Indian superstars Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar feature in the top 10 highest-paid actors in the world list, earning more than Hollywood stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Johnny Depp.
The list of 34 global actors, which has been compiled by Forbes magazine, also includes superstar Shah Rukh Khan and Ranbir Kapoor.
Forbes' annual list of the 'World's Highest-Paid Actors' 2015 looked for the first time outside the US to create a truly global dollar tally of cinema's leading men from various parts of the world.
The list features 12 newcomers, five from India alone. Of the 34 actors, Indian stars comprised the largest number of listees after the US, earning a combined $140.5 million, Forbes said.
Bachchan and Salman each made $33.5 million to tie at 7th place, earning more than American actors Chris Pratt and Oscar-winning Gone Girl actor Ben Affleck combined, "without being US household names."
Akshay, one of "Bollywood's busiest leading men", ranks 9th on the list with $32.5 million in annual earnings — equal to Hollywood A-listers George Clooney and Brad Pitt's combined haul in the same time frame, Forbes said.
Describing Shah Rukh as "India's Leonardo DiCaprio", Forbes ranked him 18th on the list with earnings of $26 million.
Ranbir is ranked 30th on the list with $15 million earnings.
The list has been topped by actor Robert Downey Jr with earnings of $80 million that skyrocketed thanks to top-grossing movies such as Avengers: Age of Ultron. On the second spot is Jackie Chan with earnings of $50 million, Fast and Furious actor Vin Diesel at the third spot with earnings of $47 million and American Sniper actor Bradley Cooper on the 4th position with $41.5 million in earnings.
Forbes said Bachchan, 72, "out-earns" the next oldest actor on the list, 63-year-old Taken star Liam Neeson, by $14 million, thanks to his roles in movies such as 2014's Bhootnath Returns.
Bachchan bolsters his earnings as the longstanding host of Kaun Banega Crorepati. The show recorded an average weekly viewership of 5.2 million in its 8th season, which aired in 2014, Forbes said.
Salman, 49, tied with Bachchan despite a career tainted by controversies, including conviction for poaching of a blackbuck and a hit-and-run car incident which killed Nurullah Mehboob Sharif, a homeless man. The star is currently out on bail, having appealed against a five-year sentence in early May. His latest release, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, has become the biggest Bollywood hit of 2015 so far, having collected nearly Rs 300 crore since its release on July 17.
His Being Human clothing line raked in $30 million in 2014, with proceeds going to his charity. "Though such lawsuits may have doomed his career stateside, Khan maintains a loyal following, particularly among India's provincial moviegoers," Forbes said.
47-year-old Akshay, who makes an average of four movies a year, boasts a production schedule busier than most Hollywood or Bollywood stars.
He earned top rupee for roles in 2014 movies such as Holiday and Entertainment and bolstered his paycheck hosting Indian reality TV shows, it said.
Shah Rukh, also known as the King of Bollywood, makes the same amount as iconic Hollywood actor, producer and rapper Will Smith and more than Good Will Hunting actor Matt Damon, X-Men actor Hugh Jackman or Oscar-winning actor Russel Crowe.
Ranbir's $15 million earning rounds out the Indian contingent. Though he made less than his compatriots, he still out-earned American actors Chris Pratt, Chris Evans and Hong Kong star Andy Lau.
The 32-year-old, one of Bollywood's top male actors and joins the World's Highest-Paid Actors list for the first time.
Explaining how Bollywood's stars make so much money, Forbes said that although Indian movies gross far less than US films at the box office, they recoup costs by selling satellite rights to TV channels. Unlike the US, where first dollar gross deals are a thing of the past, Bollywood stars continue to earn a cut of each film's ticketing revenue.
"Like their US counterparts, they also supplement movie pay with product endorsements. Though these tend to be less lucrative than American stars' seven figure deal, Bollywood's best tend to rep over 10 different products, some more glamorous than others," it said.
The measures money earned from June 1, 2014 to June 1, 2015 before subtracting management fees and taxes; figures are based on data from Nielsen, Box Office Mojo and IMDB, as well as interviews with agents, managers, lawyers, and stars themselves.
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