety of awards over the years and his films continue to receive rave reviews.

Some of his older movies are still doing the rounds on various platforms and continue to intrigue and entertain newer audiences.

Here are some of the more memorable moments from Barry Sonnenfeld’s career:

  • Barry received an Emmy and a DGA Award for “Pushing Daises” in 2008.
  • He won the Maverick Tribute Award in 2998 at the Cinequest San Jose Film Festival.
  • In 1985, he won a Daytime Emmy for “Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography” for “ABC Afterschool Specials”.
  • He also won a Reader’s Choice Award for “Best Foreign Language Film” in 1998.
  • In 2008, he won a Gold Derby TV Award for “Comedy Episode of the Year”.

With Barry still directing popular films, we’re sure that he will be in line for more awards and accolades in the future.

What we do know is that it won’t be a scary movie, as he’s revealed that horror movies frighten him and are not what he enjoys at all.


How Does Barry Sonnenfeld Spend His Money?

Barry has invested a decent amount of money in his Real Estate portfolio with his first purchase being a Colorado ranch.

He listed the ranch for $13.3 million and sold it for $13.25 million just a few weeks later. He now lives in British Columbia on a magnificent piece of land with his wife.

Barry is a total gadget guy and loves anything with tech in it. If he had the chance, he’d spend his days looking at the latest electronic toys, anything from flat-screen TVs to movie cameras and Bluetooth speakers.

He also loves cars, with the Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder one of the most expensive cars in the world, high on his list of cars he’d love to drive.



Barry didn’t really know where his career was going to take him when he left film school.

He did know that he was good at making films and writing scripts, but becoming a director was not on his list at first.

Here are some of the best highlights of Barry Sonnenfeld’s career: 

  • The third “Men in Black” went on to be one of the highest-grossing films in the world in 2012.
  • Barry’s first time as a director was when he worked for Paramount Pictures and released a highly successful film called “The Addams Family” in 1991.
  • He released a book through Hachette Books called “Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother: Memoirs of a Neurotic Filmmaker” in 2020.
  • All the “Men in Black” films created Barry’s highly successful career from 1991 up until 2012.
  • His creation of “Pushing Daisies” became a career-high in 2008. 

One of his favorite movies to work on was Men in Black, as it was such an outlandish idea that the comedy component appealed to his sense of humor.

He struggled at first with Tommy Lee Jones, as he wanted him to play it straight, not even responding to Will Smith when he said something funny.

It took a while for Jones to get what Barry wanted, but the resulting film has some of the best one-liners in movie history.


Favorite Barry Sonnenfeld Quotes

Barry has learned a lot over the years, especially on how to deal with studio executives and their ideas.

He wishes that he had learned to be less confrontational early on, as he got much better results when he treated the executive’s ideas with a little more respect.

Here are our favorite quotes from Barry Sonnenfeld:

  • ” By definition, a sequel can’t be original. So, you’ve got to figure out what worked the first time around.”- Barry Sonnenfeld
  • ” I was seeing a lot of good things about Get Shorty when it came out, and my wife pointed out that if you validate the good reviews, you also must validate the bad reviews. ” – Barry Sonnenfeld
  • ” These movies are like my kids. I just love them to death. Some of them go to Harvard and some of them can barely graduate high school. ” – Barry Sonnenfeld
  • ” We should all relax about life because you don’t have a clue as to what’s going on. ” – Barry Sonnenfeld
  • ” Michael Jackson wanted to be in Men in Black II. He told me he had seen the first Men in Black in Paris and had stayed behind and sat there and wept. I had to explain to him that it was a comedy. ” – Barry Sonnenfeld


3 Amazing Lessons From Barry Sonnenfeld

Barry Sonnenfeld has tried to take life a little less seriously and to take time to enjoy everything.

As an only child, he was used to being the center of attention, so when he’s in a group of people, he naturally makes a point of being talkative and interesting.

Now that you know all about Barry Sonnenfeld’s net worth, here are some of the best success lessons to learn from Barry Sonnenfeld:


1. We Don’t Know What’s Next In Life, So Why Not Just Enjoy It While It Lasts?

As Barry has pointed out in the past, no one has an exact clue as to what life is and what will happen after, so why not just enjoy life?

He makes the most of every opportunity but also takes time to stop and appreciate what he has and the people around him.


2. Don’t Follow Your Dream For Money, Follow It For Your Passion

Barry never tried to sell out, even with the movie sequels, he always stuck to making it as close to the original as possible.

He takes note of what audiences like and tries to give them more of the same. But at the same time, the negative reviews are just as important, and he feels that he needs to take them equally seriously.


3. With Good News, There Is Always Bad News Too

It is always nice to focus on the good reviews, but sometimes focusing on the bad ones can help teach you what you need to work on for future reference.

Barry knows that you cannot please everybody and you have to know when to draw the line and say no. However, bad news has its lessons and he tries to learn from them too.



Barry’s work as a director was first uncovered by the Coen brothers, who helped him produce some of the most entertaining movie content of the early 80s.

With the success of the Adams Family and then Men in  Black, his position as one of the best directors in the business was confirmed.

He is currently working on TV pilots while his fans are eagerly awaiting news of his next amazing film or series project.

As of February 2023, Barry Sonnenfeld’s net worth is estimated to be $80 Million.

What do you think about Barry Sonnenfeld’s net worth? Leave a comment below. 

John Mulder
John Mulder
John is a professional accountant with a passion for writing. When not helping clients identify tax and financial opportunities, you can find him writing, sailing offshore, or flying a plane. He’s worked and partied with the rich and famous from around the world, getting an inside look at the secretive lifestyles of high-net-worth celebrities.


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