A veteran film producer says that in the last three to four years, Ajith has been seen as an heir to Rajinikanth and commands similar respect. The media played a very important role in turning Rajinikanth into a force after the release of his film Baasha. "Today, Ajith has become a similar icon, though the market for his films is still nowhere like that of Rajini," he added.
In the recent past, over half-a-dozen Tamil films have managed to stir up excitement in the audience by either showing a shot of Ajith Kumar or referring to him through a dialogue. In the recently released film Sigaram Thodu, the hero of the movie walks into a cinema theatre and the star who appears on-screen is Ajith. In the movie Yaan, when the female lead changes TV channels, it is Ajith who appears on the small screen.
Director of another recently released film, Dharanidharan, who managed to invoke excitement among his audience by bringing on the Ultimate Star Ajith at the very end of his movie Burma, which is a crime thriller that deals with many luxury vehicles says, "There are quite a few reasons why I decided to keep Ajith for the last frame. One, he is a racer. Two, I think there is a craze around the actor at present and also, I like him as a person. But most importantly, when I showed the rough compilation to my assistants, what they talked about later was Ajith's choice of car because it was a modest Indian car and most others had imported cars as their favourites. I felt that it would create a buzz in theatres but I never imagined the kind of response that it eventually got."
Film historian Mohan Raman says that the trend of star references is not new to the industry and the tactic has been used in Tamil cinemas for the past 20-30 years. " When Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan have used MGR and Sivaji Ganesan's names or images occasionally in their films, why shouldn't smaller stars here use Ajith?" he asks.