If money talks, then it’s Salman Khan who’s got the biggest bragging rights in the Bollywood fraternity.
With a neat ‘salary’ of Rs60 crore (Dh40 million) for one movie (Ek Tha Tiger), Salman Khan is the absolute winner in the payment department.
Emperor Khan (the title of King Khan is misleading as it can be confused with the also-ran Shah Rukh Khan, who sometimes likes to call himself Badshah Khan) must deserve all that money, considering that his last four movies have grossed Rs850 crores (Dh567 million) – and counting.
The debate about whether or not it is the No. 1 Salman Khan’s individual star power that attracts the audience to the theatres is a non-starter. Not many doubt his almost magical magnetic ability to make the audiences throng theatres even if the ploy of the movie is inane – say, a rich spoilt dame falling for her Bodyguard, or a Dabangg (read: Robin Hood) cop mixing personal vendetta with the public good in taking out corrupt politicians.
Nevertheless, the fact remains that Salman Khan remains the top-paid Bollywood star of 2012,
2. Ranking behind Salman is another Khan – no, still not the so-called Bad-shah – it’s Aamir Khan, who will monopolise Talaash’s profits by reportedly taking home 80 per cent of the movie’s profits. Yes, 80 per cent goes to Aamir – which leaves a mere fifth of the cream for the actual producers to share among themselves! The actor (the only Khan actually worthy of being called an actor – the rest are all stars) took home a neat Rs45 crore (Dh30 million) for 3 Idiots and is therefore the distant second in the salary sweepstakes.
3. Third on the Bollywood rich list is – no, still no sign of the Bad-shah – Akshay Kumar, who by his own accord is gunning for a Rs100 crore (Dh67 million) fee – hasn’t managed it yet, though. What he did manage for his latest tinseltown wonder Rowdy Rathore was Rs45 crore (Dh30 million) – exactly what Aamir got for 3 Idiots, but then, Aamir will perhaps rake in much more with the 80 per cent profits from Talaash. Once a highest paid actor with five back-to-back blockbuster hits in his kitty, Kumar may have stepped down from the pedestal, but hasn’t given up anything when it comes to ambition. “The two words which are close to me when it comes the topic ‘100 years of cinema’ is ‘Cinema’ as today whatever I am is because of film fraternity. Second is 100 as I aim to charge 100 crore one day,” he has been famouslyu quoted as saying. Good luck with that, Akki.
4. Fourth on the list (yes, here he is) is Shah Rukh Khan, who charged a ‘notional’ Rs35 crores (Dh23 million) for Jab Tak Hai Jaan. Even as he languishes behind the top three, SRK’s appeal among the audiences might just have got a boost with his latest – and Yash Chopra’s last – movie.
5. Hrithik Roshan rounds up our Top 5, having charged Rs25 crore (Dh17 million) for Krrish 2, a sequel of the hugely popular Krrish.
The others on the Top 10 list are:
6. Ajay Devgn who apparently charged between Rs20 crore and Rs25 crore for the Rs100-crore-grosser Son of Sardaar.
7. Saif Ali Khan: Rs18 crore for Agent Vinod, which he takes pains to say is not a Bond rip-off.
8. Kareena Kapoor (now a.k.a. Mrs Saif Ali Khan): Between Rs10 to Rs15 crore for Agent Vinod.
9. Katrina Kaif, who charged Rs12 crore for Jab Tak Hai Jaan
10. Shahid Kapoor, who can still reportedly charge between Rs10 crore and Rs12 crore per movie.