Offices declared a holiday in Chennai as superstar Rajinikanth's new film Jailer hit the screens worldwide yesterday. Ardent fans grabbed a first-day first-show seat to devour their action hero on screen, as opening day box office rang in over Rs72 crores globally. With a racy screenplay laced with humour and Rajini's amplified presence, Jailer whipped up the elation of the fans as they flooded out of cinema halls last evening.
In any case, as these photos below testify, does the box office matter to a fan who can shut out his world for a couple of hours, becoming one with a hero who fights the fight for him? Ensuring justice to the lowliest on screen, Rajini embraces the common man—burdened with his shameful, hidden bundle of life's hurts—and releases him into cathartic, ecstatic abandon in a darkened hall.
Fans pour milk in a gesture of offering to a large banner of actor Rajinikanth before the screening of his new Tamil-language movie Jailer on the first day of its release, outside a theatre in Mumbai on August 10, 2023.
Fans react ardently during the screening of actor Rajinikanth's new Tamil-language movie Jailer on the first day of its release, inside a theatre in Mumbai on August 10, 2023.
Residents line up to collect water from a free distribution tanker organised by fans of actor Rajinikanth during a drought in Chennai on June 22, 2019.
A priest performs aarti on the release of the Rajinikanth film Kabali at Matunga Murugan Temple on July 22, 2016, in Mumbai, India. The earliest show in the city started around 4 am, with fans waiting the whole night in queues to get the ticket.
A file photo of a Japanese fan Yasuda Hidetoshi and his friends arriving in Chennai from Japan to catch the first-day first-show of Rajini's Lingaa in 2014. Yasuda, who is a leader of a Rajinikanth fan club in Japan, was in Chennai yesterday too.
A fan dances, displaying his body painted with Rajini's portrait on the first day of release of his new film Kaala at Carnival Cinemas IMAX Wadala, on June 7, 2018, in Mumbai, India.
Female fans of Rajinikanth make a religious-like procession with decorated pots to ensure the success of Rajini's movie Kaala on the first day of its release at Carnival Cinemas IMAX Wadala, on June 7, 2018, in Mumbai, India.
A man counts tickets for Tamil film star Rajinikanth's new movie 2.0 on the eve of its release outside a cinema in Mumbai, India, November 28, 2018.
An AirAsia aircraft, with an image of Indian actor Rajinikanth on its fuselage, is parked on the tarmac of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on February 28, 2023.
The Aurora Cinema hall's circular lobby is decorated with Rajinikanth's flags for his new movie opening in Mumbai on July 22, 2016.
Giant cut-outs of star Rajinikanth decorate a movie theatre where fans jostle to get in and out on the first day of releasing his new Tamil-language film Kabali in Bangalore on July 22, 2016.
Actor Rajinikanth greets his supporters after announcing the launch of his political party, Rajini Makkal Mandram, in Chennai, India, on December 31, 2017. Rajini's short stint with politics ended on July 12 2021, when he dissolved the party.