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NDTV explores ‘The Rajni Factor’
Walk on any street in Tamil Nadu, and nine out of ten, the walls will be plastered with a poster of Rajnikanth. Either it will be on a shop board, or it will be painted on the wall, or it will be a poster from one of his films.
The Rajnikanth fever in the state is something that we live with, we work with and simply accept. But for anyone who does not experience it first hand, it remains an unsolvable mystery. How can this man, who is dark, can’t dance, who looks more like a villain than a hero, be a Superstar? That is simply the magic and charisma of Rajnikanth, and that is what NDTV tried to understand in a 30-minute programme, Witness, yesterday. Simply titled The Rajni Factor, a short, crisp show, with quotes from various bigwigs in the industry, tried to delve deep into the enigma called Rajni, who is, with his film Sivaji, one of the highest paid actors in India!
Khans far away

Yes, you read right. At 16 crores for his current film, Rajnikanth has even beaten the Khans and the Big B, who are said to earn between 7 and 10 crores. For Chandramukhi itself, the Superstar earned 10 crores, and looks like he is the only one who can break his own record. Ramkumar said during the show, “We make such huge profits with his film, that we don’t see anything wrong in paying him the amount, it is only fair.” A sentiment echoed by AVM Saravanan, who is currently producing Sivaji.
“We don’t mind paying him considering the profits we make. In fact, for Sivaji, I have paid him an advance of Rs 1001, and he was bighearted enough to say that I could pay him the rest after the movie is complete and after I have taken care of my business formalities.”
The phenomenon of the Superstar

As NDTV tried to understand the phenomenon of the Superstar, one of the verdicts that emerged was his peers in cinema don’t even think it possible to compete with him. He is the undisputed Superstar, and competition exists only for second place. Vijay, who is at number two and who strongly emulates Rajnikanth, earns 4 crores, a huge gap between the first place and the second. Vikram is next earning 3 crores, while Ajith earns two crores.
Rajini’s flop = others’ hit

The margin between a Superstar film and any other actor’s film is so huge that even box office numbers are measured differently. While Baba, Rajni’s film made 20 crores at the box office, it was considered a flop by Rajni standards, as anything less than 35 crores is a flop for a Rajni film. While, Vijay’s Gilli, that made the same 20 crores was considered a super hit. In fact, Anniyan, Vikram’s film that made 50 crores, is the only film to have touched the Chandramukhi 50 crore mark.
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