Top 10 Stars of Tamil Cinema (Updated)
shetty | May 27, 2010, 8:08 AM | 39 comments | 0 views

Many thanks to FlawyedRuleZ for his valuable inputs

1.Rajnikant (Age-60)

Kuselan (2008)-Wash out
Sivaji (2007)- Blockbuster
Chandramukhi (2005)-Blockbuster
Baba (2002) – Flop
Padayappa (1999) – ATBB

2.Kamal Hassan (Age-55)

Unnaipol Oruvan (2009) -Hit
Dasavathaaram (2008) -Superhit
Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu (2006) -Hit
Mumbai Express (2005) – Wash out
Vasool Raja MBBS (2005) -Above average
Virumaandi (2004) – Average
Anbe Sivam (2003) -Flop

3.Suriya (Age-35)

Aadhavan (2009)- Semi hit
Ayan (2009) – Blockbuster
Vaaranam Aayiram (2008)-Hit
Vel (2007)- Hit
Sillunu Oru Kaadhal (2006) – Above average
Aaru (2005) – Hit
Ghajini (2005)- Hit

4.Vijay (Age-36)

Sura (2010) -Flop
Vettaikaaran (2009) -Average
Villu (2009) -Flop
Kuruvi (2008) -Flop
Azhagiya Tamil Magan (2007) -Flop
Pokkiri (2007) -Super Hit
Aadhi (2006) -Flop
Sivakasi (2005) -Above average

5.Ajith (Age-39)

Aasal (2010) -Flop
Aegan (2008) -Flop
Billa (2007) -Super Hit
Kireedam (2007) – Semi Hit
Aalwar (2007) -Washout
Varalaru (2007) – Hit
Thirupathi (2006) -Flop
Paramasivan (2006) -Semi Hit

6..Vikram (Age-46)

Kanthaswamy (2009) -Flop
Bheema (2008) -Flop
Majaa (2005) -Flop
Anniyan (2005) -Superhit
Arul (2004) -Flop

7.Dhanush (Age-32)

Kutty(2010)- Flop
Padikathavan (2009) – Hit
Yaaradi Nee Mohini (2008) -Super Hit
Polladhavan (2007) -Hit
Parattai Engira Azhagu Sundaram(2007)- Washout
Thiruvilaiyaadal Aarambam (2006) – Hit
Pudhupettai (2006) -Flop

8..Karthik (Age-33)

Paiyaa(2010) -Hit
Aayirathil Oruvan (2010)- Average
Paruthiveeran (2007) -Superhit

9.. Simbu (Age-27)

Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (2010) -Hit
Silambattam (2009) -Average
Kaalai (2008) -Flop
Vallavan (2006) -Flop
Saravanaa (2006) -Above average

10. Sasikumar

Naadodigal (2009)-Hit
Subramaniapuram (2008) -Hit

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  1. Lankeshwar

    Didnt realize Vijay is thrown so far behind in recent years. Thanks for the post!

  2. Lankeshwar

    Shetty bhai dont mind but IMO – listing Dhanush ahead of Vijay and Ajith is funny. Both might have recent setbacks but their fan following certainly miles ahead.

  3. Lankeshwar

    Even if I prefer Vikram and Suriya – Vijay and Ajith have been more popular than them. Vijay IMO in all these years had bigger fan following and Suriya has recently just caught up with him.

  4. Lankeshwar

    But I dont like Suriya off late – he is doing crap films like Vijay. Look at Singam trailer – throwback to 80s. Something which Rajni did…but he doesnt have Rajni’s dialogue delivery/style.

  5. chahal

    Fomme Kamal Hassan is beyond comparisons! Biggest talent India has ever produced!

    Vikram- none of them cud match his “Chithan” performance! Watched Pithamagn with subs n its one of my fav Tamil mvis! Lved Surya in this!

    Subramaniapuram- One of the best realistic mvis i hav ever seen! Its Flawless! U r nt a true mvi fan, if u havnt seen this gem! I read this was Sasikumar’s debut mvi! Way to go man!
    totaly neglected at National awards! They gave it Bala for NK, sbmpm was way better!

  6. shetty

    L’war- I have considered performance of recent movies, Fan base, Remunaration, Age and future projects

  7. shetty

    Me too prefer Vikram and Surya. Can’t stand Vijay & Dhanush. Thala I don’t mind.

    Even I hated Surya’s Aadhavan and will not watch Singam in screen will wait for the dvd instead

  8. RAJ

    Good post..shetty…Never follow Tamil moies so closely so dont know about the star standings..Always like Kamalhassan and his movies..

    Rajnikanth is as charmin as any body…Though cant stand most of his movies..
    Surya ..only seen Ghajni and impressed with him…
    Dhahush..seen one movie..dont remember its name..have to say ..that was one ofthecrappiest movies of all time..

    ikram..hae only watched Apirihit..never liked that movie..although he looks totally different in Raavnan

  9. Yakuza

    Thanks Shetty for this awesome list. I am not much aware of tamil artiste except some popular one of course. I am shocked looking at boxoffice fate of Vikram movies. The way i was hearing praises for him, i thought him as big star down south.

  10. shetty

    Thanks Raj & Yakuza

    Can anyone come up with Telugu list? Where are Ravi bhai, Arun & Ajay327?

  11. chahal

    Yakuza bhai@ abt vikram, his mvis may hav underperformed, but his acting is always perfect! His Anniyan is one of the biggest hits down south! He is grt bo pull!
    One of the most verstile actors!
    He won a national award without a single dialg in whole mvi n lost one with one vote! His intensity is unmatchable……. I wud say he is best actor of his genration!

  12. shetty

    Is actor Vijay being blackmailed?

    It’s a face-off between an actor and the exhibitors

    S Suresh Kumar
    Posted On Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 05:33:11 AM

    Warning bells are ringing as a dangerous trend begins to emerge in neighboring Kollywood.

    If your film flops then you compensate a percentage of the loss say the exhibitors to the actors. And the axe seems to have fallen on popular Tamil star, Illaya Thalapathy Vijay On May 28, at a press conference in Chennai, the Theatres Owners Association (TOA) have decreed that Vijay should pay Rs 10 crore, by the third week of June, for the failure of his film latest film Sura. TOA President, Annamalai said, “Because of the failure of Vijay’s film we have lost more that Rs 30 crores. To compensate that loss, actor Vijay should pay at least Rs 10 crores by the end of June. Earlier Rajinikanth and T Rajender had helped us to recover from heavy losses by paying 30% of the loss. We are hoping that actor Vijay will also do the same.” When Rajnikanth’s film Baba bombed at the box office, he compensated 30% of the loss incurred by the distributors.

    Vijay’s film Sura, was bought by the distributors for Rs 32 crores. It ran for only two weeks in the theatres and garnered a collection of Rs 15 crores only. Vijay’s remuneration for a film is said to be around 3 crores approximately plus distribution rights of few areas.

    “What the distributors are doing is akin to blackmail,” says Ramanujam, editor, Tamil Nadu Entertainment, a film trade magazine. “This is a bad trend and it amounts to threatening and blackmailing actors into paying up. The same distributors will sing a different tune tomorrow if Vijay gives a hit. That is the nature of this business.”

    Ramanujam also questions distributors, “When you know an actor has given continuous flops (in Vijay’s case five of his previous films have failed at the box office.) then why do you even buy his films again? And then when you incur losses, you resort to blackmail?” Vijay has been accused of repeating himself in all his films. The filmgoers have matured and their tastes are varied. So it is no surprise that they have rejected all of Vijays films in the last five years except Pokkiri (a remake of the Telugu film by the same name).

    However, Ramanujam also empathises with the distributors who have fallen prey to another trend in Kollywood. Earlier, the distributors would buy a film only after watching the preview of the film. But these days, they are only shown trailers of the film (starring big names) by the producers in spite of repeated requests. So, they are unable to guage the quality of the film. Now the distributors are demanding that they be shown the entire film before buying the same.

    The story of Sura
    Directed by S P Rajkumar, Sura was produced by Sangli Murugan. Vijay and Tamannaah played the lead roles. The film is about a kind hearted fisherman in Yaazh Nagar, one of the coastal towns of TN. He is a do-gooder who fights for the rights of his people. He is dearly loved by everyone. He wants to marry and settle down but before that he wishes to solve the problems of his village. He meets the love of his life when she tries to commit suicide by drowning herself in the sea all because she can’t trace her lost dog!

  13. Doga

    Shetty Sir, Salman Khan off late career seems like a mix of Ajith and Vijay.

    (supposed huge following, not doing upto mark movies and indifferent results).

  14. shetty

    Salman is like Ajit. Doesn’t promote the movie to the fullest and cares a damn if the movie flops

  15. Doga

    I can try to get into contact, do you have a question?

  16. Doga

    As for Most Wanted, things have started on that front.

    Salman’s next movies are going to be,




    Partner 2.

    Are any of the above any good, or is he turning into Dharam Paaji of late 80’s.(though Dharam paaji had hits too at that time)

  17. shetty

    Kick is right kinda movie for Sallu.

    Ready has nothing new to offer and I don’t think Bazmee will go ahead with this

    Bodyguard: Siddique is remaking this in Tamil with Vijay in lead. Again an ordinary movie

    Partner 2 : I heard Zarine has replaced Katrina in this movie

  18. shetty

    One of the Kannada producers who is a friend of mine wanted Boney’s number. I was in a boastful mood (and a bit drunk) told him that I’ll get him the number :)

    Anyway thanks. I think it is arranged :)

  19. Shaze

    very much happy to see karthi in no. 6 wid just 3 movies.
    and paiyaa is suerhit or blocbuster and ayirathil oruvan is hit

  20. shetty

    Shaze: Ayirathil oruvan just managed to recover its investment though Telugu dubbed version fared much better

  21. chahal

    Shetty bhai@ hav u seen subramaniapuram? Dont u think it shud b remade by Vishal

  22. FlawyedRuleZ

    If you don’t mind my intrusion, Shetty bhai

    I agree in principle with the tone of the ranking.

    Vijay, is on a decline. Dhanush is getting good fanbase in villages and towns. But hardly in top 5. He is still in category of Simbus and Aryas. I’d say Karthi is looking to get past Dhanush in BO power because of his fairly spread fanbase in all centers, like his brother.

    Surya’s BO record looks good: (I’ve corrected few)

    Aadhavan (2009)- Flop
    Ayan (2009) – Blockbuster
    Vaaranam Aayiram (2008)-Hit
    Vel (2007)- Semi-hit to Average
    Sillunu Oru Kaadhal (2006) – Flop
    Aaru (2005) – Average
    Ghajini (2005)- Hit

    Singam looks a Super dooper hit after moderate success of Aaru and Velu. Saw the crew of Singam perform dance sequence of all the songs in Inox today. there’s a real buzz even in multipex audience for a B/C center film ! Haven’t watched the film yet. The reviews are all positive.

    First Surya has to beat Ajith-Vijay stronghold, I think he has the best chance to be the next big actor-star, even above Vikram. Madhavan has sunk down by all counts, even if he remains my favorite. Surya’s looking to take chunks from both these actor’s (Ajith-Vijay) fan-base. In spite of having less number of fans, he is able to get whistles and claps in theaters. So I’ll not put it past him

    Vijay is on a decline. Even his fans have rejected his Thirupachi remakes – Sivakasi, Vettaikaran, Villu, Kuruvi, Kaka, Koli, etc. They accepted only Mahesh babu remakes from him. Still the number of fans is still sizable (if he focus a bit on the plot of his films – he can regain their faith), his star status is blemished after his recent run of flops and tussle with theater distributors.

    Surya matches in balancing genres. Vikram looked like he could, but after wash outs and not many films for couple of years. He also looks very old. In fact, he uses a fake birth-date. He’s in his late 40’s. He’s more closer to Kamal-Rajini than Surya-Madhavan-Ajith-Vijay

    Rajini-Kamal at top, for me. Only because Kamal does well in all genres. Rajini maintains exclusivity and takes a long time between projects.

    Kamal: (Corrected a few)
    Unnaipol Oruvan (2009) -Superhit to Blockbuster, keeping cost in mind (Cheapest Tamil film in years – Kamal’s own production. His daughter did music. Debut Director wasn’t paid at all – it’s tutelage fee. Most of the crew were film students. Shot for the most part in terrace, and police headquarters on Sundays)
    Dasavathaaram (2008) -Blockbuster
    Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu (2006) -Superhit
    Mumbai Express (2005) – Wash out
    Vasool Raja MBBS (2005) -Super hit
    Virumaandi (2004) – Semi-Hit to Hit
    Anbe Sivam (2003) – Flop

    His collections are always on a higher level than Vijay’s, Ajith’s and Surya’s. Take the number of screens his films opens – it’s always double the younger stars, and slightly lesser than Rajini’s (even if Dasa released in more with aaskar ravi and size of the project). It also does well in neighboring Southern states. Does well overseas. His films cost in crores for pre-release TV rights like Rajini, unlike in lakhs of younger stars. Similarly, his films are sold for a higher value in remake rights. Even if not now, you get a scenario like Sajid Nadiadwala paying 2 crores to Thenappan for Kamal’s Kaadhala Kaadhala, released in 90’s. You get the drift.

  23. Lankeshwar

    Thanks FlawyedRuleZ – again same question which I have been asking many – is there any reliable source on net/print so as to trust the BO figures and verdicts of Tamil films….I dont trust individual random talks and verdicts of** fanclubs.

  24. Lankeshwar

    Due to lack of credible source and false/manipulated news reports EVERY star in telugu/tamil looks like a SUPERSTAR to an outsider. In fact when I came to chennai few years back I was convinced that there are NO STARS here….all are SUPERSTARS…..hahaha

  25. Lankeshwar

    There is absolutely no transparency about numbers about anything in south – be in budget or collections – even if u get some numbers whether it is gross or nett or DS is another mystery…..Hindi industry is far far better thanks to BOI,Nahta,BOC etc..

  26. FlawyedRuleZ

    I think there is still a degree to which they are all covered and/or put into a pedestal in English print/Internet media. For example, all print/websites/tv channels treat Rajini or Kamal with more sophistication than say Vijay or Ajith. Vijay and Ajith (both in dip, nevertheless) relatively better than Surya and Vikram. Likewise.

    As for authentic or credible sources – no, you basically collate with the figures available to you through various media outlets. And cross-verify by first-hand reports and own personal observation.

  27. Lankeshwar

    Ok got it. But its too difficult to follow all these things.
    Doga/Shetty or anyone – why is Singam not listed on BOmojo site – even if it is reportedly being released on 30 prints all over the US?

  28. FlawyedRuleZ

    Yeah, it’s strange why there is no listing in BOmojo. But I could confirm it does release in about 30 screens (As confirmed by my sister who lives in Bay Area)

  29. Doga

    Singam has done 32,600 dollars from 23 screening on friday in USA as per early estimate at Movie city.

    Movie city numbers have a tendency of being lower than actual(sometimes as less as half of real number).

    So i am expecting around 175+ K thousand dollars in USA weekend.

    Link(see on right mid bottom chart for friday numbers)

  30. Doga

    Boxofficemojo will come with actual number directly on late Monday/early Tuesday , will update.

  31. shetty

    By Orkut Vijay Fans

    The recent reaction of theatre owners after the release of Sura is one of the worst happenings in recent past. Time and situation changes everyone, but really not to this extent. The same theatres owners who once hailed Vijay as a Messiah to them, have all of sudden been projecting him as someone who has ruined their lives with unreal claims, that even God cannot approve.

    What really hurts is their speeches as if he hasn’t given any profit to them. Vijay is the one who always wishes that everyone from parking boy to theatre owners to distributors and his producers earn profits from his films. And he managed to achieve it number of times which even earned him the Minimum Guarantee hero status.

    We have a few questions to these protesting theatre owners.

    1. If 5 Vijay movies continuously failed as per your claims, on what gut feeling you invested 50 lakhs in his 6th consecutive movie? This seriously lacks any logic. A Good business mind won’t commit same mistake for 6 times in a row. They still look at cashing upon his opening power and fans excitement to see collections for first few days. If they say it’s the trust they had on Vijay it is an escape statement to hide the real source of their losses and shift the blame on Vijay.


    2. The 50 lakh MG concept would apply only for theatres in major cities like Chennai, Madurai, Kovai, Trichy, Salem and Nellai. Has the movie been sold for same amount to theatres located in places like Karur, Pollachi, Pazhani etc and the other rural areas of TN? We guess the rate is only according to area and projecting it as a Tamilnadu wise problem is again a media stunt.

    3.What was the Ticket rates for first 2 weeks? Is any theatre following rules implemented by Govt of Tamil Nadu? People who saw the movie on 20th day paid a Ticket price of min 100. The first 5 days Ticket prices were 150,200 in many places whereas according to Govt norms it should be 50,75 even for an AC theatre. Few theatres outside Chennai has A/C only in its name. With ticket prices min of 100 till 20th day and reasonable crowd flow as confirmed by those who visit theatres, how could an owner face loss?

    4. Just a Small calculation. Let’s take a Theatre capacity of around 1000. And a Vijay movie for first 10 days will have minimum 80% Crowd on an average. With theatre ticket prices at a min of 100 and Daily 4 shows, movie sold for 50lakhs. Let keep per Show 800 seats gets filled. Per day 3200 seats (Includes all 4 shows). For 10 days, 10*3200 seats= 32,000*100 ticket cost= 32,00,000.With having 60% average occupancy for next 10 days, with same calculation a theatre would get 24 lakhs back. This itself amounts to 56 lakhs returns roughly with minimum assumed values. Then where comes the claim of money? It looks more like an intentional act to degrade Vijay’s fame in Industry.

    4. There is also a point mentioned by theatre owners that Kamal, Rajini, Mani Ratnam and T.R. compensated them. Let us know one thing. Did Kamal compensate for Aalavandhan or Anbe Sivam loss? He did only for Mumbai express which was his own Production. Did Rajni compensate for Kuselan loss? He did only for Baba which was his Own production. Its ages since Mani Ratnam or TR worked in a project for another producer. So its clear that everyone had compensated only for their own Production. If Vijay has been asked compensation for Aathi its fair. Claiming loss for other movies which wasn’t his own Production is heights of stupidity. If they are really failures, why would someone be willing to invest 50 lakhs on Sura after 5 failures?

    5. Even after Sun pics themselves said Vettaikaran is their highest grosser, how can these people call that as a flop? If Vijay movies are been called continuous Failures, then what about most of the heroes who give a hit once in a blue moon and still rated as top heroes on par with Vijay? And calling al movies after Aathi as flops, which includes Pokkiri is he most ridiculous thing ever heard recently. And their most unrealistic claim that Sun Pictures cannot be responsible for this highlights their only motive behind all these. How can a distributor selling at a high price be responsible for their loss?!

    6. The theatre owners must have forgotten that Vijay is the only hero in current generation who delivered 16 mega hits and several super hits to reach his 50th movie. The same complaining owners have looted lakhs and lakhs when Vijay delivered series of hits by setting high ticket fares, selling tickets in black on their own and providing poor facilities at high ticket rates.

    Vijay is indeed the most profitable hero than any others in current generation and this was also said only by their fellow Theatre owners and also Producers and Distributors. All these media stunt looks clearly like a drama to create a negative image in the minds of people by keeping ahead false claims and provoking statements. Before pleading on basis of humanity they should have some gratitude for the person who has laid them Golden eggs when everyone else were delivering duds. When in future a time comes and Vijay delivers hits, let us see what these humanitarians speak about him and at least lets see if they have a heart to thank him for their profits!


    The fourth estate called Media is a powerful tool in a democratic country. We respect their power to either construct or destruct with the power of their words. But are they doing justice to the articles they write? Definitely not always. Especially almost never when it comes to what they write about Vijay. Those who are their eye candies get hailed every other day and if they are biased about someone, we are sure to see double standards in their articles on them. The hatred or bias which media has been showing of late towards Vijay is really shocking and this article poses a few questions to them on this:

    1. Many websites wrote that Vijay will be banned following the recent uproar about Sura from few theatre owners. Anyone with commonsense knows banning an actor directly lies within powers of Nadigar Sangam or Producers council and not Theatre owners who are empowered to issue red cards to an actor’s films and not bans. This itself is a clear example of their attitude towards Vijay and what they really expect to happen. We wonder if they can write with same cruelty about any other hero in similar situation.

    2. Every now and then we see articles criticizing Vijay to the lowest levels of even abusing published in websites and few magazines using unparliamentarily language. Aren’t journalists required to have some amount of professional ethics and maintain some levels of discipline when writing about celebrities?

    3. Every Vijay movie is degraded with the tagline of “Only for Vijay fans” or by giving the lowest possible star rating with all negatives highlighted. Similar type of films from their eye candy actors or those who are influential will come with a totally different tone from same reviewers, and the star rating would be unbelievably high, not worthy of its value. And the review will definitely have a line which says all negatives are overcome by the performance of so and so actor. They can instead term themselves as fan sites of particular actors which would be more justified on their part.

    4. When Sun Pictures, the distributors of Vettaikaaran themselves declared it as their biggest collection grosser, these media still try to project it as a flop. When Vijay movies that have been super hits were termed as just average, average movies are termed as flops and washouts by these media. Why cant they maintain the same scale of box office analysis for their eye candy actors or influential actors?

    5. Of late, there has been a new trend to write letters and requisitions for Vijay claiming it as from the point of view of a fan which are nothing but injecting negatives in the form of sugar coated words when his movies are not received well. Why can’t there be articles from the same fans’ point of view when Vijay delivers super hits, and that time, we can see only “average” and “nothing new” kind of reports which has no meaning when most fans like a film.

    6. Why can the media offer free advice for actors who claim themselves as family entertainers yet act in bedroom and exposing scenes, actors who does one movie every two years and yet every time come up with similar story of one song millionaire concepts and many others who commit blunders in the name of movies which neither benefits fans nor the people in business? Why do they have to turn their fake attention to Vijay when he has already planned for the change wanted from him?

    7. As for Vijay, we have to notice the first and foremost thing that he has avoided any protest that’s against Media in the past as he feels a gratitude that they are ones who strengthen his position to what he is today. Other actors who attend these protests and speak abusive things on the press and media just because they were handed over the mike, as still treated as favorites by media.

    8. Vijay is always an easily approachable media friendly hero who has readily agreed for many interviews to even those magazines in the past even when he was hurt by their comments on him and his films. A recent example is his interview to Kumudham in spite of their worst review for Vettaikaaran.

    9. If Vijay doing commercial movies is a sin as projected by media, why can’t they offer some guidance to actors who have been acting in similar kind of stories for past 18 odd years or those who miserably fail to deliver bankable movies in a consistent manner and doesn’t even speak openly to media?

    10. The festival editions, special editions of magazines will feature an interview of Vijay. They put up series about him to boost up their sales. Yet when it comes to writing about him, it is in the most inhuman way which readily buildup a negative impression in the minds of the readers. And even when their articles are least related to Vijay they use his face on posters to draw attention. Is Vijay a commodity to boost up their sales and then thrown away when they don’t need him?

    This article is not intended to ask media to support or come up with articles that always shower praises on Vijay. We want to condemn their worst attitude towards Vijay and being unmindful of the fan power he has. Its high time they stop spreading rumors and publish writings degrading him and his films. They should try to do justice to their profession in whatever they do. Least, they need to posses some humanitarian traits and give respect for everyone’s feelings

  32. Lankeshwar

    This ranking looks better shetty bhai.

  33. Lankeshwar

    “People who saw the movie on 20th day paid a Ticket price of min 100. The first 5 days Ticket prices were 150,200 in many places whereas according to Govt norms it should be 50,75 even for an AC theatre. Few theatres outside Chennai has A/C only in its name. With ticket prices min of 100 till 20th day and reasonable crowd flow as confirmed by those who visit theatres, how could an owner face loss?”

    One very good thing about TN is government norms abt tkt prices. And I have seen in Chennai and other cities they are followed – the tkt prices are UNDER 120 for any movie irrespective of the day and screen/multiplex.


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