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How Rich Is Hyun Bin, aka Captain Ri?

Despite all his wealth, Hyun Bin isn’t one to squander his money.
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South Korean actor Hyun Bin’s has become a household name worldwide ever since his starring role on K-drama Crash Landing on You. The 37-year-old starred as Captain Ri Jeong-hyuk, a North Korean soldier and the male lead in the hit series.

Hyun Bin’s acting career in South Korea was already doing well after a number of successful shows, but Crash Landing on You catapulted him—and his jawline—into the international spotlight. The world’s newfound fascination with the actor only grew when it was revealed that he secretly donated 200 million South Korean won ($169,160) to the non-government organization Community Chest of Korea to help the country’s efforts against COVID-19.

With such a huge donation, it makes you wonder just how much Hyun Bin has earned over his long career in show business. Online net worth blogs estimate his wealth to be anywhere between $3 million (3.55 billion won) and $10 million (11.8 billion won).

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A closer look at Hyun Bin’s earnings reveal that the actor earned $27,000 for each episode of the 2010 show Secret Garden. That puts his earnings from the 20-episode show at $540,000 (638.9 million won). AM Entertainment’s merger with SM C&C disclosed that the actor earned $178,383 (211 million won) from the show’s additional profit, as well as $2,914,200 (3.45 billion won) from eight endorsement deals up until 2012.

That means Hyun Bin has earned roughly $3,632,583 (4.3 billion won) prior to 2013. Despite all his wealth, in 2013, the actor was given the President’s Award at the 50th Savings Day held by the Financial Services Committee for saving $3.5 million (4.14 billion won) within 17 years.

Upon his return to show business after compulsory military service, Hyun Bin’s comeback series Hyde, Jekyll, and I (2015) earned him $83,900 per episode, amounting to $1.68 million (1.98 billion won) for the 20-episode show. He was then paid $90,000 per episode for Memories of Alhambra (2018), or about $1.44 million (1.7 billion won) for the 16-episode series.

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As for endorsements, Hyun Bin reportedly earns an average of $900,000 per endorsement deal, of which there have undoubtedly been many throughout the years. He is currently the top rated TV actor for brand value in South Korea.

Our humble estimate of his earnings from 2013 to 2020 alone would be somewhere in the vicinity of $15 million (17.76 billion won or P759 million), which includes commercial endorsements and his undisclosed per episode rate on Crash Landing on You, which is surely higher than Hyun Bin’s previous rate, considering that the show is now one of the most popular shows in K-drama history.

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Anri Ichimura
Staff Writer, Esquire Philippines
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