Bollywood superstars Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan are among India’s highest paid celebrities.
Forbes India magazine has published its Celebrity 100 list for 2019, which is topped by cricketer Virat Kohli with earnings of Rs 252.72 crore (Rs 2.5272 billion).
The rankings are based on estimates of earnings through professions and endorsements of celebrities and estimates of their fame for the October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019.
Photograph: Pradeep Bandekar
Akshay Kumar is India’s highest earning movie star with Rs 293.25 crore (Rs 2.9325 billion), registering a rise of 58.51%. Intriguingly, the Indo-Canadian actor is placed in the 2nd spot, behind the Indian cricket captain.
Akshay is followed by Salman Khan in the third spot with earnings of Rs 229.25 crore (Rs 2.2925 billion).
Amitabh Bachchan is in the 4th spot with earnings of Rs 239.25 crore (Rs 2.3925 billion).
Cricket legend Mahendra Singh Dhoni is in the 5th spot, with earnings of Rs 135.93 crore (Rs 1.3593 billion).
Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Mahi is followed by Shah Rukh Khan who makes a comeback to the list with Rs 124.38 crores (Rs 1.2438 billion) and in the 6th spot.
Photograph: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images
Ranveer Singh, with a haul of Rs. 118.2 crores (Rs 1.182 billion), is in 7th spot.
Photograph: Kind courtesy Alia Bhatt/Instagram
The top-10 list has only two female stars and their earnings significantly lower than their male counterparts. Alia Bhatt features at the 8th spot with Rs 59.21 crore (Rs 592.1 million).
Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar is placed 9th on the list with earnings of Rs 76.96 crores (Rs 769.6 million). Forbes India noted that in the top 100 list, there was an improved representation from the South Indian film industry.
Photograph: Kind courtesy Deepika Padukone/Instagram
Deepika Padukone is at 10th with Rs 48 crore (Rs 480 million).
‘There are 13 celebrities from the South this year (down from 15 in 2018) but their contribution to the cumulative earnings of the top 100 has increased to 12.57% from 11.26% in the previous year,’ the magazine said.
‘The inevitability of such lists being dominated by men, which itself tells a tale of the lack of pay parity across genders in every local film industry and in every sport,” the magazine added.
‘In cricket, a whopping Rs 6.5 crore separates the top men players from the women when it comes to the central contract. But when it comes to performance, there is no gap,’ Forbes India Editor Brian Carvalho said in a statement.
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