Rajinikanth with Kabali has proved beyond a doubt that he is not only the biggest Superstar in the country but also a major brand internationally. The Bollywood Khans can’t match his stardom or phenomenal reach across the globe. Kabali is also the perfect case study on film marketing and branding, thanks to the strategy of the film's producer Kalaipuli S Thanu. The film is currently holding the record of best day one opening in the country.
When Kabali was announced, there were too many questions as Rajinikanth’s previous two films—Lingaa and Kochadaiyaan were box office duds. But the humongous craze during the opening weekend and tremendous pressure in getting first day tickets had made the naysayers to eat crow.
“The overseas box office numbers clearly indicate who Rajinikanth is and the unprecedented stardom he enjoys, which is not possible for the current generation actors. To be modest, it will be take another five to ten years for them to touch Kabali record but let’s also wait for the magnum opus ‘2.o’”, said a leading overseas distributor. Trade sources say that Kabali has grossed more than 100crs in overseas among which US and Canada alone contributed 30cr, the second highest contributor is Malaysia, where the film has grossed more than 20cr.
In Tamil Nadu, Kabali has grossed nearly 75 cr (approx) till Sunday and it is all set to break the life time TN collection of Theri within this week. Kabali has also performed well in Kerala and Karnataka whereas the Telugu version didn't match the expectation and it has been only declared as an average venture. The overall gross revenue of Kabali has grossed 300cr, which has shut the mouth of haters who said that Rajinikanth can repeat Enthiran’s success only by associating himself with Shankar, AR Rahman and Aishwarya Rai but Kabali is full of newcomers.
Outside of Tamil Nadu, people never heard about director Ranjith , Santhosh Narayanan is just a budding talent and Radhika Apte's market is nowhere near Aishwarya Rai but Kabali is all set to touch Enthiran’s worldwide distributor share, that’s Rajinikanth’s comeback for haters!
Putting aside the box office numbers, Kabali is indeed a welcome change in Tamil cinema. Leading writer Jeyamohan has written a long blog post about Kabali. Though he has criticized the film’s screenplay and flaws in the commercial cinema format along with over the top climax, he loved Kabali because it brought the ‘actor’ Rajini back on big screen (Read his blog post here: http://www.jeyamohan.in/89593#.V6q5amPwzR0).
Apparently, Kabali’s success can be attributed only to ‘actor’ Rajini and his subtle performance, we have also mentioned the same in our review saying that the Superstar carries the film on his shoulders (Kabali review: Rajini carries film on his shoulders)
Though critics and intellectual writers mentioned about the flaws in Kabali, general public didn't mind them. All people wanted is to enjoy watching the matured performance of Rajinikanth, they were super ‘Magizhchi’ on witnessing their demigod on big screen, which is the major reason behind the majestic success of Kabali!
In fact, the commercial success of Kabali would probably make Rajinikanth to sign more performance oriented roles. This will also encourage the other leading actors like Ajith and Vijay, who are closely following the footsteps of the Superstar to take more challenging roles in the future. One hopes that the audiences in Tamil Nadu will accept the change and encourage good content within the commercial format.