The Oscar-nominated actor and prolific entrepreneur has come a long way since the Funky Bunch and Calvin Klein. Let’s take stock of the business of Marky Mark.
Mark Wahlberg is a savvy businessman without trying to be one. For his titular role in the forthcoming Father Stu, Wahlberg gained roughly 30 pounds in three weeks. Wahlburgers may have accounted for some of his 11,000 daily calories. And on the back end, F45 Training helped him get back into peak Marky Mark shape.
But it is Sony Pictures’ Uncharted, which hits theaters on Friday, Feb. 18, that puts Wahlberg’s infamous 4 a.m. workout routine to its true test. The 50-year-old actor and business mogul stars alongside Spider-Man himself, Tom Holland, in the action-adventure film inspired by the video game franchise of the same name.
Uncharted follows Nathan Drake (Holland) and Victor “Sully” Sullivan (Wahlberg) as they search for a mythical $5 billion lost treasure. The plot isn’t much of a stretch for Wahlberg. His career reads like a treasure map—from Marky Mark & the Funky Bunch to iconic Calvin Klein model, and beginning in earnest with 1997’s Boogie Nights, A-list movie star.
Wahlberg’s multi-faceted fame has led to various business fortunes, but his entrepreneurial success shouldn’t simply be attributed to name recognition.
“Everybody is about: ‘What am I going to do today?’ But I think having a long-term plan and strategy is the most important thing you can do,” Wahlberg told CNBC in July 2019.
And that strategy is paying off as literally as it is figuratively. According to a preponderance of public-facing industry estimates, Mark Wahlberg’s net worth is $300 million to $350 million.
- Acting credits: 76
- Producer credits: 41
- Oscar nominations: 2
- Primetime Emmy nominations: 8
- Certified Gold singles: 2 (“Good Vibrations,” “Wildside”)
- Certified Platinum albums: 1 (Music For the People)
Mark Wahlberg’s Businesses & Investments
- Founded The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation in 2001, and according to its official website, the organization has raised $10 million.
- Entered the restaurant business in co-founding Wahlburgers along with his brothers in 2011, opening its first franchise location in 2014 and boasted 49 locations across 17 states as of 2021. Later starred alongside his brothers on A&E reality showWahlburgers about the growth of the business.
- Joined forces with Sean “Diddy” Combs to launch AQUAhydrate in 2017; the electrolyte-enhanced water brand was acquired by Alkaline Water two years later
- Partnered with long-time manager Stephen Levinson and Archie Gips to form production company Unrealistic Ideas
- Teamed with Josh Richards for CrossCheck Studios, a “Gen Z-focused” production company
- Bought a stake in F45 Training in 2019 and received a reported 200% return on his investment once the company began trading on NYSE last July—debuting at $1.46 billion market value
- Entered the car businesswith first-ever Mark Wahlberg Chevrolet in Columbus, Ohio in 2018. The venture is now known as Mark Wahlberg Automotive with four Ohio locations and over 380 employees.
- Co-founded athleisure clothing brand Municipal alongside Stephen Levinson
- Purchased an ownership stake in Flecha Azul Tequila, as announced in January 2022
- Revealed as an investor in Goldin Auctions’ latest funding round in February 2022
Box Office Milestones
- Named 2017’s highest-paid actor by Forbes at $68 million
- His $30 million check for Spenser Confidential tied for fifth among 2021 movie star salaries
- Fronted Ted in 2012, which netted over $549.3 million at box offices worldwide—and 2015’s Ted 2 raked in over $215.8 million globally
Wahlberg’s Social Media Reach
- Individual Instagram followers: 18.1 million
- Individual Twitter followers: 3.9 million
- Wahlburgers Instagram followers: 356K
As busy as Wahlberg must be identifying new business opportunities and running his current companies, he’s still an actor first. It all overlapped with Father Stu, a passion project six years in the making for Wahlberg. The movie would not have landed at Sony — and certainly would not be hitting theaters April 15 — without Wahlberg’s investment.
“I broke the cardinal rule: You never put your own money into a film,” Wahlberg told EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo last week. “But I didn’t really go out to a lot of people. I didn’t send it to any major studios. I had a couple of friends who I had made kind of small independent movies with or people that I made a couple of true stories with, and they didn’t even really respond to it. So I said, ‘You know what? I’m just going to do it on my own.'”
Father Stu isn’t the only example of Wahlberg’s business interests taking on a personal hue, however, as he explained to Jimmy Kimmel this week:
“All of my friends are always gonna be my friends,” the Departed star said. “With the entourage and everything, I’ve always kept people around me that I know are my friends. They love me for me. They have my best interest at heart. We get them to do, and I do, crazy stuff to entertain each other.”
“And you also employ them,” Kimmel pointed out. “Also, they work for you.”
“Absolutely, yeah,” Wahlberg said. “Well, they don’t work for me. I pay them, but…”
In the bigger picture, HBO Max documentary series Wahl Street provides an even more intimate look at Wahlberg’s hustle. Check the trailer below:
It’s an all-too-convenient choice of words, but Mark Wahlberg has plotted a course that was previously… well, uncharted. In going from the Funky Bunch and Calvin Klein to one of Hollywood’s most marketable stars and prolific crossover moguls, there’s simply no precedent for what the man has accomplished.
And given the rate and tenacity of his moves, his saga is awfully far from finished.