Why Does Akshay Keep Featuring in Forbes’ Highest-Paid Celeb List?

This year, Akshay Kumar secured the 52nd place in the list.

4 min read
Akshay Kumar.

The Forbes highest-paid celebrity list of 2020 is out and Akshay Kumar is the only Indian actor to feature on it. Akshay had made it to the same list in 2019 too. While the previous year he had secured the 33rd position with $40.5 million (Rs 2.78 billion) to his name, this year the actor got placed in the 52nd spot. Reportedly, his earnings now are $48.5 million, which is approximately Rs. 356 crores.

You must be wondering, with Shah Rukh, Salman and Aamir Khan ruling the Hindi film industry for years, how is it that Akshay keeps beating them to this list? Let us look at what makes Akshay Kumar one of the most bankable stars in recent times.

Volume of Films

We all know that Akshay Kumar makes it a point to feature in four films a year. On the other hand, his competitors have only one or two releases.

Let's take a look at Akshay Kumar's projects. In 2019, Akshay starred in four films - Kesari, Mission Mangal, Housefull 4 and Good Newwz. While Mission Mangal crossed Rs 200 crores at the box office, the other films also fared decently. Apart from movies, Akshay featured in short videos 'Filhall' and 'Chandigarh Mein'. In 2018, Akshay Kumar again had four releases - Padman, 2.0, Gold and Simmba (cameo).

Amidst the raging coronavirus pandemic, 2020 came with a lot of uncertainties for the entertainment industry. Film shoots were halted and a number of filmmakers decided to release their movies on OTT platforms. Akshay took that leap also, and his film Laxmii premiered on Disney+Hotstar. Within hours of its release the Raghava Lawrence-directorial broke viewership records. Apart from Laxmii, Akshay's production house Cape of Good Films co-produced Bhumi Pednekar-starrer Durgamati.

Akshay Kumar in a still from <i>Laxmii</i>.
Akshay Kumar in a still from Laxmii.
(Photo Courtesy: Pinterest)

Pandemic or not, Akshay has managed to wrap shoots for Rohit Shetty's Sooryavanshi and Bell Bottom. While Salman, Shah Rukh and Aamir have taken it slow there's no resting it out for Akshay. 2021 seems to be a busy year for the PadMan actor. He is currently shooting for Prithviraj and Atrangi Re and he is the only star to have already announced five movies despite the slowdown - Raksha Bandhan, Bachchan Pandey, Ram Setu, Housefull 5 and Crack.

Akshay Kumar in Bell Bottom and Atrangi Re.
Akshay Kumar in Bell Bottom and Atrangi Re.

When it comes to Shah Rukh Khan, his last release, Zero, was in 2018 and the film did not fare well at the box office. After taking a sabbatical, the actor is reportedly returning with an action film Pathan, which is said to be directed by Siddharth Anand of War fame.

Some time back Shah Rukh was spotted near a film studio in Mumbai, and rumours started flying that he has commenced shooting for Pathan. However, no official announcement has been made regarding the same. Some reports also suggest that SRK has signed films with Rajkumar Hirani and Atlee. Confirmation from the actor or the filmmakers are awaited.

Shah Rukh Khan in a still from <i>Zero</i>.&nbsp;
Shah Rukh Khan in a still from Zero

Similarly, Aamir Khan did not have any release in 2020. Aamir recently finished shooting for Laal Singh Chaddha, which is supposed to hit theatres on Christmas next year. The actor reportedly has two more projects in his kitty - Subhash Kapoor-helmed Mogul and Pushkar's Vikram Vedha. The official status of these films are not yet known.

Salman Khan, on the other hand, is working on Radhe and Kabhi Eid Kabhi Diwali, both scheduled to release next year. There's no formal statement on Kick 2 and Sher Khan. The actor, however, has a bunch of films as a producer - Kaagaz, Antim: The Final Truth and Dancing Dad.

As you can see, the actor who is neck deep in work is Akshay Kumar.

Akshay Kumar, the Fave Face of Commercials

Why Does Akshay Keep Featuring in Forbes’ Highest-Paid Celeb List?

An integral part of marketing strategies of brands is endorsements by celebrities. A 2019 report by a media research firm had pointed out that Akshay Kumar was the most visible celebrity endorser with an ad volume share of 6%, averaging 17 hours a day.

Being associated with more than a dozen brands such as Kajaria Tiles, Suthol, Harpic, Dollar, ThumbsUp, Honda Bikes, Tata Ace, Fortune Oil, Policy Bazaar, Layer Shot, Baba Elaichi, PC Jeweller, Lever Ayush, Anmol Biscuit among others Akshay makes more than Rs 100 crores from brand endorsements itself, as per a report by exchange4media. Apart from endorsing the brands, Akshay has also been the face of government campaigns and TVCs.

Ranjan Bargotra, President Crayons Advertising, had told the publication that he feels Akshay Kumar's choice of films make him a favourite with brands. Bargotra said his films supporting causes such as women’s health, hygiene etc have helped him carve an image as someone who raises issues that are socially important.

Business Strategy

Speaking to exchange4media in 2019, trade analyst Atul Mohan had said that Akshay Kumar has a unique business strategy. "He makes sure that his producers also make money along with him and that's why everybody wants to be associated with him".

Akshay Kumar has also tasted success as a producer. By taking on projects constantly and choosing to dabble in different areas that are commercially viable, Akshay’s brand value keeps increasing by the day. So, it’s no surprise that Khiladi Kumar is a constant on the Forbes’ highest-paid celeb list year after year.

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