How does Shah Rukh Khan make so much money?

Shah Rukh Khan
Shah Rukh Khan

Especially when doesn't have a single film releasing this year.

He is one of the biggest movie stars in Bollywood. Along with Aamir Khan and Salman Khan, he forms the most powerful triumvirate in the business but even by himself Shah Rukh Khan is very influential indeed. So influential that he doesn’t have to keep going to work like the rest of us to eke out a living. Well into the noughts, Shah Rukh Khan entered the elite group of people on this planet who make money even when they’re asleep. So it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t have a movie during a particular year, Shah Rukh Khan will still make more money than you would in a lifetime.

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So how does he do it?

By his own admission Shah Rukh Khan will dance at weddings for money. He’s never shied away from performing at private weddings unlike several of his contemporaries. Khan knows that showbiz is a fickle business and he needs alternative revenue streams to keep himself going. Shah Rukh started his wedding dance gigs fairly early in his career; his loverboy image from Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge may have helped him a lot well through the ‘90s but Khan has persisted. Instead of giving up dancing at weddings as he became a bigger star who’d be worried about his branding, Shah Rukh simply increased his fees! By some estimates, Khan charges anywhere between ₹4 crore and ₹8 crore for an appearance or a performance at a wedding. And, when asked, he doesn’t at all feel embarrassed about admitting it. "I go and do certain things that people don't do like, dance at functions, do more appearances and few more endorsements and put back the money in the company. My belief is I should be able to run my business. I put my money where my mouth is," he told DNA in an interview.

Shah Rukh Khan is passionate about making movies, tech and SFX. It’s also where he’s invested a lot of his personal wealth. And so he went into movie production fairly early in his career. Even after Dreamz Unlimited that he’d launched with director Aziz Mirza and Juhi Chawla ran into trouble, Shah Rukh Khan exited the business and branched out on his own with Red Chillies Entertainment. This was still 2002 and his biggest hits were yet to come. Red Chillies also has a well-equipped VFX studio, which enables Shah Rukh to experiment with SFX on his own movies like no one else can. And if news reports are to be believed, Shah Rukh Khan’s early investments have already been paying off. Red Chillies has an annual turnover of ₹500 crore or thereabouts.

The movie star is as passionate about sports as he is about making movies, which likely explains his investment in a cricket team. Through Red Chillies Entertainment, Shah Rukh Khan has invested in Kolkata Knight Riders and remains its public face. The production house is said to own 55 per cent stake in the IPL team that reportedly charges anywhere to the north of ₹10 crore on the back of a KKR jersey and up to ₹22 crore in the front.

Endorsements is where Shah Rukh Khan shines too. While his contemporaries such as Aamir Khan have been selective about what they promote, Shah Rukh Khan has been a lot less so. You’d see him endorsing everything from a luxury watch brand such as Tag Heuer to a little known deodorant brand like Denver. He’s also been the face of products such as Big Basket, Dish TV and Byju’s. While he owns a stake in some of these companies, he also shoots ad films for several others in which he isn’t invested, reportedly making north of ₹3.5 crore per day for a shoot.

Among the companies that he endorses and is invested in is ImagiNation Edutainment which owns KidZania. The exact details of Shah Rukh’s investment in ImagiNation are unclear but given the company’s size of operations, it is safe to speculate that the returns may not be altogether shabby.

So, you see, it doesn’t matter if Shah Rukh Khan doesn’t have a movie release lined up this year, there are several sources from which the superstar continues to make money.

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