Tamil Film Industry is growing exponentially with South East Asian markets like Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, parts of UAE, Western Europe and pockets of USA, Canada becoming the revenue streams of the box office for Tamil Films.
Rajnikanth’s film Muthu opened Japan market for Rajni films but it hasn’t been consistent over the years for other actors. He has Pan-India market and similarly, Kamal Haasan too. Now, let’s look at who all have good markets and how much they are paid, as well, from the Industry.
Note: The amounts have been taken from sources that we know from the Industry and few magazines available online. You can correct us, if there are any discrepancies.
18 Highest Paid Tamil Actors
Thalapathy Vijay occupies the top spot has his deals with producers have been aggressively increasing his remuneration or returns from a film. According to the sources, as his market has been on the rise in Telugu states, Kerala state, Karnataka state, USA and South-East Asia – he is demanding theatrical rights of few areas along with regular remuneration. For Master, a news report came out that he made a deal for Rs. 110 crores as remuneration for his film. This puts on top of the ladder.
General Reports: 45 – 55 C per film plus profit shares
Last film reports: Bigil – 50 Cr, Master – 110 Cr
Superstar Rajnikanth couldn’t really come up with a stunning performer at box office like always did until Enthiran/Robo release, back in 2010. His Linga, Kabali, Kocchadayan, Kaala, 2.0, Darbar have lost money in different markets with 2.0 recovering money in Hindi market but loosing in other areas. Petta, is the only film that made money in Tamil markets but not at the expected highs. Still, Thalaivar just needs one film to click and fans believe all records will be white-washed by his charismatic smile.
General Reports:- 55 Cr – 60 Cr per film
Last Film Reports:- Darbar – TN theatrical rights.
Ajith is growing in popularity by each day. His films have been made with heavy local flavour post Mankatha as his films till Veeram failed to generate enough box office returns. From Veeram he sticked to one filmmaker, Siva and even though he delivered hits that worked in Tamil Nadu, like Vijay he couldn’t grow his market in other states as subjects seemed too local. He tired Gautham Vasudev Menon’s Yennai Arindhal and H. Vinoth’s Nerkonda Paarvai as break away from regular masala entertainers. YA did not deliver on market expectations but NKP, became a safe bet. Siva delivered a flop with Ajith – Vivegam, which was the combination trial to deliver a universal film and he came back with a big blockbuster like Viswasam. After his last film NKP, he made a deal with Boney Kapoor for two more movies with his production house, say reports.
General Reports:- 40-45 Cr per film.
Last Film Reports:- 120 Cr deal with Boney Kapoor for three films.
4. Kamal Haasan
Kamal Haasan at one time could challenge Rajnikanth and cross him in Pan-India appeal. In fact, he is the first actor to have won awards for his roles in different language films. He attained a huge market in 90’s but lost it with experiments and limited appeal films. Still, if he comes up with a commercial film and if it is universally accepted, like Viswaroopam, he may deliver blockbuster again. Indian 2 producers are looking to cash in on the hype that Indian his last universal blockbuster from 1997 to deliver the same results with Shankar’s image as director to give them big blockbuster.
General Reports:- 15 Cr per film
Last Film Reports:- 25 Cr for Indian
Suriya once used to be equal to Ajith and Vijay in terms of the market in TN and was a big star in Telugu states with high appeal in Kerala, Karnataka and at one point in Hindi markets too. But all that market diminished in a matter of 5 years and he delivered 7 disasters one by one. Hence, his market in a way is frozen as per the exhibitors. He is producing his own movies as he wants to encourage different content.
General Reports:- 20-25 Cr per film
Last Film Reports: He produced his film – Soorari Pottru, Kaappaan – 20 Cr.
Dhanush is producing his own movies in general. But whenever he is doing other production houses he is taking more than 10 crores. After Asuran became a big blockbuster, he increased his remuneration to 15 crores in general, it seems.
General Reports:- 14 Cr – 17 Cr
Last Film Reports:- Pataas – 15 Cr.
Vikram lost his market in Kerala, Telugu states and Karnataka due to continuous disasters. His last movie Kadaram Kondein also became a disaster and the actor couldn’t really demand huge money like Vijay or Ajith or Suriya with whom he once competed.
General Reports:- 8.5 Cr – 10 Cr
Last Film Reports:- Kadaram Kondein – 9 Cr
Not many have best possible idea about Karthi’s remuneration as he been signing films for his brother, Suriya or Brother-in-law, K.E. Gnanavelraja, mostly. For Khaithi, he did not any remuneration at the start of the film, but took rights and they valued at Rs. 8 crores say sources. For Thambi too, he got the same amount, it seems.
General Reports:- 6.5 – 8 Cr
Last Film: Thambi – 8 Cr.
9. Vijay Sethupathy
Vijay Sethupathy is said to be highly flexible with his remuneration. He may quote double digits for a film or act without taking any remuneration also it seems. He quoted up to 8 crores to play the character of the antagonist in the film Master and more than 10 crores for Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy and upcoming, Uppena, it seems. Anyways, he made his base price as Rs. 8 crores, recently say reports.
General Reports:- 7.5 Cr – 12 Cr
Last Film Reports:- Uppena – 10 Cr (approx) and Master – 8.5 Cr (approx)
10. Siva Karthikeyan
Siva Karthikeyan grew from being a TV host, anchor and presenter to an actor to star to now a producer. As he started his own production, he is asking for rights of different areas or a percentage in profits asking him to add as a producer, it seems. But few big production houses who like to deal in giving full remuneration and nothing else have paid him 7.5 Crores for his latest release, it seems. His base price varies between 8 cr – 10 cr said reports.
General Reports:- 8 Cr – 10 Cr valued rights.
Last Film Reports:- Namma Vettu Pillai – 7.5 Crores, Hero – 8 crores.
11. Jayam Ravi
Jayam Ravi had a career defining hit with Thani Oruvan and few films after that worked for him as well. He is maintaining a base price of Rs. 8 Crores say reports. The actor did not increase or quote higher from two years, it seems.
General Reports:- 8 Cr
Last Film Reports:- 8 Cr
Vishal has become a producer with Vishal Film Factory and he rarely signs films for outside producers. So, the actor doesn’t quote huge amounts when signing for others, it seems. He takes some profit sharing deal if the producer is ready to pay, say few reports. Few reports claim he arm-twists to do so. Anyways, he quotes between Rs. 4.5 Cr to 5 Cr per film, it seems.
General Reports:- For outside productions – Rs. 5 Cr
Last Film Reports:- Action – Rs. 5 Cr
Silambarasan once was one of the biggest young stars directly in competition with Dhanush for next top position after Ajith and Vijay. Little Superstar, he was once called, had to go through some personal life crisis and he did not have releases for 3 years. After that he had issues with producers and even directors like Gautham Vasudev Menon saying that he is not caring for his looks and not showing up at shoots, as well. He delivered few disasters on top of these issues and hence, even though he is popular, his market fell drastically.
General Reports: Rs. 4 Cr
Last Film Reports:- AAA- Rs. 4 Cr, Maanadu – Rs. 4.5 Cr – 5 Cr
Siddharth had a great start to his career with Yuva – Aaytha Ezhuthu, Nuvvosthante Nennoddantana, Bommarillu in Telugu and even few of his Tamil releases became huge hits. The actor then lost his market in Telugu due to continuous disasters and revived his career in Tamil with films like Jigarthanda and started his own production house with Gruham/Aval, Jil Jung Juk and he started starring in web-series like Leila, too. His previous films – Aruvam, Sivappu Manjai Paccha did not click at the box office too.
General Reports:- 1.5 Cr per film
Last Film Reports:- Aruvam – 2 Cr
Arya who became popular in Telugu as the villain in Allu Arjun’s Varudu and hero of films like Naan Kadavul, Nene Ambani did not use the market created by his hits which he produced himself. He is working for 1 – 2 Crores base price and doesn’t even ask for money in advance, if he likes the script and producer, it seems. He is getting ready to star in Kaala, Madras and Kabali director, Pa. Ranjith’s next.
General Reports: 1 Cr – 2 Cr
Last Film Reports: 1.5 Cr
16. Arjun Vijay
Arun Vijay turned into a star with Yennai Arindhal even though the movie has Ajith in the lead role. As an antagonist, he scored brownie points as Victor and recently, Thadam became a box office hit for him.
General Reports:- 1 – 1.5 Cr
Last Film Reports:- Arun Vijay – Mafia- 1.5 Cr
Ko hero, Jivva is facing turbulent times in his career and hence, he is not quoting any high prices, it seems. Both the heroes have a nominal market at this stage but they have hopes to make it big with upcoming films.
General Reports:- 1 – 1.5 Cr
Last Film Reports:- Arun Vijay – Mafia- 1.5 Cr
18. Vishnu Vishal
Vishnu Vishal recently acquired a good market with Ratsasan becoming a hit and he is known as the actor with a good script sense too. The actor has his own production house and he prefers to do films with producers, who trust his senses more. He recently decided to cut his salary by half for his ongoing film for producers to pay the daily wagers and other staff, as the works have come to a standstill due to Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdown.
General Reports: 1 Cr
Last Film Reports:- 1.5 Cr post Ratsasan success.