Much was said about Tamil superstar Rajnikanth’s latest magnum opus, Kabali, igniting cash registers with a record haul of Rs 109 crore in the opening week starting July 22. This collection bettered Rs 105 crore earned by Bollywood superstar Salman Khan’s blockbuster, Sultan, which was released a week earlier on the eve of the festival of Eid. The entire media had gone gaga over the stunning performance of Kabali and hailed Rajnikanth as the biggest, brightest and most bankable actor in India. The Thalaivar was said to have paled Salman Khan in comparison and the record breaking collections were there to prove the same. But a week later, it turns out that Salman Khan is still the real bhai of Indian box office.
After collecting a whopping Rs 47.2 crores on the opening day, it has been downhill for Kabali which netted Rs 30.2 and 32.15 crore on the second and third day respectively. It was a struggle for Kabali over the next four days and it failed to even touch the Rs 16 crore mark on a single day with total earnings of Rs 163.1 crores for the first week in India. In contrast, Sultan collected Rs 36.63 and 38.81 crores even on the fourth and fifth day ending its first week at 208.82 crores.
It has also been widely reported that the release of Kabali had to be postponed by a week to avoid clashing with the release of Sultan. Not just that, Kabali was extended the benefit of being declared tax free in Tamil Nadu, which becomes a major contributor in the film’s success. Tax in south circuits of the country is comparatively lower than most Hindi film circuits in north India.
Before Kabali, Rajnikanth had made Lingaa, and Kochadaiiyaan, both films did not do well at the box office. In the past few years, there has been only Enthiran (2010), and Sivaji: the boss (2007), which have been blockbusters at the box office for the famed superstar of the south. The same doesn’t apply to Sallu bhai whose consistency at the box office remains unparalleled. Since Dabangg (2010), Salman Khan has done 10 movies and all have them have grossed over Rs 100 crores, only one has been semi-hit and one super-hit, rest all have been blockbusters.
So Rajnikanth can have all the hype and blind faith of his fans, yet it doesn’t convert into a phenomenon called Salman Khan. No offence to Rajni fans, but the wait continues for an actor who can match Sallu bhai at the box office.
Credit : indiatimes.com