Actor, composer and possibly undead Jackie Chan landed 38th on Forbes' latest celebrity rich list, making him the second highest-paid actor in the world.
While Chan hasn't starred in an American live action film in five years, he's pocketed an estimated 50 million USD over the past 12 months, second only to American actor Robert Downey Jr., who came in 8th place on the list with 80 million USD in earnings. His latest film Dragonblade, which hasn't seen a US release yet despite starring big Hollywood names including Adrien Brody and John Cusack, grossed 120 million USD in China, and it's estimated that Chan took at least a 10 million USD cut.
Chan-branded merchandise has also, as you can expect, contributed massively to his fortune. The actor owns a Segway dealership and a chain of cinemas named for him. And as you may recall, the Jackie Chan Film and Television Academy opened its doors in Wuhan just a couple of months ago, as well. “Jackie Chan is basically the Mickey Mouse of Chinese culture, a celebrity who is so omnipresent that his name has become shorthand,” Grady Hendrix, cofounder of the New York Asian Film Festival, told Forbes. Of course, endless ass-kissing of the world's biggest political party hasn't hurt.
Forbes' Zack O'Malley explains: Since business success in China ultimately revolves around navigating or benefiting from the government, Chan has a secret weapon in all this earning: membership in the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a hugely influential government board. Beijing green-lights all films released in China.
It’s an increasingly powerful position. Chinese cinemas have grown at a nearly 33% rate over the past five years, generating just shy of $5 billion in 2014; in February China’s monthly box office receipts actually surpassed those in the U.S. And while an American blockbuster can gross a quarter-billion dollars in China, the country’s powers-that-be often institute weeks-long blackouts of foreign films or slot them against one another on opening weekends. As a result Hollywood is turning to coproductions with Chinese companies, with Tranformers: Age Of Extinction and Iron Man 3 among the most successful examples. Forbes has estimated Chan's net worth to be around 350 million USD, although the star's publicity team has declined to confirm this. Boxers Floyd Mayweather (300 million USD) and Manny Pacquiano (160 million USD) topped this year's Forbes list, followed by Katy Perry (135 million USD) and radio host Howard Stern (95 million USD).
"The Empress of China" records high ratings; Mall offers high price to organize a finale night
TVB's currently airing outsourced drama, "The Empress of China", starring Mainland actress Fan Bing Bing has peaked in ratings. The ratings for the drama on Tuesday night reached 32 PTS. Yesterday, TVB announced that the finale for the drama next month will be two hours long, and they have already sent a proposal to Fan Bing Bing and Aarif Lee, hoping to invite them to Hong Kong to support the finale event. One of the malls has expressed their willingness to be the venue for the finale broadcast event at a high price; however their only request is that the three leads, Fan Bing Bing, Jerry Li (both having recently announced their relationship) and Aarif Lee appear together. TVB believes the chance isn't very high, but they will try their best to schedule with the actors.
TVB's prime time dramas this week have recorded good results. On Monday night, sitcom "Come Home Love" recorded 26 PTS, peaking at 27 PTS, while new drama "Master of Destiny" had a good opening episode, recording 26 PTS and peaking at 29 PTS. As for "The Empress of China", the story is heading to its climax now, and the ratings are also rising with it. Both on Monday and Tuesday, the drama has broken its records. On Monday night, the drama recorded 29 PTS and peaked at 31 PTS. The day after, Tuesday's broadcast of Episode 57 recorded a new ratings record (for the drama), peaking at 32 PTS, with more than 2,040,000 viewers tuned in. It has become the episode with the highest rating so far since the broadcast of the drama. Yesterday, TVB Communications Deputy Director, Tsang Sing Ming led other TVB artistes such as Erin Wong, Katherine Ho, Lee Yee Man, etc. to promote the drama. At the event, he announced that the finale on the 12th of next month will be 2 hours.
At netizens' requests, TVB has already sent a proposal to leads, Fan Bing Bing and Aarif Lee to come to Hong Kong for the finale night. One of the malls would like to take advantage of the drama's success, and has approached TVB to organize a event for citizens to watch the finale together; even offering a good fee. However, the only condition is the request for Fan Bing Bing, Jerry Li and Aarif Lee to appear together. Tsang Sing Ming expressed that the chance is not very high: "They are so popular, and there are only two weeks until the finale. The time is very short, so it's not quite possible. Can only leave it to fate, but the mall's proposal is quite a good gimmick."
Kevin Cheng admits he and Grace Chan are currently dating
To protect their images, artistes usually keep their relationships at low-profile. Kevin Cheng, who has been in the industry for 22 years, has always done the same. From his debut till now, there have been many girls surrounding him. Although he has dated Linda Wong, Niki Chow and Charmaine Sheh in the past, he had always been very low-profile about the relationships in front of the media. However, who knew that this time, having only dated Grace Chan for 4 months, he has changed his ways.
Kevin Cheng and 2013 Miss Hong Kong Champion, Grace Chan, were exposed to have sparked a relationship for 2 months because of TVB drama "Blue Veins", back in April. Although the two were photographed together several times, they had always denied this 21 year gap "father-daughter" relationship. The day before, Kevin attended the blessing ceremony for new Mainland drama "Tai Chi Master: The Door of Tai Chi" in Hengdian. Many reporters asked about his relationship with Grace Chan. He was all smiles, and finally admitted the two are dating: "Recently, the phrase I've been saying the most is "Hope you give us some space." I think it's a very normal thing (dating), and, we are indeed dating, thank you for everyone's concern. I've said it many times, I'm not a reality show, nor is there some kind of development, but everytime, it seems like I have to announce and report to everyone. So, please just give us some more space, thank you everyone."
As Kevin unprecedentedly announced their relationship, a reporter asked whether "good news" (marriage) is near? Kevin replied: "Let's talk about this topic later. This thing, you can't rush it. That's not something that's going to happen just because I say it, it's mutual. Not something that you just say and it will happen." Another reporter asked: "Do you mean now that you guys are together, she has more control?" Kevin quickly denied: "Don't be like that, I didn't say that. I'm just saying that some thing, there needs to be respect for each other. We need to see whether we are suitable, then we'll talk about it."
Grace Chan: "Our minds are in sync"
Regarding Kevin Cheng admitting the two are dating, Grace Chan was asked about this when she attended a function in Tseung Kwan O last night. In the beginning, she said: "I don't know how to answer. We have been interacting and going on dates." She thought for a bit, and said: "Yes, after going on dates, we understood each other a lot more, and I understand what kind of person he is. But this is still a private matter, hope everyone can give us some space." She also denied her father got angry about the news of her spending the night at Kevin Cheng's house on Father's Day: "Daddy's response was just to protect me. He understand our relationship. Dating is a very normal thing, don't need to discuss it out in the open." As for her boyfriend openly admitting their relationship this time, she replied: "We talked about it. Our minds are in sync. Thank you for everyone's care and concern."
Actually, this past Wednesday was Grace Chan's 24th birthday, and Kevin was seen standing next to Grace in a group photo. Their boyfriend-girlfriend relationship seemed to be quite evident already. Previously, there was also reports that while Grace was working in Paris, Kevin even flew to Paris to accompany her, and pre-celebrated her birthday. The two spent a romantic 5 day 4 nights vacation.
For her boyfriend, Grace Chan even spent the night at Kevin's home in Tai Hang on Father's Day, the day they came back to Hong Kong, instead of celebrating with her father. As for last night's event, Kevin's ex-girlfriend, Charmaine Sheh was absent due to sickness, Grace said: ďNot wanting to see me may not be the reason why Ah Sheh is absent. Hope she recovers soon!"