MUMBAI: If there was even a iota of doubt about Bollywood’s global reach, it has been vindicated by Forbes magazine’s annual list of highest paid actors. Five Indian actors found mention in the list of 34 male actors from Asia, Europe and the US with three Bollywood actors occupying the 7th and 9th position in the coveted top 10. ‘Iron Man’ Robert Downey Jr topped the list with earnings of $80 million followed by Jackie Chan at second position with $50 million.
If they had not heard of them before, Hollywood and the western world would certainly be taking notice of Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan now, as they jointly occupy the number 7 position with earnings of $33.5 million. Akshay Kumar follows at the 9th position with $32.5 million nudging out Hollywood royalty such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Johnny Depp.
The writer of the financial magazine’s article, Natalie Robehmed posited that though Bollywood movies did not make as much money at the box office as Hollywood films, what helped Amitabh, Salman and Akshay reign at the top was not just domestic box office value but also the cumulative value of other revenue streams.
“Bollywood movies gross far less at the box office, generating all their money from domestic ticket value. But movies cover costs by selling satellite rights to TV channels. And unlike the US, where the first dollar gross deals are a thing of the past, Indian stars continue to earn a cut of each film’s ticketing revenue,” she wrote.