Bollywood superstars Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan, with earnings of $40.5 million and $37.7 million, have made it to Forbes’ World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities 2018 list, topped by former professional boxer Floyd Mayweather.
Akshay, 50, and Salman, 52, are the only two Indians in the list, which was unveiled on Monday. Akshay is ranked 76th, while Salman is placed on 82 in the list, which includes athletes, musicians, personalities, actors and comedians.
According to Forbes, the world’s 100 top-earning entertainers pulled in a combined USD 6.3 billion pre-tax over the past 12 months, up 22 per cent from last year and 11 superstars crossed the $100 million threshold, more than double the number from the last two years combined.
The Celebrity 100 list ranks front-of-camera stars around the globe using their pre-tax earnings from June 1, 2017 through June 1, 2018, before deducting fees for managers, lawyers and agents. Estimates are based on numbers from Nielsen, Pollstar, IMDB, SoundScan, NPD BookScan and ComScore, as well as interviews with industry experts and many of the stars themselves.
Akshay has been described by Forbes as one of Bollywood’s leading men who “has transitioned to socially-conscious roles, such as ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha”, a comedy supporting government campaigns to improve sanitation, and ‘Pad Man’ about a guy hoping to provide inexpensive sanitary pads to rural communities”.
“He still mints millions from backend profits and endorsing some 20 brands, including Tata and Eveready,” the description read.As for Salman, he has been called Bollywood’s “mainstay” who “continues to produce and star in hits such as ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’, cashing in on backend profits. Coupled with a slew of endorsements from Suzuki motorcycles to Chlormint gum, he remains one of India’s top earners.”
Mayweather tops the ranking with $285 million in pre-tax earnings, almost entirely on the strength of his August 2017 fight versus listmate Conor McGregor.
George Clooney finishes second with $239 million, most of it coming from liquor giant Diageo’s purchase of Casamigos, the tequila company he co-founded, giving him the best annual take-home of his or any actor’s career.
Forbes’ cover star Kylie Jenner pulled in $166.5 million to claim the No. 3 spot, boosted by a sprawling cosmetics empire that has her on the verge of becoming a billionaire before she is old enough to drink.
Judge Judy Sheindlin’s $147 million puts her at No. 4 — buoyed by the sale of her TV library for $100 million — while Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson rounds out the top five with $124 million thanks to blockbusters like newly-released “Skyscraper”.