While Bollywood A-listers remain monstrously overpaid, their Southern counterparts are rapidly catching up.
Of course, they have a long way to go before they reach the Salman-Akshay-Shah Rukh Rs 120-Rs 140 crore (Rs 1.2 billion to Rs 1.4 billion) paycheck. But they are getting there.
Post the record-breaking success of Pushpa: The Rise, Subhash K Jha reports that its leading man Allu Arjun -- who was already one of the highest-paid actors in Telugu cinema -- has hiked his remuneration by three times, arguing that after Pushpa he is a pan-India superstar.
And he may be right. We just have to wait and see how his next release fares outside Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Pushpa's director veteran Telugu Sukumar has also scaled up his fees.
For the sequel to Pushpa, Telugu Sukumar he is demanding and getting almost four times what he got for Pushpa.
However, the film's leading lady Rashmika Mandanna, who was not aware of these fiscal developments after Pushpa, has also been advised by her team to raise her remuneration.
Rashmika should have earned the right to a pay hike without asking, just like the leading man and director of Pushpa.
Just goes to show the pay parity between male and female stars is a pan-India reality.
But things are changing. After KGF Chapter 2 Raveena Tandon will be paid nearly 5 times more for Chapter 3.
Feature Presentation: Rajesh Alva/Rediff.com