With Sarkar and Mersal, Vijay may soon outperform Ajith, Suriya to become this generation's new 'superstar'
Ajith’s Viswasam and Suriya’s NGK should at least come close to the collection of Vijay-starrer Sarkar in order to stay in the competition.
When Vijay-starrer Mersal grossed more than Rs 240 crore worldwide, many stars and insiders attributed the success of the film only to the controversial dialogues against Digital India and the publicity earned through Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader’s verbal attack. However, the trade believed in the ever-expanding market of Vijay and bet a huge amount on his recent Diwali release Sarkar. The humongous opening of Sarkar all over the globe has certainly mounted a massive pressure on the contemporary Tamil stars.
On day one, Sarkar grossed more than Rs 30 crore rupees in Tamil Nadu, which is a new record that even superstar Rajinikanth’s films have not done before. Though Vijay is behind Rajinikanth in the rest of India and overseas markets, the former is the current numero uno star in his home state. In one week, Vijay-starrer Sarkar grossed more than Rs 100 crores in Tamil Nadu and it is his second film after Mersal to have achieved this majestic record. Trade pundits say that Vijay is the only Tamil actor to have two have Rs 100 crore grossers in Tamil Nadu.
All eyes are now on Rajinikanth-starrer 2.0, which is expected to create a new opening record, beating Sarkar in Tamil Nadu. If the word of mouth is good, the film has high chances to enter into the Rs 100 crore gross club in the state. Distributors also believe that 2.0 will break the record of Baahubali 2: The Conclusion in Tamil Nadu to become the new number one film. The real challenge is not for Rajinikanth but for other contemporary Tamil stars, whose films have only achieved half of the gross of Mersal and Sarkar.
As of now, Ajith is considered to be the rival of Vijay but the lifetime gross of the former’s biggest blockbuster Vedalam is Rs 125 crores (approx), which is only half of the final collection of Mersal. And now, Sarkar is also expected to touch the Rs 250 crore gross mark. Ajith's Viswasam is under tremendous pressure to beat the opening day numbers of Sarkar because the actor owns the 'King of Opening' tag at the Tamil Nadu box office, but with back to back record opening numbers (Mersal and Sarkar), Vijay has comfortably snatched away the title from his arch rival.
In Tamil cinema, Vijay always ensured the second position after Rajinikanth, who is the indefeasible Superstar of Tamil cinema, but other actors like Ajith and Suriya have also given strong opposition to the Mersal actor in the past. However, right after Theri, Vijay’s market has grown to new heights. He became the second Tamil actor besides Rajinikanth to gross more than Rs 150 crore worldwide. Now with Mersal and Sarkar, Vijay has raised the bars among contemporary Tamil stars. So far, six films of Vijay have grossed more than Rs 100 crore, but his potential competitors Ajith and Suriya have three Rs 100 crore grossers to their credits.
Cracking the Telugu market used to be the biggest challenge for Vijay, but with Mersal and Sarkar, the actor proved that he is a profitable star in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as well. Within one week, Sarkar has already been declared as a hit in the Telugu states. The film grossed more than Rs 15 crore rupees in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Overseas too, Vijay stands next to Rajinikanth in the key territories. In some of the territories in the UK, Vijay has even surpassed the superstar. Among the Tamil actors who became stars in the later ‘90s, the growth of Vijay is incredible. He has almost achieved 75 percent pre-release business of Rajinikanth’s films.
Before the release of Sarkar, Firstpost mentioned that Vijay is planning to focus more on the Telugu market, which is the unexplored market for the actor. Now that Sarkar has been declared as a profitable venture, Vijay should now capitalise his Telugu market, and try to improve his strength in the overseas and Hindi markets.
Meanwhile, trade sources say the final box office figure of Ajith’s Viswasam and Suriya’s NGK should at least come close to the collection of Sarkar in order to stay in the competition. Because with every given film, Vijay’s market expands to a whole new level. He will soon be crowned as the undisputed Tamil 'superstar' of this generation.
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