What makes 2.0’s success even more important for Rajinikanth is his announcement of entering politics earlier this year.
After the fall of Thugs of Hindostan, a film worth Rs 300 crore, the film industry has been relying on its another big-budget venture – 2.0. It is not just the film business, but actor Rajinikanth too has a lot riding on his new offering.
Rajinikanth's films not being sold-out on the opening day or the opening week is a rare sight. But, for his last film Kaala, the tickets were available for a long time. The expectations from a Rajinikanth film are far more than any other Indian film. Even at 67, the actor remains the go-to man for biggest box office hits.
According to a Box Office India report, it was a slow-start for Kaala at the Indian box office and the film was unable to pick up pace even in the next few days. The film collected approximately Rs 50 crore in all languages across India in three days, which is not a strong number considering the price that the distributors paid for the film’s rights.
While expectations from the Hindi version were not too high, things were tough down south as well which is the prominent market for Rajinikanth films.
Even though Wunderbar Films had released a statement saying that Kaala was a profitable venture, it did not disclose any collection numbers. And going by trade numbers provided by film experts, Kaala faltered on the home turf.
However, the film turned out to be a money-spinner overseas. While the overall response for Kaala was mixed, things were not the same for Lingaa and Kochadaiiyaan. The two films were unable to keep the cash registers ringing.
What makes 2.0’s success even more important for Rajinikanth is his announcement of entering politics earlier this year. If the film makes big bucks, not only will it be a boost for the returns on investment, but also for Rajinikanth’s appeal.
His entry into politics means people analysing every aspect of the actor’s life. Every statement, every comment will now be closely looked at. When Rajinikanth had commented on the Cauvery issue, Kaala saw a ban in Karnataka which was later lifted. However, the movie was released on limited screens as exhibitors wanted to avoid any controversy.
The superstar’s last two films had dominant political themes which brought his film choices under scrutiny as well. While some say that Kabali and Kaala highlight Rajinikanth’s working-class image, others are of the belief that these films helped him build a secular political reputation.
2.0 has created enough buzz that has led to a frenzy among Rajinikanth's fan base, which is not restricted to India alone and expands overseas. The international success of Kaala is a witness to the power of overseas markets.
Besides, 2.0 is a film loaded with visual-effects due to which the cost of its production has shot up. The film is now worth USD 75 million (Rs 537 crore approximately), confirmed actor Akshay Kumar in a tweet.
It is being touted as Asia’s most expensive film. The filmmakers have identified 1,000 shots from the film and used 10 different VFX companies. Director Shankar Shanmugham confirmed that more than 3,000 technicians around the world have worked on the movie. While the visual effects in the Baahubali franchise redefined story-telling on the big screen, 2.0 seems to have upped the VFX game.
Leaving no stone unturned, the makers are releasing the film in 12 languages besides Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. The success of the Baahubali franchise is proof that language is not a barrier for a film to prosper and that non-Hindi films have the power to transcend regional boundaries.
The stage for 2.0 was set by its predecessor Enthiran (Robot in Hindi) with the film making Rs 179 crore, according to its 2010 Q4 report.2.0’s success will not only help save the film industry's Rs 1,000 crore dream in the final quarter, but will also be a shot in the arm for Rajinikanth aka Thalaiva of the Indian film industry.