Actor Surya has joined the lucrative Tamil cinema’s overseas millionaires’ club. Yes, the overseas rights of his film ‘Ratha Charithram’, directed by Ram Gopal Varma, has been sold for a record Rs 4.5 crore (over US $1 million)!
Surya joins the illustrious ‘million dollar club of Tamil superstars’ which includes Rajinikanth ($2.5 million), Kamal Haasan ($1.5 million) and Vijay ($ 1 million).
One of the producers of the film, Madhu Mantena, says, “Yes, we sold the overseas rights for over $1 million to a Malaysia-based company. It is the highest-ever overseas price paid for a Surya film. The film is being simultaneously made in three languages — Hindi, Telugu and Tamil. However, this sale is purely for the Tamil film’s international rights.”
On Surya, Mantena, who also co-produced Ghajini in Hindi, says, “Ramu says that Surya’s eyes are deadly and there is something about him that will attract the Bollywood audiences. Mark my words, Surya is going to click in Bollywood, and perhaps, will become the first actor from the south to make a successful crossover.”
The rights have been procured by the Malaysian company after they saw some action sequences and Surya’s performance in the film at RGV’s office in Mumbai. “We are simply awestruck by what we saw; the power-packed action scenes are stunning. Surya has never been seen like this before and this film is surely going to create havoc at the box office!” says a visibly excited Anand Sivam, head of the company which purchased the overseas rights.
Meanwhile, the overseas market of Tamil films is booming, as the worldwide Tamil diaspora, especially Sri Lankan Tamils, are crazy about Tamil superstars. Today, for a Tamil superstar, his huge salary depends purely on the reach he has in the overseas market. If the star is only popular in Tamil Nadu, he is not considered to be a part of the superstar league!
Surya is fast emerging as a phenomenon in the international market. His recent Singam—a huge hit in the overseas market— figured in the top 15 in the UK box office. ‘Ratha Charithram’ will be released in Tamil as one of Surya’s largest releases ever. In fact, the Mumbai trade is saying that RGV and Madhu Mantena will make more money out of the Tamil version than the Hindi and Telugu versions put together!