It was 1992. Megastar Chiranjeevi's Gharana Mogudu hit the screens on April 9 and stood as an industry hit. The film amassed Rs.10 crores collections which was humongous. Also, the film was screened at international film festival in the mainstream section.
Post the success of Ghrana Mogudu, Chiranjeevi's image and craze grew by leaps and bounds and which crossed the boundaries. As a result, Chiranjeevi was paid Rs.1.25 crore remuneration for his next offing Apadbhandhavudu.
It was official. Chiranjeevi was the highest paid actor of India then. National magazines like India Today, The Week and Filmfare affirmed Chiranjeevi's status with the headings like 'Bigger Than Bachchan'.
Given his excellent marketing techniques, Tamil Superstar Rajinikanth ensured every film of his would get pan Indian appeal. Eventually, Rajini Surpassed Chiranjeevi at all India level in subsequent years.
Apparently, Chiranjeevi is repeating 1992's feat in 2019. Right now, Megastar is upbeat about Khaidi Number 150's industry hit success while he is working for historical magnum opus Sye Raa Narasimhareddy.
Barring Big B Amitabh Bachchan, none of the Bollywood heroes has Chiranjeevi's status and stature. As we know, Amitabh hasn't been working for commercial potboilers as a solo hero owing to his age factor.
Rajinikanth, on the other hand, has continually been delivering flops for the past decade such as Kochchadaiyaan, Linga, Kabali and Kaala. His Petta was not a money spinner while the credit for Robo and its sequel's collections have gone to director Shankar's credit. Above all, Rajini seemed to have lacked all the energy in his recent films which is the exact factor which made Rajini out of the race.
On the contrary, Chiranjeevi astonished everyone with his mind boggling dancing steps in Khaidi Number 150. His terrific performance in Sye Raa is stunning the movie goers.
Based on the budget estimates and larger than life span of some of the films, some heroes may get more remuneration than Chiranjeevi now. But then, their energy, status, history and image are no way in comparison with Chiranjeevi. This is applicable to all heroes from all film industries of India.