Ghilli was a film that surprised many in the trade circle as it went on to have a long effective run at the Tamil Nadu box office. It eventually surpassed Padayapaa to become the highest grossing film in the state. For almost 5 years, Padyappa was the benchmark for the Taml film industry. In the early 2000s, both Rajini and Shankar each had reached their lows after “Baba” was declared a disaster in 2002 and “Boys” doing average business in 2003. This was when Vijay filled the void temporarily and was at the peak of his career. Ghilli made Vijay an A-list actor and started a great track record for him all the way until Azhagiya Tamil Magan in 2007.
Ghilli also had a magnificent run abroad as well. The movie grossed near $500,000 in the Malaysian market being the first non-Rajini/Kamal film to do so. Vijay’s film grossed about S$300,000 in Singapore. The movie grossed over $100,000 in both the UK and the UAE and over $50,000 in both the USA and Canada.
The United Kingdom proved to later be a great market for Vijay with his subsequent films running well. Currently he is the only actor to have as much success in Europe as Rajini. Because Europe is a traditional Tamil market (Having Tamil films taste success since the late 80s), many trade analysts trace back Vijay’s current market from the success of Ghilli.
In Sri Lanka, Ghilli had a great run and grossed near a massive 80 lakhs despite having its tickets priced lesser than Rajini films (Padayappa Sri Lanka Gross - 1.10 Cr). The movie remains as a favorite among the Tamil diaspora in Sri Lanka. Vijay is currently the number 1 Indian actor in Sri Lanka and most of the credit for that title comes from Ghilli’s stupendous success.
Box Office Notes
- Set the record for highest grossing film in Tamil Nadu.
- Set the record for highest grossing non-malayalam film in Kerala.
- Chennai City Gross - 3.8 Cr (1.7 Cr Share).
- Tamil Nadu Distributor Share - 18 Cr.
- First Vijay film to gross over 30 crores worldwide.
- First Vijay film to gross over $1 million in the overseas market ($1.25M).
- Celebrated a 50-day run in 106 theaters in Tamil Nadu.
- Celebrated a 100-day run in 45 theaters in Tamil Nadu.
- Celebrated a 175-day run in 10 theaters in Tamil Nadu.
- Celebrated a 300-day run in 1 theater in Tamil Nadu.
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