Sarkar: Vijay has selected Diwali as his signature festival after success of Thuppakki, Kaththi, Mersal
In Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan used to occupy the Diwali slot (Om Shanti Om, Jab Tak Hai Jaan and Ra.One), Salman Khan had tasted many Eid blockbusters (Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Sultan) and Aamir Khan is known for his Christmas biggies like PK and Dangal.
Just like the Hindi Superstars, Vijay has delivered several blockbusters on festivals. For the Mersal actor, Diwali and Tamil New Year (14 April) are the lucky dates. If we look at the filmography of Vijay, most of the non-festival releases of the actor did not yield high profits to the buyers. At the same time, average films like Jilla and Bairavaa incurred less losses because of the festival release strategy.
Sources close to Vijay say that the actor has decided to release his future films only for Diwali as it turns out to be a lucky slot for him. Vijay’s first Rs 100 crore grosser Thuppakki released on Diwali 2012, his second Rs 100 crore film Kaththi released on Diwali 2014 and the actor’s first Rs 200 crore film Mersal released on Diwali last year. Apart from these recent biggies, Priyamanavaley, Thirumalai, Sivakasi and Velayutham are some of the other popular Diwali hits of Vijay.
The successful AR Murugadoss-Vijay combo, which delivered two blockbusters, is now all set to release their third film Sarkar for this year's Diwali. In Sarkar, Vijay has almost completed his portions and only a week-long shoot will be happening in Chennai and then, the actor will be flying to the USA for the introductory song sequence.
Generally, Vijay has the habit of starting shooting for a new film as soon as his ongoing project gets wrapped up but this time, the actor asked his new film director Atlee to fine tune the script and concentrate on the pre-production work.
Sources say that the Vijay-Atlee film will go on floors only in January 2019 and the film is scheduled to release for next year's Diwali. The entire shoot of Sarkar will be completed in the month of August so Vijay has decided to take a four-month break which is quite unusual for the actor who always wants to stay busy acting in films.
“Vijay sir has decided to work on one film at a time. Henceforth, he will not have more than one release in a year mainly because of the mammoth budget involved in his projects and the increasing business with every given film. If Theri grossed Rs 150 crores, Mersal surpassed the Rs 200 crores mark in style. There is a huge pressure on the box office performance of Sarkar so Vijay sir wants to deliver one film per year, and he doesn’t want any compromise on the script and production values," said a source close to the actor.
Trade sources predict that the worldwide pre-release business of Vijay-starrer Sarkar would be at par with Rajinikanth's films. Earlier, Vijay had the habit of choosing a mid-budget film after delivering a biggie. For example, after Thuppakki and Thalaivaa, the actor signed Jilla, directed by a lesser known filmmaker Neason. While heroes prefer to team up with successful directors, Vijay teamed up with his failed film's director Bharathan in Bairavaa right after the blockbuster Theri.
Though Pongal is another option for Vijay-Atlee’s new film, Ajith-starrer Viswasam has already occupied that slot. Another reason for the Diwali release plan is that Vijay does not want to rush things. The actor has realised that his current position is precious and he cannot afford to lose it at any cost so fans can expect the actor to team up only with proven filmmakers.
This move of reducing the rate of signing new films was actually introduced by Rajinikanth. After the historic success of Baashha, Rajinikanth slowly reduced the number of releases and it raised the curiosity among his fans. After Baashah and Muthu (1995), Rajinikanth took two years to release his next film Arunachalam (1997). Padayappa was released in 1999, Baba ( box office flop) got released in 2002 and Chandramukhi hit the screens in 2005, Sivaji in 2007 and Enthiran in 2010. Though Vijay will not have a two-year gap between two movies, he will be releasing one film per year in the future and it will hit the screens on a festival day (most likely for Diwali).
AGS Entertainment of Thani Oruvan-fame is said to the front-runner to bankroll Vijay-Atlee’s new film but budget, remuneration and other details are yet to be finalised by the production house. Thani Oruvan director Mohan Raja is also writing a script for Vijay and if all goes well, the project will commence only in the third quarter of 2019.
Updated Date: Jul 26, 2018 09:01 AM