Forbes announced its annual list of the world’s highest paid actors, with Hong Kong’s Chow Yun-fat ranking 24th. He reportedly made US$18 million (HK$140 million) in the past year.

Chow, affectionately nicknamed Fat gor (“brother Fat”) by Hongkongers, reportedly made a fortune from his starring role in 2015’s From Vegas to Macau II. Chow only appeared in the one film between June 2014 and June 2015, the statistical period covered by the Forbes list, but reportedly received RMB38 million (HK$47 million) from it alone. He received a share of between 8 to 10 percent of the movie’s worldwide box-office net profit.

Andy Lau
Andy Lau. Photo: Wikimedia.

In an interview with Apple Daily on Wednesday, Chow said that he was flattered and that he had no clue how much he was making. “My wife handles all my finances for me—she only puts a couple of hundred dollars into my wallet every day. I don’t usually use a lot of cash.”

This is the first time that the actor has made an appearance on the list.  Sharing 24th place with Chow is Australian actor Russell Crowe, who starred in movies Noah and The Water Diviner in 2014.

Two other Chinese stars were featured on the list. Jackie Chan, dubbed “China’s biggest movie star” by Forbes, is in 2nd place with US$50 million (HK$390 million)  in earnings. Actor Andy Lau, who starred with Chow in From Vegas to Macau II, takes 33rd place with US$13 million (HK$100 million). As of August 2015, it is the 13th highest grossing film in China of all time.

For the first time, the Forbes list included actors who worked outside of the US film industry. The list measured money earned before subtracting management fees and taxes, and figures are based on data from Nielsen, Box Office Mojo and IMDB, and interviews with film industry personnel.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.