The earliest show in the city started around 4 a.m.
For the first show in the city, hardcore superstar fans assembled outside cinema halls even before midnight to celebrate the release of the film.
"We spent the whole night outside. As early as 11 p.m., we gathered at the theater to raise banners and huge cutouts of Thalaivar," Madhan Kumar, who watched the first show at Kasi theater, told IANS.
It was a sleepless night for most fans as they waited with bated to watch their 65-year old matinee idol on screen on Friday
"It's not everyday you get to watch Thalaivar's film. Hence, the excitement to watch the first day, first show of the film. These last few days have been crazy, with hardly any sleep," Sumanth, a third year Engineering student who watched the first show at Rakki cinemas, told IANS.
In other parts of Tamil Nadu such as Madurai, the first show of "Kabali" started around 3 a.m.
First Day First Show starting 3 am.
In the opening weekend in the city, the film reportedly will have over 300 shows across theaters.
Directed by Pa. Ranjith, the film features Rajinikanth as a don who fights for Tamils in Malaysia.
On Thursday night, the film had its world premiere in Malaysia and Singapore, followed by Dubai and some parts of the US.
According to the film's US distributor CineGalaxy Inc, the film has already raked in over $1 million from its pre-sales from the premieres.
[Read: Two-minute scene of 'Kabali' leaked ]
The film has also been released in Hindi and Telugu, apart from its Tamil version. The dubbed Malay version is slated to release on July 29.