With a fee of Rs 35 crore (Rs 350 million) for 10 days of work in Ram Madhvani's thriller Dhamaka, Kartik Aaryan has raced far ahead of his contemporaries.
The actor, who was paid Rs 3 lakh for his first film Pyaar Ka Punchnaama, has come a long way.
The fee is, according to trade experts, staggering for an actor who is only nine films old.
An analyst, who wants to remain unnamed, compares Kartik's career graph to Akshay Kumar's.
"They come from a similar background: A Punjabi conservative family, one son and daughter. No Bollywood connections," the analyst tells Subhash K Jha.
"Yet, both made it super big. But Akshay's fee after nine films was nowhere close to Kartik's Rs 35 crore. In fact, until Suneel Darshan's Jaanwar in 1999, Akshay was paid a measly amount.
"Kartik has bounced to the big league in no time at all, and that too when his initial films -- Akash Vani, Kanchi and Guest In London -- were flops."
The analyst adds that no leading man of Kartik's generation commands a fee anywhere close.
The turnaround film in Kartik's career was Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety.
Kartik moved so far ahead in the film market that even his mentor Director Luv Ranjan could not afford to sign Kartik for his next and opted for Ranbir Kapoor instead.
What next for Kartik?
Sources close to the actor say money is not his criteria for selection.
"Eros Now offered Kartik a three film deal for Rs 90 crore. He turned it down as he didn't like the projects. He will not sign any films for just money. But if it's something as exciting as Dhamaka with a reputed director like Ram Madhvani, why not?" says a confidant of the actor.