Kareena Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone, Priyanka Chopra: Who is B-town’s highest paid actor?

According to a recent survey by Forbes magazine, superstar Angelina Jolie has topped the list of highest paid female actors in Hollywood. So that made us wonder – who is Bollywood’s highest paid leading lady today?

A decade ago it was rare that a female star’s paycheck made headlines. Times have changed drastically. Kareena Kapoor Khan took the lead a few years ago with Rs 3.5 crore for Rohit Shetty’s multi-starrer Golmaal 3 and Rs 5 crore for Madhur Bhandarkar’s Heroine – and that should have increased now. And you cannot ignore Katrina Kaif, who was be the highest income tax payer in 2012. Vidya Balan and Priyanka Chopra are considered to be no less than her rivals, both stars consistently proving their worth in male-dominated flicks and Rs 100 crore blockbusters. The relatively less experienced but supremely talented Deepika Padukone is neck-to-neck with her seniors and considered hot property by big production houses. Also laughing all the way to the bank is Sonakshi Sinha (her name itself means gold), fast emerging as a top player in the enviable list of highest paid leading ladies in Bollywood.

A decade ago, to gauge a celebrity’s income from myriad sources – films, brand endorsements, performances, appearances, etc – was a manageable feat. But with the advent of corporates managing celebrity work – personal and professional – numbers are now closely guarded. Who earns what is never clearly known to even informed associates. Accordingly, some trade pundits refuse to comment on anything related to actors’ remuneration, primarily because they don’t want to get into their bad books. Also, as a trade expert says on condition of anonymity, “It’s very difficult to provide the exact figure or income earned by an actor, male or female, though we keep hearing mind-boggling figures quite often, related to their films and endorsements. The rates keep fluctuating, which largely depends on the hits delivered and the star’s popularity. I guess even actors aren’t aware what their fellow contemporaries charge nowadays, which means its a closely guarded secret.”

Considering the big moolah the top stars make from successful films, brand endorsements, award performances, etc, we decided to approximate what the women who rule the silver screen in Bollywood would rake in. And we present an educated guess or two about which lovely lady takes home the fattest pay packet….