Rajinikanth's much-awaited film Kabali is yet to release and it is already creating magic at the cash registers. The advance ticket booking for the Friday release opened last weekend in Chennai and reports suggest that they were sold out within minutes.
To prevent websites from crashing, multiplexes in Chennai even had to upgrade their servers and have teams of technicians at hand to deal with the heavy traffic for the tickets.
Some parts of neighbouring states Kerala and Karnataka opened pre-bookings on Sunday with tickets charged at exorbitant rates, going even up to Rs 600. Like in the case of most of Rajinikanth's earlier films, his fan associations have planned early morning shows for Kabali as well.
— Kerala Rajini Fans (@Keralarajinifan) July 17, 2016
While Thalaiva's superstardom is well acknowledged in India, it is nothing less in the US. Kabali tickets were sold out within two hours of advance booking opening. Kalaipuli Thanu, the film's producer, expects the film to garner more than Rs 500 crore. The Tamil film will also be releasing in Telugu, Hindi and Malayalam on the same date across 3000 screens around the world, including 400 screens across the US and UK and 100 screens in the other parts of Europe. A tweet by an unverified Twitter user suggests that the advance booking itself has helped the film make Rs 225 crore business.
The makers of the film have also taken adequate measures to ensure that the film doesn't lose out due to piracy. On Friday, the Madras High Court granted an interim injunction restraining all Internet Service Providers from illegal downloading after Thanu issued a plea.
Puducherry government capitalised on the craze for Kabali tickets in an innovative way. After they found out that 58 percent of Sellipet panchayat residents defecate in the open, they promised them free tickets to the film if they constructed toilets in their houses.