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As we are bidding adieu to the first three months, the kollywood quarterly report card (January 1st – March 31st) indicates that it has been a mishmash of genres of films for the tamil cinema industry with as many as 50 films hitting the screens in the span of 90 days which is a new record. There wasn’t a week which went through without 2-3 releases resulting in the number of genuine ‘HITS’  to a minimum with the amount of duds and lacklustre films increasing year after year. Comparing the other 3 south industries (Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada) or Bollywood to say the least, its only in Tamil that there were a record 54 films hitting the screens in first three months of the year & has been the year where just about 9 films that managed to set the cash registers ringing. To be meticulous, Tamil Cinema is yet to see a gargantuan swinge at the box office this year.

These days the trends emerging are – a star alone by his presence cannot make a film a big hit, the content has to be just engrossing or commercially entertaining (provided with good music) irrespective of who the hero or director is. Aggressive promotions, positive word of mouth, good production house backing up are the key to a good opening and prolonged run at the box office. And that is precisely what made this year’s few hits and superhits at the box office.

Let’s have a look at the the films that stroke a chord among the audience in the first quarter of 2016, in the order of their release. Where we list out 9 films that turned out to be successful at the box-office. (The box office collections mentioned are compiled from different sources and pertains to only TN)

• After a dull start at the outset of the year came a bevy of films for Pongal in which Sivakarthikeyan’s Rajini Murugan, despite mixed reviews, it soared above the rest, reportedly grossed more than 40 crores at TN Box Office becoming the first blockbuster of the year.

• Director Sundar C who for the first time, tried his hands on a sequel to his blockbuster Aranmanai, Aranmanai 2, which had a terrific opening weekend, grossed more than 22 crores. The negative reviews hardly made a difference and was a profitable venture in the month of January.

• The same weekend we saw Madhavan’s comeback film Irudhi Suttru releasing, which was unanimously appreciated as the best film of the year that led to encourage Sudha Kongara and her team. The film grossed more than 25 crores after the completion of 50 days.

• In the month of February came Visaranai directed by Vetrimaran with exceptional pre release buzz and reviews and ultimately which won 3 National Awards. Considering its low cost budget, the film grossed around 5 crores and is a safe bet.

• All eyes were on Jayam Ravi’s Miruthan, as it was the first Tamil Zombie film and due to its thrilling content, the audience lapped up with a great opening and reportedly grossed more than 20 crores which recovered its costs.

• Vijay Sethupathi’s Sethupathi was another film that released alongside Miruthan to positive reviews, thanks to his previous blockbuster NRD. Due to the reasonably family audience friendly content, the film crossed about 12 crores and was a safe bet at box office.

• Vijay Antony’s winning streak continued with Pichaikkaran that tunred out to be ‘Panakkaran’ at the Box Office. The emotional base and family sentiments worked big time and grossed around 15 crores and became an outright blockbuster due to its tight budget.

• Vijay Sethupathi’s second film of the year, a rom com-  Kadhalum Kadandhu Pogum was raved by audience and critics alike. This film was Vijay’s best 3-day opener and after the opening weekend, the film grossed around 8 crores. The final gross is around 15 crores and it’s a profitable venture.

• Last but not the least, Karthi , Nagarjuna and Tamannaah starrer Thozha which is currently running successfully at the box office is one of the major superhits in Karthi’s career and the lead pair has made it a hattrick success. The heartwarming family friendly movie has reportedly grossed more than 14 crores in TN and it is expected to do well till Theri arrives on 14th April.

• In our honest opinion, films such as Kathakali, Kanithan, Aarathu SinamVil Ambu and Zero despite the largely favourable reviews, the films did not find huge recognition at the box office as the audience failed to do so. We believe, in the near future, such kind of films will be appreciated for its rich production values provided a good content also comes along.

To round things off, the first three months has offered a variety platter catering to different flavors of the audience, kollywood is in a position to give more superhits and blockbusters in the coming months. 150 odd films are waiting to release back to back with Theri, 24Kabali, and Kodi being some biggies in the pipeline. So it seems the next 9 months will be robust for Kollywood. Hope we see more success with bigger hits and bring more cheer and happiness to the trade.

Written by Praveen (pravenbg)

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