Ajith’s 50th golden jubilee film Mankatha has broken many myths. The Venkat Prabhu directed entertainer has taken an earth shaking opening worldwide.
Mankatha is said to have garnered an estimated whopping Rs 25.2 Crore net, from 370 odd screens in Tamil Nadu during the Ramzan-Vinayaga Chathurthi big five day weekend (August 31 to September 4).
The film as per trade pundits is likely to net (after deducting entertainment tax) an awesome Rs 30 Crore in its first week! Mankatha will become the second highest opener in history of Tamil cinema after Superstar Rajinikanth’s Enthiran which netted Rs 39.5 Crore in its first week from Tamil Nadu.
The main reason for this phenomenal opening is Ajith. Remember, three months back he disbanded his fan club, still he could manage such a gigantic opening riding on the goodwill of his silent fan base. There was a sympathy wave across Tamil Nadu for Ajith, a star who never tried to build his fan clubs for making future political moves or use the media to create an aura around him.
The loyalty and devotion of his fans across the world has made Mankatha take such a huge opening. There is something in Thala as Ajith is affectionately called by his fans, which attracts all sections of the audiences and it worked perfectly as the film was marketed as a solo release during a five-day festival weekend.
Added to that in a state where politics and cinema go hand- in- hand, the ruling Jayalalithaa government did not interfere in the release of Mankatha produced by her arch-rival and former Chief Minister Karunanidhi’s grandson Dhyanidhi Alagiri and marketed by Kalanithi Maran
Ajith, has proved with Mankatha that he commands the biggest opening of the season. That's star power for you. Method acting be damned. People love to come and watch the actor on screen and does not mind whether he plays the bad guy who is mean and malevolent, takes girls for a ride or smokes and drinks on screen!
He has reinvented the Tamil film mass hero image with Mankatha and the audiences simply loved it, as proved by the box-office.
The critics can eat crow, because bad reviews or lack of pre-release publicity hardly matters at the box-office if it is a Thala film. He keeps aloof and is never seen at public functions, not even at the audio launch of his films!
The star has also kept away from the lucrative ad world and does not endorse any product, nor can you see him giving television bytes! Ajith is the only star in the country who refuses to promote or endorse his films, as he has said in many interviews- “My film will do the talking”!
Today, Ajith is the clear number two at the Tamil Nadu box-office, thanks to his gargantuan opening. Trade pundits say today Ajith power at the Tamil Nadu box-office is second only to superstar Rajinikanth. Why? The money invested in an Ajith film comes back to the investors at a faster rate than any other star.
Vinayak Mahadevan the character the actor plays in Mankatha echoes similar sentiments - “It’s money,money, money”.
By Sridevi Sreedhar