It seems difficult to believe at first that Indian actors Salman, Akshay and Amitabh earn more than Hollywood biggies like Johnny Depp and Dwayne Johnson, but the latest global list by Forbes suggests so.
Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar feature in the top 10 highest-paid actors in the world list, earning more than Hollywood legends 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.
The Forbes's ranking of the 'World's Highest-Paid Actors' 2015 looked for the first outside the US to create a truly global dollar tally of film's leading men. 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 winner 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.
Robert Downey Jr, tops the list of world's top paid actors.
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.
Vin Diesel features at No. 3 in the list.
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 Bhoothnath Returns.
Bachchan bolsters his earnings as the longstanding host of Kaun Banega Crorepati, India's version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. The show recorded an average weekly viewership of 5.2 million in its 8th season, which aired in 2014, Forbes said.
Salman, 49, one of India's biggest star, tied with Bachchan despite a career trailed by controversies, including conviction for poaching of a blackbuck and a hit-and-run car incident which killed a homeless man. His Being Human clothing line clocked $30 million in 2014 revenue, with proceeds going to his foundation.
"Though such lawsuits may have doomed his career stateside, Khan maintains a loyal following, particularly among India's provincial moviegoers," Forbes said.