HK entertainers still reign at top of the money tree

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 January, 2008, 12:00am


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Mainland blue-chip stocks might be all the rage with investors, but when it comes to the entertainment industry, Hong Kong artists still reign among China's highest-paid entertainers.

According to Shanghai newspaper The Oriental Morning Post's annual list of the country's top entertainment earners, Jet Li - who was born on the mainland but made his name in Hong Kong - claimed the top spot, making US$64 million last year. The lucrative year saw Li work on three films, Peter Chan Ho-sun's The Warlords and two Chinese Hollywood projects, The Mummy 3 and The Forbidden Kingdom. His Forbidden Kingdom co-star Jackie Chan was the No2 money-maker, pulling in US$59 million from films and promotional fees. Rounding out the top three was singer Jacky Cheung Hok-yau, who racked up US$41.1 million from a world tour.

Top Hong Kong actors held down the middle of the list. Lust, Caution's Tony Leung Chiu-wai ranked fourth with US$40 million, popular all-around entertainer Andy Lau Tak-wah was fifth with US$32 million, and Chow Yun-fat scored sixth place with US$13.8 million. The top female star earner was Malaysian-Hong Kong actress Michelle Yeoh Choo-kheng, who came in at seventh place with US$11 million, followed by Zhang Ziyi's US$9 million for eighth place.

Taiwanese pop entries rounded out the top 10, with female group S.H.E. making US$8.6 million and Jay Chou Jie-lun earning just over US$8 million.

Geez, just think how much higher those salaries would be if they counted all the pirated DVDs and CDs.