The much anticipated Rajinikanth film "Kabali" will see over 400 shows in the first week of its release in the UAE.

According to local cinema chains, advance bookings in the UAE have been phenomenal. Nearly 38,000 advance tickets have been sold by a local cinema chain known as Novo Cinemas.

"The advance bookings have been outstanding. It's much bigger than any other film in recent times. Think "Independence Day," "Sultan," "Jungle Book," Kabali is bigger than that. The tickets for the first day, first shows have been sold out and we are increasing the number of screens as per the local demand," Selim Al Azar, CEO of Gulf Films and acting CEO of Novo Cinemas told Gulf News.

"I believe that this whole Rajinikanth fan phenomenon [can be divided] into three parts — the social aspiration, the brotherhood and the frenzy," said Rinku Kalsy, director and editor of a documentary on Rajinikanth, titled "For the Love of a Man."

"The background that Rajinikanth comes from is a big motivating factor. Had he been from a wealthy family or a filmy family, [they feel] he wouldn't have made it this big," said Kalsy, who feels that Rajinikanth's success inspires others.

"Watching the film with hardcore Rajinikanth fans is a different kind of experience. It's surreal and euphoric. We even have a certain style of whistling and clapping reserved for him. It's the most exciting countdown of our lives," Ilamurugan Arasu, an auditor in Dubai said, while expressing his reverence for Rajinikanth.