Undeniably, superstar Rajinikanth’s fan following has been expanding in the two Telugu states for the last few years. Yet again, his latest sci-fi thriller ‘2.0’ has garnered more than Rs 39 crore net collections (still counting), four crores more than its collections in Tamil Nadu for the same period of time. “Rajini’s charisma among the Telugu viewers has almost doubled in the last few years. His latest release ‘2.0’ is expected to fetch Rs 43 to Rs 44 crore in the next one week,” says distributor Vishnumurthy, who claims that even ‘Robot’ and ‘Kabali’ fared better in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
“He is drawing sensational openings on par with Telugu stars and also left behind his K-town colleagues like Surya, Vikram and Surya,” he adds. Another distributor Ramakrishna attributes it to his young fans “Rajini’s style and mannerisms have impressed his young Telugu fans in a big way and made the 65-plus star, a darling of the youth and the masses in T-town,” he reasons. However, Ramakrishna is doubtful about ‘2.0’ crossing the Rs 72 crore mark to be declared a winner in the TS and AP. “Unlike ‘Robot’, the sequel lacks a strong love story and lilting tunes invariably affecting its repeat value,”. Nonetheless, the stylish star’s market is at its peak as distributors are ready to cough up a fancy price for his next flick ‘Petta’ as well.