As chairman and CEO of Beverly Hills, California-based Entertainment Studios Inc., he independently produces and distributes 15 first-run syndicated shows including Entertainers with Byron Allen, Comics Unleashed, and The American Athlete. He also offers a number of programs through his Website, www.es.tv. Although many of his TV programs air during the wee hours, Allen’s most popular shows have generated an estimated $66 million in advertising revenues.
Rob Hardy & Will Packer: Rob Hardy and Will Packer produce Hollywood’s sleeper hits. As founders of Rainforest Films, the Atlanta-based duo’s deal with Sony’s Columbia TriStar is one of the industry’s most profitable. Stomp The Yard, produced on a $13 million budget, gained positive buzz among moviegoers and earned more than $100 million in ticket and DVD sales worldwide. Their most recent release,_This Christmas, also produced on a $13 million budget, generated roughly $18 million its opening weekend and went on to gross nearly $50 million over seven weeks.
Terrence Howard: After being nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe in 2006 for his critically acclaimed role in Hustle & Flow, Terrence Howard has expanded his presence, appeal, and earning power. Over the past two years, the actor has shared top billing with Oscar winner Jodie Foster in The Brave One and Golden Globe winner Richard Gere in The Hunting Party, earning critical praise for his performances. This spring, he is expected to expand his fan base when he teams up with Robert Downey Jr. in the highly anticipated Iron Man, based on the classic Marvel comic book. Budgeted at $180 million, the film’s producers expect Iron Man to rival superhero franchises such as Spider-Man and X-Men at the box office.
O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson: Ice Cube, the 38-year-old godfather of gangsta rap, is one of Hollywood’s sure bets. Through his production company, Cube Vision, the actor-producer has developed a series of blockbuster franchises, including the Friday and Barbershop series, that have a collective box office gross of more than $260 million. His new hit franchise, the family-friendly Are We There Yet? and its sequel Are We Done Yet?, rang up more than $153 million in worldwide ticket sales. His most recent film, First Sunday, proves that the former rapper can still strike box office gold: It grossed nearly $18 million its opening weekend to earn the No. 2 spot. As press time, the comedy has produced more than $30 million domestically.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson: Former WWE wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has placed a choke hold on the motion picture industry. In 2007, he landed his first role in a Disney film, starring as quarterback Joe Kingman in The Game Plan. The movie grossed more than $107 million worldwide. For The Scorpion King, Johnson earned $5.5 million and a spot in the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records for the highest salary earned by an actor receiving top billing for the first time. Up next: This summer Johnson will play Agent 23 in the motion picture remake of the 1960s spy spoof Get