Bollywood stars Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumar enter Forbes' highest paid actors list for first time

Shah Rukh Khan and Ranbir Kapoor also rank among the best paid actors in the world

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The Independent Culture

Hollywood may have finally woken up to Bollywood's noise.

For the first time, Forbes has included earnings of actors around the world in its annual list of highest paid male film stars, with a clear invasion from India, China and Hong Kong.

Amitabh Bachchan and Salman Khan entered the list in joint seventh place, with estimated earnings of $33.5 million in the past year.

Akshay Kumar follows behind in ninth place with $32.5 million.

Robert Downey Jr topped the list with estimated total earnings of $80 million thanks to the Iron Man franchise, while Jackie Chan came in a surprise second position with a $50 million pay packet.

Bollywood actors Shah Rukh Khan and Ranbir Kapoor also made the Forbes list.

Indian film stars have long earned a pay packet the vast majority of the country's population can only dream of, but this year marks the first time their earning power has been recognised by Forbes.

Bachchan, 72, who is often called "the biggest movie star in the world", recently starred in Shamitabh, a film about a young actor who achieves success by "borrowing" the overdubbed voice of a drunkard.

Despite being sentenced to five years in prison in March, Salman Khan has rivalled Bachchan's earnings thanks to commercial success with films including Jai Ho, Lai Bhaari and Kick.

The 34 stars on Forbes' list earned a combined $941 million before taxes and fees between June 2014 and June 2015.

A separate list of highest-paid actresses will be published later this year.

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