Chiru Vs Rajini
Way back, when Megastar Chiranjeevi attained number one status in Tollywood with Khaidi, Tamil Superstar Rajinikanth was competing with Kamal Haasan in Kollywood. As a matter of fact, Kamal Haasan was more familiar hero to Telugu audience than Rajinikanth then.
When Chiranjeevi's image touched to sky level and he charged Rs.1.25 crores for Aapadbhandhavudu, national media lauded him as the highest paid actor of India. They even called him bigger than Bachchan. Rajinikanth was reportedly charging around Rs.60 lakhs as per national media reports then.
However, Rajini's special role in Mohan Babu's industry hit Pedarayudu changed the fate of Tamil Superstar. Thereafter, Rajini's craze spread in Tollywood and other languages with nonstop hits such as Basha, Muthu, Arunachalam, Chandramukhi and Robo.
But then, Rajini has been struggling with a series of flops for the past 12 years. Although Rajini and Shankar combo's Robo and Shivaji scored hits, the credit of the hits was shared by Shankar as well. Moreover, non Shankar's films stood as debacles viz. Kochadaiyaan, Lingaa, Kabali and Kaala.
According to the US collection reports, Kaala minted just $520K through premieres and collected a total of $764K including Thursday's collections. On the other hand, Chiranjeevi's comeback film Khaidi Number 150 collected $1.251M through US premieres. The film was made without VFX and wow factors unlike Robo and Shivaji. Yet, the film stood as an industry hit with Rs.105 crores share.
And now, Megastar's historical magnum opus Sye Raa Narasimhareddy is being made with a whopping budget of Rs.200 crores. Theatrical rights of the movie are estimated to be around Rs.300 crores which is more than Rs.70 crores to Kaala.
Rajini may beat all pre release and post release records with Robo 2. However, it must also be remembered that top director Shankar is wielding megaphone for the project. Rajini needs to score an industry hit with an ordinary mass entertainer. Else, it must be said Megastar merely outshines Tamil Superstar.