Income disparity is still huge in the entertainment industry, with individual star power by far the most important factor determining earnings, the latest data from the National Tax Service show.
Last year, the top 1 percent of singers, actors, models and other entertainers earned W500 million to W4 billion, while the rest made W200,000 to W700,000 a month (US$1=W1,133).
According to the data, which was obtained by Minjoo Party lawmaker Park Kwang-on Tuesday, 15,870 entertainers reported total pre-tax income of W670.8 billion last year, averaging W42 million.
The top 1 percent accounted for 47.3 percent of total earnings, or W317.3 billion, averaging W2.1 billion, which was 47.8 times higher than the overall industry average. About 90 percent made W88.8 billion or just W517,500 a month. Park said, "A-listers made 324 times more than the remaining 90 percent."
The situation was similar among singers and models. Last year, the top 1 percent of singers made W4.26 billion on average, accounting for 52 percent and the rest made W8.7 million, averaging W725,000 a month.
The top 1 percent of models earned W544 million, while the rest made W2.7 million, or W225,000 a month.
The figures also reveal a gender gap. Male actors earned an average of W47 million last year, while actresses averaged just W37 million. Male singers made W112 million on average, almost three times more than their female counterparts (W40 million). However, female models earned more (W12 million) than male models (W10 million).