LOS ANGELES • Former wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, 44, was named the world's highest-paid actor by Forbes on Thursday, earning US$64.5 million (S$87.2 million), snatching the title held for three consecutive years by Robert Downey Jr.
Four Bollywood actors returned to the ranking for a second year running. They are led by Shah Rukh Khan at No. 8, with estimated earnings of US$33 million, said Forbes. The other three are Akshay Kumar (No. 10, US$31.5 million), Salman Khan (No. 14, US$28.5 million) and Amitabh Bachchan (No. 18, US$20 million).
Johnson more than doubled his earnings last year, thanks largely to his role in action comedy Central Intelligence; Fast 8, the eighth instalment of the popular Fast & Furious racing movie franchise; and the forthcoming Baywatch movie. He was ranked No. 11 last year.
The actor, who stars in the HBO series Ballers, took to Twitter to express his delight at his new title. "Want to say two things about this. I started w/ $7. If I can overcome, so can you. Waffle House on me!!"
Jackie Chan, who has not had a big United States box-office hit for years, but is a prolific actor and producer in the burgeoning Chinese entertainment market, came in second on the 20-strong Forbes list with US$61 million.
1. Dwayne Johnson: US$64.5 million (S$87.2 million)
2. Jackie Chan: US$61 million
3. Matt Damon: US$55 million
4. Tom Cruise: US$53 million
5. Johnny Depp: US$48 million
6. Ben Affleck: US$43 million
7. Vin Diesel: US$35 million
8. Shah Rukh Khan and Robert Downey Jr: US$33 million
10. Akshay Kumar and Brad Pitt: US$31.5 million
Topping a Forbes' list released on Tuesday for highest-paid actresses was Jennifer Lawrence, who earned US$46 million - nearly US$20 million less than her male counterpart. The disparity is sure to stoke an ongoing debate in Hollywood about the industry's gender pay gap.
The world's 10 highest-paid actors made a combined US$457 million, according to Forbes, compared with the US$205 million earned by the top 10 actresses.
Downey fell from the top spot to tie with Shah Rukh Khan, despite reprising his comic-book hero role in Captain America: Civil War.
Harrison Ford crept onto the list for the first time since 2009, thanks to his return as Han Solo in last year's Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie and video game. Ford, who is also to reprise his role as adventurer Indiana Jones in 2019, ranked 20th with earnings of about US$15 million in the scoring period of June last year to this June.
REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE