Tamil actor Vijay, who has been around for over two decades, is currently at the peak of his career with an unprecedented fan base and a host of blockbuster films to his name. Over the past decade, Vijay has truly established himself as one of the biggest stars in Tamil cinema. In the business, some even consider him to be the true successor of actor Rajinikanth in terms of popularity and the business that his films manage to generate.
Over the past decade, Vijay has had 15 releases and up to nine films have grossed more than ₹100 crore at the box office. His last four outings – Bigil, Sarkar, Mersal and Master – have managed to overtake ₹350 crore worldwide at the box office. On the occasion of his 47 years, we take a look back at five films that made him a box office phenomenon.
Lokesh Kanagaraj directed Master was the first mainstream Tamil film to hit screens after the nationwide lockdown due to the pandemic this year for the Pongal Festival. A widely entertaining star vehicle, the film saw Vijay play the role of a college professor with a drinking problem. Despite his release in the midst of the pandemic, Master went to rake the moolah at the box office. According to trade sources, he reported more than ₹150 crore at the box office. The Master helped revive the theater culture in Tamil Nadu, especially after the pandemic.
Atlee directed Bigil, a sports drama starring Vijay in two roles, released last year with a thunderous response at the box office. Despite his comparisons to Chak De! by Shah Rukh Khan! India, the film completed a 100-day theatrical release and grossed around approx. ₹290 crores in the world. The film had performed exceptionally well outside India in many key locations as well. In France, it is the most profitable South Indian film with more than 34,000 admissions. In Singapore, this is Vijay’s second film after Mersal to reach SGD 1.5 million. The movie saw Vijay try out an elderly gangster and a soccer coach for a women’s soccer team.
Mersal was the second collaboration of Atlee and Vijay. A story about two twin brothers avenging their father’s death starred Vijay in three roles for the first time in his career. The film was a commercial success, earning around ₹260 crore worldwide when released in theaters. At the box office, Mersal had set new records in many markets. In Malaysia he won more ₹20 crore to become the third largest wholesaler in the country after Dilwale and Kabali. Outside India, the film grossed over $ 15 million and became the third-highest grossing overseas of 2017 after Baahubali 2 and Raees.
Sarkar saw Vijay and filmmaker AR Murugadoss reunite for the third time. A political action drama, the film starred Vijay as an NRI fighting for his right to vote after realizing he had been illegally dumped. The film received mixed reactions, especially after the mega-success of their previous films Thuppakki and Kaththi, but still managed to fetch around ₹250 crores in the world. It was the sixth gross 100 crore for Vijay and the fourth in a row after Theri, Bairavaa and Mersal. Sarkar became the highest-grossing South Indian film of 2018 at the box office, beating the lifetime gross of ₹Ram Charan Rangasthalam 218 crore.
Also Read: Neena Gupta’s Biggest Reveals: Spending 5 Years Without Talking To Vivian Richards, Satish Kaushik’s Marriage Offer
Theri was the first time Vijay and Atlee got together. The film, a revenge drama, starred Vijay in two roles and became a box office blockbuster. The film, in its theatrical release, became Vijay’s first actor to break into ₹200 crore club. Despite the mixed response from critics, the film was celebrated by Vijay fans everywhere. The film was dubbed and released in Telugu under the name Police, and it performed quite well.