Rockline Venkatesh has acquired the Karnataka distribution rights of "Kabali." Pictured: A movie still from the Rajinikanth-starrer.PR Handout

Leading producer and distributor Rockline Venkatesh has reportedly acquired the Karnataka theatrical rights of Rajinikanth's forthcoming movie, "Kabali." He will be distributing both the Tamil and Telugu versions of the film in the state.

Kannada daily Udayavani has reported that Rockline Venkatesh has paid a hefty amount to procure the theatrical rights of "Kabali." While there is no official confirmation on the money paid for the rights, it is speculated that the producer has shelled out about Rs. 10 crore for the same.

Rajinikanth has a huge fan following in Karnataka. It is not just the Tamil audience, but Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam cinegoers residing in the state also look forward to watch the superstar's films. Hence, trade experts consider the amount paid by Rockline Venkatesh to be a safe bet and hope that the movie would easily recover the money.

Rockline Venkatesh had also produced Rajinikanth's previous movie, "Lingaa." The film had bombed at the box office and the producer had suffered losses due to the negative campaign carried out by some distributors in Tamil Nadu. Now, the latest deal is being seen as Rajini's gesture of goodwill to Venkatesh.

The upcoming movie will be released in over 250 screens in Karnataka in two versions (Tamil and Telugu languages). The makers want the movie to be released on July 1. But they are yet to formally announce the release date.

"Kabali" is written and directed by Pa Ranjith. Radhika Apte plays the female lead in the movie, which stars Dhansika, Kishore, Kalaiyarasan, Dinesh Ravi, John Vijay and others in the supporting cast. It is a gangster film in which Rajinikanth plays the role of a don.

The makers are planning to release the audio in the first week of June. A grand event is reportedly being planned to unveil the album of the multilingual film.

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