For years, many actors wanted the acceptance that a star like Rajnikanth enjoys all over India. He is accepted as a box office force in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Telugu states and even in Maharastra, few parts of North India.
Like him or not, no one can ignore him and his stylish act is irreplaceable. But the actor after Robo/Enthiran in last decade is facing a rare down-time.
His films like Kocchadaiyan, Lingaa, Kabali, Kaala, 2.0 and Petta haven't performed to the levels that many expected his market as grown.
While Lingaa and Kabali openings did show that the interest in his films hasn't died down, Kaala and Petta after initials couldn't bring in anything to the table.
Only 2.0 had some good outing at the box office in Telugu states. In Tamil Nadu Petta, 2.0 are recognised as hits even though they suffered minuscule losses.
After all this too, Rajnikanth is still planning to release his Pongal movie, Darbaar at the same time in Telugu for Sankranthi, where the competition is heavy.
Allu Arjun's film with Trivikram Srinivas, Mahesh Babu's film with Anil Ravipudi, Akhil4 or Nagarjuna's Bangarraju sequel, Balakrishna's film with KS Ravi Kumar are said to be in the race for Sankranti.
Even when there is such competition, Rajni is releasing his movie Darbaar directed by AR Murugadoss during the season. If the film gets good talk in Tamil, releasing it for Republic Day weekend would be a great help for the distributors here to recover money. If not, then we have to say, Rajni gave up on Telugu market.