MUMBAI: Bollywood superstars Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan have secured a spot in Forbes magazine's World's Highest Paid Actors 2018 list, topped by Hollywood ace George Clooney.
Akshay, known lately for his socially conscious roles in films like "Toilet: Ek Prem Katha" and "Pad Man", is in the seventh spot with earnings of $40.5 million between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018. He minted millions from backend profits and endorsing some 20 brands, including Tata and Eveready, Forbes said.
Salman also remains one of India's top earners with $38.5 million, with hits such as "Tiger Zinda Hai" and by cashing in on backend profits, coupled with a slew of endorsements from Suzuki motorcycles to Chlormint gum.
Clooney, 57, is at the top of the list with $239 million despite not having helmed a hit in years. His earnings are thanks to the up to $1 billion purchase of his Casamigos Tequila.
The list tallies both onscreen and extracurricular earnings in the 12-month scoring frame. Earning estimates are based on data from Nielsen, ComScore, Box Office Mojo and IMDB, as well as interviews with industry insiders. All figures are pretax; fees for agents, managers and lawyers are not deducted.
Dwayne ‘The Rock" Johnson banked $124 million pretax to rank number 2 in the highest paid actors list.
Rounding out the top three is Robert Downey Jr, who pocketed $81 million. His "Avengers: Infinity War" co-star Chris Hemsworth, with $64.5 million, scored a career-best thanks to his cut from Marvel movies such as "Thor: Ragnarok".
China's top movie star Jackie Chan scored the fifth spot with $45.5 million, followed by Will Smith on number 6 with $42 million.
In the eighth position is Adam Sandler with $39.5 million, while Chris Evans completes the top 10 list with $34 million.
Together, the world's ten highest paid actors tallied $748.5 million, before fees and taxes.
The salaries of top-earning male leads dwarf those of the world's highest paid actresses, who earned a cumulative $186 million in the same scoring period, or just one quarter of the men's earnings -- highlighting the gender pay gap issue that persists.