Rajinikanth's biggest flop caused superstar to quit acting, refund crores to distributors; became hit on re-release

This Rajinikanth film was such a big flop that the superstar himself had to refund several crores to the distributors.

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Rajinikanth in Baba

Rajinikanth remains one of the few evergreen actors in Indian cinema who continue to command a solid presence at the box office even in their senior years. The actor is 72 and still has it in him to lead blockbusters, something he did last year with Jailer. In the 80s and 90s, Rajni was the numero uno actor in Tamil cinema, someone who seemingly could do no wrong. All that changed at the turn of the millennium and what changed it was the failure of one film.

Rajinikanth’s biggest flop film

In 2002, Rajinikanth was fresh from the success of blockbusters like Padayappa and Arunachalam. He was returning to Tamil films after a gap of three years with Baba. Naturally, the Suresh Krissna-directorial was much hyped. The film also starred Manisha Koirala and Amrish Puri and had music by AR Rahman. The film was sold at a record price of Rs 17 crore to distributors but in the end, yielded a share of just Rs 13 crore, plunging several distributors into losses. Rajinikanth had to return almost 25% of the investment to the distributors from his own pocket. As per reports, the superstar paid over Rs 3 crore from his own money.

The impact of Baba’s failure on Rajinikanth

The negativity around Baba’s failure got to Rajinikanth. It was his biggest box office failure ever and the first failure in several years. The actor grew reclusive and did not sign any project for the next couple of years, choosing to stay at home. The controversy around Rajinikanth smoking beedi in the film was also a factor in the superstar staying away from films. He returned to the big screen in 2005 with Chandramukhi, which was a big hit and is called his comeback.

Baba’s re-release and success

In 2022, 20 years after its release, Baba was re-released in the theatres by its makers. Unlike last time, this time, the film was a success. It earned over Rs 4 crore, making some profit for the makers. The shortened version of the film was liked by the audiences too. Pleased by that response, Rajinikanth even sent the film’s team some personalised gifts.

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