By Sunil Kataria
(Reuters) – Frenzy gripped southern India on Thursday, a day ahead of the release of Tamil cinema superstar Rajinikanth’s crime-drama film titled “Kabali.”
Chennai, the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, buzzed with activity with men plastering life-size posters, depicting Rajinikanth’s character in the movie.
“I have been putting up posters for my one and only star,” said a laborer as he imitated some trademark moves of his favorite actor.
Fans also braved the harsh heat standing in lines outside theaters in last minute attempts to buy tickets for the movie, which will be released across 12,000 screens on Friday.
Rajinikanth, one of Asia’s highest paid actors, plays an aged gangster who battles with his enemies in an effort to protect his family and business.
Made on a budget of 1 billion rupees, or $14,892,126 U.S. dollars, “Kabali” is expected to earn double the amount within the first three days of its release.
The film has already raked in at least 400 million rupees, roughly $6 million U.S. dollars, through brand tie-ups, according to media reports.
Malaysia-based company AirAsia will host a “Kabali” themed flight on Friday, screening the film to flyers traveling from Bengaluru to Chennai while serving them some of Rajinikanth’s favorite food items.
The film marks the return of Rajinikanth to the screen since 2014, when his last film, “Lingaa,” was released.
(Reporting by Sunil Kataria in New Delhi)