Happy birthday Vijay: Five films that made him an undisputed box-office phenomenon

  • In the last decade, Vijay truly established himself as one of the biggest stars of Tamil cinema. On his birthday on Tuesday, here are some of his biggest box office successes.
Many industry observers see Vijay as the successor of Rajinikanth.
Many industry observers see Vijay as the successor of Rajinikanth.
Published on Jun 22, 2021 07:09 AM IST
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By Haricharan Pudipeddi

Tamil actor Vijay, who has been around for over two decades, is currently at the pinnacle of his career with an unprecedented fan base and a slew of blockbuster films to his credit. In the last decade, Vijay truly established himself as one of the biggest stars of Tamil cinema. In the trade, some even consider him to be the true successor to actor Rajinikanth in terms of popularity and business his films manage to generate.

In the last decade, Vijay had 15 releases and out of which as many as nine films grossed over 100 crore at the box-office. His last four releases – Bigil, Sarkar, Mersal and Master – managed to gross over 350 crore worldwide at the ticket window. On the occasion of his 47th birthday, we take a look at five films that made him a box-office phenomenon.

Master

In Master, Vijay plays a professor with a drinking issue.
In Master, Vijay plays a professor with a drinking issue.

Lokesh Kanagaraj directed Master was the first mainstream Tamil film to hit the screens after the nation-wide lockdown due to the pandemic this year for the Pongal festival. A largely entertaining star vehicle, the film saw Vijay play a college professor with a drinking issue. Despite releasing in the middle of the pandemic, Master went to rake in the moolah at the box-office. As per trade sources, it grossed over 150 crore at the box-office. Master helped revive the theatre going culture in Tamil Nadu, especially after the pandemic.

Bigil

Bigil is a sports drama featuring Vijay in a double role.
Bigil is a sports drama featuring Vijay in a double role.



Atlee directed Bigil, a sports drama featuring Vijay in dual roles, released last year to thundering response at the box-office. Despite its comparisons with Shah Rukh Khan’s Chak De! India, the film went on to complete a 100-day theatrical run and grossed approximately around 290 crore worldwide. The film had done exceptionally well outside India as well in many key places. In France, it is the highest grossing south Indian film with over 34,000 admissions. In Singapore, it is Vijay’s second film after Mersal to touch SGD 1.5 million mark. The film saw Vijay essaying an aged gangster and a football coach of a women’s football team.

Mersal

Mersal features Vijay in a triple role.
Mersal features Vijay in a triple role.

Mersal was the second collaboration of Atlee and Vijay. A story about two twin brothers avenging their father’s death featured Vijay in triple roles for the first time in his career. The film was a commercial success, grossing an estimated 260 crore worldwide during its theatrical run. At the box-office, Mersal had set new records in many markets. In Malaysia, it earned over 20 crore to become the third biggest grosser in the country after Dilwale and Kabali. Outside India, the film grossed over a whopping $15 million and had become the third biggest overseas grosser of 2017 after Baahubali 2 and Raees.

Sarkar

Vijay in Sarkar.
Vijay in Sarkar.

Sarkar saw the reunion of Vijay and filmmaker AR Murugadoss for the third time. A political action-drama, the film featured Vijay in the role of an NRI-returned fighting for his right to vote after he realizes it has been cast illegally. The film opened to mixed response, especially after the mega success of their previous films Thuppakki and Kaththi, but still managed to gross an estimated 250 crore worldwide. It was the sixth 100-crore grossers for Vijay and fourth in a row after Theri, Bairavaa and Mersal. Sarkar emerged as the highest grossing south Indian film of 2018 at the ticket window, surpassing the lifetime gross of 218 crore of Ram Charan’s Rangasthalam.

Also read: Neena Gupta's biggest reveals: Going 5 years without talking to Vivian Richards, Satish Kaushik's offer to marry

Theri

Vijay as a cop in Theri.
Vijay as a cop in Theri.

Theri was the first time Vijay and Atlee came together. The film, a revenge drama, featured Vijay in dual roles and went on to be a blockbuster at the box-office. The film, in its theatrical run, emerged as the first Vijay starrer to breach into 200 crore club. Despite mixed response from critics, the film was celebrated by Vijay’s fans all over. The film was dubbed and released in Telugu as Police, and it did reasonably well.

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Thursday, October 28, 2021