Jailer, marking South Indian star Rajinikanth’s 169th film, is out now in theatres. As one of the most anticipated releases of the year in India, several offices and colleges across Chennai and Bengaluru have reportedly declared a holiday, so fans can watch the film on day one. Normally, aligning a major release on a working day is detrimental to the box office numbers, but with companies willing to offer leaves and free tickets to avoid piracy, Jailer appears to have gotten off to a great start. For director Nelson Dilipkumar, whose previous film Beast was received poorly, this first-time collaboration with Rajinikanth is a positive.
In Rajinikanth’s return to the silver screen after a two-year hiatus, he plays a strict retired jailer Muthuvel Pandian, better known by his accomplices as ‘Tiger’ for his rage-fuelled behaviour, living a peaceful life with his family. His son Arjun (Vasanth Ravi) has taken after his father, growing into a sincere policeman, who seems to have gotten into trouble with the leader of an antique smuggler Varma (Vinayakan), leading to the former’s disappearance and unrest within the police department. That, combined with the gang’s attempts at freeing a high-profile prisoner, awakens the other ruthless side of Muthu — one that’s defined by violence — as he heads on a killing spree to thwart the wrongdoers, fueled by slashing machetes, mob fights, and all-out gunfire.
The release is partly hyped up by the cameos as well, featuring the likes of Bollywood star Jackie Shroff, and Mohanlal from Kerala. As per a Koimoi report, Jailer has earned an advance booking total of Rs. 18.50 crore in India, with industry tracker Sacnilk claiming that Rs. 12.82 crore came in from the original Tamil-language version alone. Additional dubs are available in select regions, ranging between Hindi, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam. With these numbers, Jailer has already surpassed Vijay’s latest film Varisu, which reportedly grossed merely Rs. 11.49 crore. Based on early estimates, Jailer is expected to be the biggest opening for a Tamil film this year, poised to rake in Rs. 49 crore at the Indian box office.
Indeed, southern states would lead the charge for Jailer’s success, and it appears as though it will largely stick to that region, as the northern states anticipate the release of the Sunny Deol-led Gadar 2: The Katha Continues and OMG 2 starring Akshay Kumar. Both films are competing this Friday, August 11, and it will be interesting to see how the latter fares, given it took a while for the CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) to clear the movie for release, owing to the sensitivity of its ‘vulgar’ subject matter in India. It also stars Pankaj Tripathi and Yami Gautam Chor Nikal Ke Bhaga in the lead roles, and received a trailer just a week before its theatrical release.
Rajinikanth-led Jailer is now showing in theatres.