Almost six years back when Rajinikanth‘s Robot  had hit the screens, it had taken a modest opening of around Rs. 2 crore. Still, it was the best that a dubbed South film had ever done in the Hindi market. The record stayed with it till Bahubali came and smashed all records by more than doubling then opening day of Robot. It brought in Rs. 5.15 crore on the first day and then went on to more than 20 times these numbers to even enter the Rs. 100 crore club, and that too from just the Hindi version.
Though there were a few stray talks (as it always happens with much hyped film) of Rajinikanth‘s Kabalichallenging the lifetime collections of Bahubali, it was never going to be the case. Market for dubbed films has traditionally been very poor in pan-India market. Even with a similar cast of Bahubali [Rana Daggubatti, Anushka Shetty], the next big release Rudramadevi was a disaster in Hindi. Puli, despite Sridevi as the central attraction, was a disaster from the first show itself. Sardaar Gabbar Singh, despite a North friendly title, stage and setting, with good promotion, couldn’t even survive one weekend anywhere.
Hence, all that differentiated Kabali (a title that can hardly be comprehended by all-India audience) from other South releases was one man – Rajinikanth. However, as mentioned earlier, his best Day One collections (in Hindi) were that of Robot since his subsequent releases Kochadaiiyaan and Lingaa were major flops as well. This was the major reason why Kabali still managed to at least come close to the Rs. 4 crore* mark on its Day One, hence almost doubling the collections of Robot.
Yes, the hype generated meant that the film could have done better but let’s say, even these not bad numbers at all. What now remains to be seen is how far does the film go from here. The critical response has been average at best and word of mouth is mixed too, unlike in case of Bahubali where everything was tremendous enough to warrant that the film grew leaps and bounds to register a Rs. 22 crore weekend. While that is impossible for the Rajinikant starrer, it has to be seen where does the film land up from weekdays onwards.
*Estimates. Final numbers awaited