Industry insiders have produced a list of names of the highest paid male actors on television this years. However, although there are several names on the list, there are no surprises with the biggest names getting the biggest paychecks.
According to entertainment industry insiders, seven actors received more than 100 million won (roughly 89,300 USD) per drama. Unsurprisingly, this list comprised of Lee Byung-hun, Jang Dong-gun, So Ji-sub, Hyun Bin, Song Joong-ki, Lee Seung-gi, and Lee Jong-suk. Further, out of the seven, Song Joong-ki and Lee Jong-suk are said to have the highest salary.
Both actors are paid over 100 million per episode. After starring in the enormous success of “Descendants of the Sun,” Song is in high demand and is currently filming “Asadal Chronicles” alongside Jang Dong-gun. Similarly, Lee Jong-suk is starring in next year’s romantic drama “How to Publish Love.”
On the other hand, Lee Byung-hun, So Ji-sub, and Hyun Bin were paid a substantial amount for their roles in “Mr. Sunshine,” “My Secret Terrius,” and “Memories of the Alhambra,” respectively. However, after the first few episodes, the actors proved by they have such a high asking price.
Each of the dramas they starred in drew in a higher viewership rate incomparision to other other airing dramas at the same time. Notable, Lee’s “Mr. Sunshine” yielded an 18.1% viewership rate while So’s show always ranked in the top 10 most watched dramas. Likewise, Hyun’s program, which is currently airing, broke the 7% viewer rating in just two episodes.
All of the actors have such high salaries based on their reliable acting skills, the weight their names carry in the industry, market value, and established reputations and fans. An example of how this is how “Mr. Sunshine” simultaneous premiered on Netflix, opening it up to a global audience. Moreover, broadcasters in the U.S., Japan, and Taiwan bought the rights to air “My Secret Terrius” at high prices.
Translated by O.C