Surge in Mainland Box Office Earnings Multiply Actors’ Filming Fees

The Mainland Chinese film market has been booming with success lately. With its current achievements, the release of a new film can easily gross over 1 billion RMB at the box office. As a result, film actors’ filming fees have soared along with their popularity.

From Vegas to Macau 2 <賭城風雲II> reportedly bumped Nick Cheung’s (張家輝) filming fee from 12 million to 20 million RMB, placing him on par with Andy Lau (劉德華). He received endless casting opportunities after the film’s success. Next month, he will be shooting From Vegas to Macau 3 <賭城風雲III> with his salary. Chow Yun Fat’s (周潤發) filming fee rose from 24 million to 36 million RMB, also as a result of From Vegas to Macau 2. He will be collaborating with Nick in From Vegas to Macau 3 and also starring in Cold War 2 <寒戰II>.

Mr. Tam from Nick’s management company said in response to the tabloids, “Nick’s filming fee indeed increased, but the exact figure is a secret that’s inconvenient to reveal! When Nick receives film opportunities, he checks out the script first, not his salary.” On the other hand, because Andy Lau insists on getting the final edit in his films, some directors reportedly had second thoughts on casting him.

Tony Leung’s (梁朝偉) filming fee rose from 30 million to 45 million RMB, and he will star in director Wong Kar Wai’s (王家衛) upcoming comedy, The Ferryman <擺渡人>. Due to the success of Heaven Breaks <驚天破>, Sean Lau’s (劉青雲) salary reached 12 million from his previous 4 million RMB. The Triumph in the Skies <衝上雲霄> film bumped Francis Ng’s (吳鎮宇) fee from 3 million to 8 million RMB.

Angelababy’s (楊穎) popularity is rising every day, especially after her marriage with Huang Xiaoming (黃曉明). Her fee doubled from 4 million to 8 million RMB, at the same level as Li Bingbing (李冰冰). On the other hand, Huang Xiaoming, Fan Bingbing (范冰冰), and Yang Mi (楊冪) receive 15 million RMB per film, up from their previous amount of 8 million RMB.

Actor-turned-director, Stephen Chow (周星馳), receives 50 million RMB  this year compared to 30 million last year on a per project basis.

Wu Jing’s (吳京) fee reportedly multiplied tenfold after the release of Wolf Warriors <戰狼> and SPL 2: A Time For Consequences <殺破狼II>. It rose from 1 million to 10 million RMB. Wu Xiubo (吳秀波) and Tang Wei (湯唯) both rose from 4 million to 24 million RMB since their collaboration in Finding Mr. Right <北京遇上西雅圖>.

Asked for his opinion on the surging prices, Daneil Lam (林小明) from Universe Films Distribution expressed, “Honestly speaking, the pressure of shooting a film has increased a lot due to the rising costs and risks. Earning over 100 million RMB at the Mainland Chinese box office has become easier and lots of actors are smart in stating their price. Well, there is freedom in this market and if you think an actor is worth the price, you would give them the chance. Sometimes the actors would ask for a high amount, but if the box office doesn’t display a matching value, then no one would cast them. That’s why there’s nothing we can do if actors ask for a raise while their popularity is soaring.”


This article is written by Shirley for

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    1. @funnlim In short, yes.

      If you convert it to USD, some of them are underpaid. The mainland entertainment sector is soaring. It’s no accident that some Hollywood directors are working in China or Hollywood films are catering to the Chinese market. It’s just a matter of time that China’s film industry will surpass Hollywood in terms of dollar signs.

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