Will Rajni energise fan clubs after lacklustre ‘Kuselan’?

August 24th, 2008 - 10:09 am ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Aug 24 (IANS) Shaken by the lukewarm response to his latest release “Kuselan”, southern superstar Rajnikant is all set to energise his fan clubs in Tamil Nadu.”We realised that most of our active members were lured away by actors-turned-politicians Vijaykanth and Sarath Kumar to build their parties, resulting in several clubs becoming headless. This also contributed to poor turnouts at ‘Kuselan’ screenings,” said a top functionary of the Rajni Rasikar Mandram.

The Mandram is an umbrella organisation of Rajnikant fan clubs in Tamil Nadu.

A meet has been scheduled for Aug 27 at the Raghavendra Marriage Hall here owned by Rajnikant to help overhaul the fan clubs. An announcement about the number of such clubs touching 100,000 would be made that day, a source said.

Industry sources said Rajnikant is being forced to shore up his act since the new movie projects starring him are expected to cost over Rs.2 billion.

“The actor had embarked upon a similar exercise after the 2002 flop ‘Baba’ and it fetched him good returns for subsequent releases, ‘Chandramukhi’ and ‘Sivaji’,” the sources said.

A fan club secretary from western Tamil Nadu said many branches of the Mandram body would request the iconic 50-plus actor to start his own political party. After all, another southern star, Chiranjeevi, has only just joined politics.

Sources close to Rajnikant, however, said he was against such a move and had discouraged a similar effort a few years ago when a political outfit had been named after him.

Explaining the reasons for the dull performance of “Kuselan”, a source said: “Corporate houses out to make a fast buck are trying to break the existing distributor lobby in the south - a development frowned upon by the star.

“Though Rajnikant had discouraged the exhibitor, Pyramid Saimira, from billing ‘Kuselan’ as a full length film with him as the lead, they ignored his requests and hyped the film, unnecessarily leading to huge losses to small exhibitors,” the source said.

Saimira has, however, denied the charge and said the movie is expected to recover the cost.

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