- Title: Indian megastarâ€™s film releases amid unprecedented fan frenzy
- Date: 22nd July 2016
- Summary: MUMBAI, MAHARASHTRA, INDIA (JULY 22, 2016) (ORIGINALLY 4:3) (ANI - NO ACCESS BBC) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** ARTISTS PLAYING DRUMS/PAN SHOT OF A HUGE CUT OUT OF RAJINIKANTH FANS DANCING CLOSE OF AN ARTIST PLAYING A DRUM MORE OF FANS DANCING
- Embargoed: 5th August 2016 12:18
- Keywords: India Hyderabad Thiruvananthapuram Mumbai Chennai Kabali Rajinikanth
- Location: No-Data-Available
- City: No-Data-Available
- Country: India
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Film
- Reuters ID: LVA0024RRQTS5
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL
Frenzied fans beat drums, burst crackers and slept outside cinema halls on Friday (July 22) to catch an unprecedented early morning show of south Indian mega star Rajinikanth's latest release, Kabali.
Shows started as early as 4 am (2230GMT) and 6 am (0030GMT) in southern Chennai and western Mumbai cities respectively. Fans assembled outside theatres hours before the shows and danced to drum beats.
Fans carried flags with Rajinikanth's photographs and posed with his cut-outs while some sported a 'Kabali' hair dos.
Rajinikanth, one of Asia's highest paid actors, plays the titular role of an aged crime boss who battles with his enemies in an effort to protect his family and business.
Inside cinema theatres, hysteric fans cheered and whistled wildly and tossed their tickets in air as Rajinikath's character made its entry on screen. Some of them even walked up near screens and burst into impromptu dances.
"I have come here all the way from Assam to watch Kabali and it feels great to be here. Rajini is often called the god of south India and I can feel that now," said a fan, Salil Ahmad, in southern Thiruvananthapuram city.
The film was released across some 12,000 screens. Shows of "Kabali" are sold out almost everywhere in the country over the next few days with fans and corporate houses booking tickets in bulk.
Several corporate houses in south India have declared a holiday to pre-empt employees going on leave, while others have offered free tickets of the movie to their staff.
The frenzy also sent the ticket prices soaring. Tickets are being sold for as high as rupees 9,000 ($134) each compared to the usual rupees 150 (about $2.25), said media reports.
"People are immensely excited. He (Rajinikanth) is the magic man, what to say, he is the real magic man. Not everybody can generate such a craze. He is fantastic, he is superb, he is the real star!" said another fan, Jai Ganesh, in Mumbai.
A Rajini look-alike and an ardent fan, Sanjay Naik, said that no one could match the actor's stardom.
"Rajinikanth has such popularity that the shows had to start as early as 6 am (0030GMT). Going by the crowds, this film will smash all records," said a Rajini look-alike and an ardent fan, Sanjay Naik as he queued up to catch the first show in Mumbai.
Meanwhile in southern Hyderabad city, fans prayed for the box office success of "Kabali" and showered a giant poster of Rajini with milk.
Malaysia-based company AirAsia also flew a "Kabali" themed flight, screening the film to flyers travelling from Bengaluru to Chennai while serving them some of Rajinikanth's favourite food items.
Made on a budget of one billion rupees, or about $15 million, "Kabali" is expected to earn double the amount within the first three days of its release.
Even before its release, the film had raked in at least 400 million rupees, roughly $6 million U.S. dollars, through brand tie-ups, according to media reports.
It will also be dubbed in Telugu, Hindi and Malayalam languages to cater to the star's fans.
The film marks the return of Rajinikanth to the screen after a gap of two years, when his last film, "Lingaa," was released in 2014.
- Copyright Holder: ANI (India)
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