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Last Updated : Jul 12, 2019 05:37 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Akshay Kumar lone Indian actor on Forbes highest-paid celebrity list, Khans a no-show

His recent offerings have made him one of the most successful actors in the Indian film industry and he has even gone ahead of the Khans.

Maryam Farooqui @farooqui_maryam

In the recently released Forbes highest paid celebrity list, Akshay Kumar is the only Indian actor to feature in it. With earnings to the tune of $65 million (approximately Rs 446 crore), Kumar stands at 33rd rank on the list.

His recent offerings have made him one of the most successful actors in the Indian film industry and he has even gone ahead of the Khans.

Kumar’s last three films are all part of the Rs 100 crore club. According to Forbes, the actor charges anywhere between $5 million to $10 million a film (approximately Rs 34 crore to Rs 68 crore).

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In the last decade, he has done as many as 35 films.

Even Vinay Kanchan, brand storyteller and innovation catalyst and author of Sportivity, thinks that it is his extra work that lands him on the list.

“Akshay does few more movies per year than the Khans and he has picked up a lot of endorsements off late.”

At a time when many Bollywood stars believe in appearing once in a year on the big screen, Akshay Kumar is not shy of coming twice or thrice on the celluloid to entertain movie buffs.

And this shows that the actor “has preserved his acting image in a groove that is steadfast in its output,” said Harish Bijoor, brand strategist and founder, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.

A five-year trend shows that he has appeared in an average of three movies every year. So, with a few flops too, Kumar manages to redeem himself with other movies.

In the last 10 years, Kumar has delivered 13 hit ventures out of the total 35 films he offered. Yet, he could figure his way to the Forbes highest paid celebrity list.

According to Kanchan, “What is interesting in his (Akshay Kumar’s) case is that he has reinvented himself. Not just once but twice. First he was an action star, now he is an action-plus-comedy star and now he does serious roles as well. Because of this re-invention, I see him spanning a spectrum of brands. His endorsements are not in one-kind of niche. That’s the reason he has shot up.”

And Bijoor concurs.

“Akshay Kumar’s choice of cinema has been distinctive. Enroute, he has changed his image from the trajectory of the action hero to the hero who can act for action. Positive action even. With positive messaging.”

He will be next seen in Mission Mangal that will hit theatres on August 15.

It is Kumar who has made public holidays like Independence Day and Republic Day an eventful time for Bollywood.

If Khans dominate the festive holidays then Kumar has made these days a lucrative period for the industry with successful ventures like Airlift (Rs 123 crore), Gold (Rs 102 crore), Toilet (Rs 132 crore), among others.

With a career spanning 29 years (from 1991 to 2019), Kumar has done as many 126 films and there seems to be no genre that has been left out by the actor.

It is Kumar’s diverse roles that makes him stand out from other actors in the industry.

“He used to be certain niche kind of associations, macho, and he has retained that but he has added on things like his comic persona that some of the ads have captured. The brands not only span categories but also income segments in terms of end consumer,” said Kanchan.

The actor has many as 20 brands in his kitty that range from Tata to Harpic bathroom cleaner, said Forbes list.

As for Khans, Kanchan said that “Salman did not have a good year. And Shah Rukh has been lying low for a while. And there is a steady decline in the number of ads he (SRK) endorses.”

Last year, Salman couldn’t make a mark at the box office with his release Race 3. While the film earned Rs 166 crore, a lot more was expected from the venture, considering the film released on Eid and the Eid holiday being synonymous to Salman Khan films.

Same was the case with Shah Rukh who let down the audience with his film Zero that pocketed over Rs 88 crore with a budget of Rs 270 crore.

According to Kanchan, even in next two-three years his (Akshay Kumar’s) brand value will remain rock-steady. “His films like Toilet, Gold, Rustom had hitting right at the heartland kind of appeal so his brand value will be steady. I don’t see it declining. He has pulled off the reinvention very well,” he added.
First Published on Jul 12, 2019 05:19 pm
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