It’s Kabali vs Madaari this Friday in theatres, and it seems Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan has already accepted defeat to Rajinikanth. He said to the media at a special screening Madaari for kids that there is no competing with the south Indian superstar who has a worldwide fan-following. “We will be happy if our film earns a little bit more money than what we have invested… I respect him a lot as a person. I need to take another birth to compete with him,” he said.

Kabali also has the presence of actress Radhika Apte who has an India-wide fan-following for her bold choice of roles. But Rajinikanth cannot underestimate Irrfan Khan just as yet. He may not churn out superhit films as a male lead, but has some remarkable performances in Bollywood and Hollywood to his credit.

But the advance bookings of Kabali tell a different story. A newspaper reports that in the south and especially Tamil Nadu capital Chennai, the tickets of Kabali have been sold out. The movie is already a superhit as far as the opening box office and the opening weekend box office are concerned. (ALSO SEE: Sultan vs Dangal)

Our understanding is that Madaari is a film that may not find takers in the south. It will be appreciated more in north and west India, including Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab. In these regions, Kabali will find takers only in the Tamil-speaking belt. But some Rajinikanth and Radhika Apte fans may watch if a dubbed Hindi version is available.

Thalaivar is seen in a new avatar in Kabali and so is Irrfan Khan who has as many as seven looks in Madaari. But Kabali producers have spent a fantastic amount on promotions, even designing an entire airplane’s outer look based on the film, among many other collaborations like silver coins and phone promotions, etc. Irrfan obviously has not spent that kind of money on his first feature production. (ALSO READ: Rajinikanth’s film stole Madaari poster, but no big deal: Irrfan Khan)

Madaari is directed by Nishikant Kamat and also stars Jimmy Shergill with Irrfan, while Kabali is directed by Pa Ranjith. Both movies release on Friday, July 22. What will you watch this weekend?