Rajinikanth's Kaala has become one of the top-grossing movies of the actor in Karnataka despite facing a lot of trouble ahead of its release in June. But the Pa Ranjith-directorial movie has failed to beat the record of Rajini's previous movie Kabali and Thalapathy Vijay's Mersal.
The film was distributed by Kanakapura Srinivas after Saurav Sharma of Goldie Films backed out of the project due to protests from pro-Kannada groups. Kaala has grossed around Rs 12.7 crore in Karnataka with distributors' share of about Rs 6 crore.
Rajinikanth's previous movie Kabali holds the record for the highest-grossing Tamil movie in Karnataka. It had minted Rs 21.2 crore with distributors' share of about Rs 11 crore.
The superstar's latest movie did not see the light of the day on the first day and it was released only in centres like Mangaluru as exhibitors refused to screen the film fearing attacks from the pro-Kannada groups.
The delay hit the movie badly as it lost several crores of business on the first day.
Rajinikanth's pro-Tamil Nadu stand on the formation of the Cauvery Management Board had angered the Kannada groups. The fringe groups successfully managed to stall the morning and matinee shows on the first day.
Many theatres screened the film with tight security from the police in the evening. However, the mixed response upon the release did not help the political thriller to recover from the slow start at the Karnataka box office.
Nonetheless, Kaala now stands at fourth place in the list of highest-grossing Tamil movies in Karnataka after Kabali, Vikram's Ai (Rs 15.5 crore) and Vijay's Mersal (Rs 6.8 crore).
The worldwide gross of Kaala, which is produced by Rajini's son-in-law Kabali, is above Rs 150 crore.