Names like Rajinikanth, Suriya, Thalapathy Vijay, Chiyaan Vikram are synonymous with massive blockbusters in Tamil cinema, but did you know that their star power and box office pull aren't restricted to local territories alone? And no, we aren't merely referring to how much their movies collect outside of Tamil Nadu, with boundaries being erased rapidly and Indian cinema becoming more nationalised rather than the demarcations that existed previously between Bollywood and regional cinema. This time, we're referring to overseas figures, or, more particularly in this case, the US box office which has been a growing market for South movies since the new millennium.
While we're pretty familiar with or at least can easily get access to (for those outside of trade circles) to domestic numbers of Indian movies, even South movies nowadays, which was earlier tough to ferret out other than producer figures, it's quite a different case for overseas digits. Now, we're not talking about the overall overseas figures of a particular movie, which is readily available in most cases, no, siree. We're harping on about the box office collection of specific territories abroad just as the trade sources collections from different territories back home to comprehend where a film has worked, where it hasn't, has it worked everywhere or nowhere.
Today, we're specifically on the US box office. So, without further ado, here are the highest-grossing Tamil movies at the US box office:
2.0: $5.65 millionillion
Kabali: $4.72 million
Petta: $2.46 million
Enthiran: $1.48 million
Kaala: $1.89 million
Darbar: $1.76 million
Lingaa:- $1.55 million
24: $1.42 million
Mersal: $1.38 million
I: $1.34 million
Honourable mention - Sivaji at 11th place with $1.32 million
As evidenced above, Rajinikanth is not only the undisputed doyen through the annals of Tamil cinema, but his star power and box office pull resonates all the way to the US box office, with the first seven movies on the list belonging to him. Suriya, Thalapathy Vijay and Chiyaan Vikram round off the list at the eighth, ninth and tenth positions while Thalaivar reappears again at eleventh, and would no doubt have several more entries were we to extend the number of highest grossing Tamil movies in America to twenty or even thirty, such is his super-stardom.
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