Jackie Chan is a Hong Kong international movie star, martial artists, filmmaker, vocalist, and businessman. Chan has made enormous wealth from his acting career in China and Hollywood. Between 2014 and 2016, Chan earned an estimated pretax income of $112 million, making him the second-highest paid actor in the world for the years 2015 and 2016. His net worth is estimated at over $350 million. Here’s more about his rise to fame and wealth.
Jackie Chan Net Worth: How He Began
Jackie Chan was born Chan Kong-sang on 7 April 1954 in British-ruled Hong Kong. His parents who were refugees from the Chinese Civil war worked in the kitchen of the French embassy in Hong Kong. Subsequently, they moved to Australia to work in the kitchen of the American embassy. During this time, Chan,7, was checked into a highly disciplined performance arts boarding school in China where he learned and perfected in martial arts, acrobatics, drama and music. Alongside his training, Chan began appearing in musical films. Ten years later, he graduated and landed a job as an acrobatic stuntman in the Bruce Lee films; “Fist of Fury” (1972) and “Enter the Dragon” (1973)
However, his early years were not without struggle. He was unable to get sufficient stunt roles and the ones that came failed to peak commercially. Thus, to make more money Chan shuffled between Hong Kong and Australia where he worked construction jobs.
Luck smiled on Chan in 1976 when film producer Willie Chan (who would later become his long-time manager) invited him for a movie role after being impressed with one of his stunt works. At the time, Bruce Lee had just passed away and the search was on for a successor. Chan who was modeled after Lee found it difficult to adopt Lee’s martial style. Following a string of commercial failures, Chan was finally given the freedom to create his own stunts which he did, spicing it up with comedy and a slapstick approach, birthing a refreshingly new genre “comedic kung fu”.
Jackie Chan Net Worth: Breakthrough And Continued Success
Thanks to “comedic kung fu” Jackie Chan achieved mainstream success with two box office hits— “Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow” (1978) and “Drunken Master” (1978). After a brief, moderately successful stint in Hollywood, Chan returned to Hong Kong and continued his success streak with such movies like “The Young Master” (1980) and “Dragon Lord” (1982), breaking records set by Bruce Lee.
With an established star status in Hong Kong, Chan began producing his own films. First up was the Police Story (1985), whose massive success lead to the development of numerous installments. His other big hit at the time which also influenced more sequels was “Armour of God” (1986).
Inspired by his Hong Kong hits, Chan in the mid 1990s returned to Hollywood and this time, he set records! His first Hollywood breakthrough was in “Rumble in the Bronx” (1985) and later Rush Hour (alongside Chris Tucker) which became his first blockbuster hit, grossing $244.4 million against a $33 million budget. Rush Hour would go on to produce two sequels both of which were massive hits. And for the record, he cuts a deal that pays him about 15% of the movie’s total gross which amounts to 8 figures!
Chan continued with other hit franchises like “Shanghai Noon” and “Kung Fu Panda”. As of 2016, The Kung Fu Panda animated films have grossed nearly $2 billion at the global box office.
In between his Hollywood gigs, Chan returns to Hong Kong to make successful movies, some of which were sequels to his previous work.
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Jackie Chan Net Worth: Movie Production, Cinema, And Other Ventures
Chan’s career as a film maker has enjoyed a rapid growth thanks to his relationship with the Chinese government. It all began in 2008, when China asked Chan to serve as an ambassador for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He later formed close ties with the government which helped him become a great benefactor of a fledgling Chinese film industry.
Chan soon moved a good number of his operations to China. His production and/or distribution companies include JCE Movies Limited, JC Group China, and Jackie & Willie Productions. His 2016 East-West movie “Skiptrace” was a commercial hit despite being met with tepid reviews.
Chan’s relationship with China also helped him thrive in the cinema business. In 2010, he built the Jackie Chan Yaolai International Cinema in Beijing, a 17-screen, 3500 seats multiplex which per Forbes, sells about 50,000 tickets on big weekend days. To put Chan’s earnings in view; in February 2014, China cinemas recorded more box office receipts than America, a feat that has lead to an increasing number of East-West co-productions.
Thanks to the impressive success, Chan was able to enter into a 50/50 deal to build over 60 more cinemas all over the country. In each of the outlets are stands selling Chan’s merchandise which includes his clothing line that bears his initials “JC” or a Chinese dragon logo.
Also in the 1990s when China had just opened up, Chan took advantage of the opportunity to establish gyms, cafes and sushi restaurants all branded with his name. Today, all these ventures have spread all over Asia and across to America. Chan happily donates a slice of his proceeds from all of these ventures to charity.
Some time in 2016, he stated that he has willed 100% of his wealth to charitable causes. A nightmare for his son Jaycee Chan who is also into the show business. Chan said of his son; “If he is capable, he can make his own money. If he is not, then he will just be wasting my money.” Hopefully, little Chan can get daddy to change his mind, maybe?
Chan may be charitable, but he still has enough to live the life of luxury. The Dragon Blade actor owns two private jets, one of which is valued at $20 million. Click here to see all its features.