No, say experts. Not in the Hindi-speaking belt for sure.
A top-ranking executive from a multiplex chain feels there isn’t much for Sultan to feel threatened by. “Traditionally Rajinikanth‘s films have never done well in their dubbed Hindi versions. Even Shankar’s Robot was only a moderate success in Hindi. It’s doubtful that Kabali would make any dent in the collections of Sultan.”
Apparently, Fox Star India who are distributing the dubbed Hindi version of Kabali have paid a mere Rs. 15 crores for the rights.
Says a source in the know, “The producers of Kabali asked Fox Star for a figure close to Rs 30 crores for the Hindi rights. Fox Star argued that Rajinikanth doesn’t really sell that well in Hindi and paid Rs 15 crores. The film is not getting a very wide release in Hindi.”
Trade analyst Atul Mohan doesn’t think Kabali would affect the collections of Sultan. “By the time Kabali arrives this Friday, Sultan will attain the maximum sales of its lifetime. Rajni Sir has a huge following down South. But Hindi audiences would love to see him in sci-fi films like Robot. The hype surrounding Kabali is great but not comparable to Robot. But still the film is likely to score well in the Hindi belt. It will all depend how the product is. But trust me, the business down South will be crazy and unheard of, and overseas as well.”