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Pay cheques of Bollywood stars have doubled

August 4, 2007

I’ve written about salaries already, but not about actors’ salaries. Well, their pay cheques are rising as fast if not faster than that of those in other jobs. I am only talking about fees per film here and not what actors earn from ad contracts and revenue share. Also the figures are approximates based on estimates by film industry sources and news sites – no one knows for sure what the actors earn.

The Rs 10 crore club they call it and Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Hrithik Roshan all belong to it, getting above Rs 10 crore ( Rs .1 billion which is 2.5 million in USD) for each film they do.
Its the growth in film star salaries which is interesting. Take this Rs 10 crore club. About the year 2000 they were getting approximately half of what they are getting now. Give or take a crore. That’s a hundred percent jump. In fact by the year 2006, these guys were rapidly crossing the Rs 6-7 crore mark and since then it’s been all the way up.

Some latest news:
Akshay Kumar – paid Rs 11 crore for a Percept Picture Company (PPC) project
Aamir Khan – Rs 15 crore from a south Indian producer for Ghajini.
John Abraham: paid Rs 2 crore earlier (No Smoking by Kumar Mangat) but has raised his price to around Rs 5 crore plus.
And more:
Hrithik Roshan has a three-movie deal with Adlabs Films for Rs 35 crore.
Viviek Oberoi, a lower rung actor asked for Rs 4 crore for Mission Istanbul from Popcorn Entertainment after success of Shootout.
One hit is all they need for their next pay cheque to shoot up!

Interestingly, the highest paid Indian actor does not belong to Bollywood, but to the South India’s film industry. Rajni received got Rs 16 crore for Sivaji (almost $4 million USD).

The girls get about half of what their male counterparts get. For example in the year 2000 or so, the top actresses were getting around Rs 1 crore and now they have hiked their rates as well.

All this sounds very little by Hollywood standards (top actors get something around $25-30 million per film and actresses get around $15 -20 million per film, about ten times more than Bollywood actors), but then their films have bigger budgets and the whole world is their market. No film actors in the world earn as much as Hollywood actors. In fact the highest paid British actor is Daniel Craig, who will get £8 million (around Rs 65 crore and $16 million) for his next James Bond film. He is believed to have received about £5 ($ 10 million) for his previous one.

Our Bollywood actors however earn a lot by way of advertising contracts, sometimes charging almost as much for one contract as they do for a film. Their earnings also go a long way here in India and as long as they don’t want an international lifestyle (villas in France and personal jets) they can lead a life as lavish as any Hollywood star, if not more luxurious. Why, Shah Rukh is more or less living in a palace today…

Revenue sharing is becoming big too…a smart actor can make a good deal. It’s said that Johnny Depp has made one such deal and has earned something close to $80 million from his last Pirate flick.

But whether in the US or in India, one thing is for sure. The top rung of actors are right up there, rubbing shoulders with industrialists. And if the salary trends of the last few years are anything to go by, salaries of the film actors could double yet again – in another five years or so …

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2007 5:46 pm

    I think the likes of Aishwarya Rai deserve some of the salaries they get – but then again Im biased as Im a huge fan!!

  2. mona permalink
    August 19, 2009 12:47 am

    bullshit…….aish fan,good actors deserve good money not just beauty queens like kangana but there are exceptions like Priyanka…

  3. chan permalink
    January 17, 2010 6:24 pm

    i think actors dont deserve such huge amounts of money as it is only temporary entertainment they are providing.in such a case a farmer deserves more money than these actors

  4. Vivek Khadpekar permalink
    January 17, 2010 8:24 pm

    The total number of comments on this post three), and the time period over which it is spread out (almost 30 months from the date of posting), is adequate indication of how burning an issue people think it is.

  5. February 28, 2010 4:40 pm

    i think hritik no deserve 35 corors it is such big amount for him

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