Every year the number of releases in Tamil Cinema is on the rise and 2016 is no exception. Though the numbers of releases are high, the success rate remains a matter of concern. Like the previous year, this time too, Kollywood had struck the fastest 100 Tamil straight Releases on June 10, 2016 and reportedly there were record 108 straight Tamil releases in the first half of 2016 which is a growing issue for the theatre owners as per trade. According to a few sources, the first three months (January, February, March) saw more than half a dozen films which were successful but in the contrary, the second quarter (April, May, June) had hardly few hits with very low footfalls. We had reported here about the first quarter of Kollywood, the hits and misses and now here’s a quick glance at what worked in the second quarter of 2016 and what disappointed the audience.
•April – The month of April was kick started with four films on April 1st namely, Darling 2, Hello Naan Pei Pesuren, Narathan and Uyire Uyire but all of them sank without a trace at the box office due to poor reviews. Following this week, the next set of releases were Oyee, Jithan 2, Tea Kadai Raja to name a few came on April 8th but none could make a mark at the box office. The sequels were epic failure due to lack of content and they could not recreate the magic of the first part. Post these dry weeks, came Ilayathalapathy Vijay’s Theri which is the only solid Blockbuster film not only this summer but in the last six months to be noted. The film is reportedly said to have grossed more than 150 crores worldwide. Vijay made a strong comeback through Theri, which has registered a blockbuster hit. Despite Atlee’s clichéd script, Vijay’s charisma and the strong one-liner was celebrated by the audience. A week later came, Lyca and Sasikumar’s family drama Vetrivel on 22nd April. The movie opened with mixed to positive reviews but it ended average venture at the box office due to the strong impact made by Theri. The other film Ennul Ayiram was a disaster. Udhayanidhi Stalin made a good comeback through Manithan which released on 29th April as a solo release that opened to extremely good reviews, thanks to the thought provoking script. The film is said to have made a good run at the box office by crossing 50 days recently.
•May – The month of May was very crucial for trade as it is the summer holidays and mostly families are expected to throng the theatres. Suriya’s sci-fi time travel ’24‘ was released on 6th May and the film opened to mixed reviews initially. But after taking the audience and critics feedback into considerations, the film was trimmed and the film had opened to very good reviews for its competent screenplay. Vikram Kumar made his mark in Kollywood as an intelligent director to look out for. Despite the critical acclaim, unfortunately the film failed to make its stamp at the box office in most of the B and C centres. Also, since the movie released during elections in Tamil Nadu, it didn’t receive much attention. A week later, then came a flurry of films like Jambulingam 3D, KO 2, Pencil, Unnodu Ka. Among these, KO 2 received harsh comments for its sloppy storyline but since the film opened during elections, it had an edge which lead to decent collections and it is a hit. Pencil opened to negative reviews. The other two were disasters at the box office. Followed by these films, Vishal’s rural entertainer Marudhu got released on 20th May but due to the familiar story and lack of interest from the promos and audio the film failed to make it big in A or B centres. May 27th saw two notable films – STR’s Idhu Namma Aalu and Uriyadi. While the former opened to mixed reviews, the latter garnered extremely positive response. Debutant Vijay Kumar’s Uriyadi was a bold take on caste-based politics, but due to lack of star power, the movie couldn’t sustain at the box office. For STR, INA was another average venture which failed due to shallow story from Pandiraj. Meera Jaakirathai was another box office failure.
•June – The month of June started with the releases like Iraivi and Velainu Vandhutta Vellaikaaran on 3rd June. The former opened to rave reviews from the critics and few movie buffs, but the film failed to entertain the mainstream audience like the previous two films of Karthik, and the family audiences did not prefer to see Subbaraj’s unrestrained content. Whereas, Ezhil’s VVV which had a good dose of comedy managed to win the audience and went on to become a runaway hit. This led Vishnu Vishal to attain the mass status by pleasing his core family audience who is usually known for off beat films. The film is reportedly one of the most genuine hits of this year for its entertainment factor. Further down the line came debut director Nelson’s Oru Naal Koothu on 10th June which was another film which had memorable female characters. The film stressed upon the marriage pressures that young adults face and it was good drama. But the film did not really pick up at the box office despite good reviews. Then came GV Prakash’s Enakku Innoru Per Irukku and Sundar C’s Muthina Kathirika on 17th June. Neither of them impressed the critics nor the film buffs. Both of them turned out to be below average fares for its mediocre subjects they dealt with. Finally there were three notable releases on 24th June i.e. Amma Kanakku, Metro and Raja Manthiri. Among these, Metro was lauded for its realistic approach about chain snatching theme from the director. The film is currently doing decent business at the box office. Amma Kanakku got panned by many of them due to lack of nativity from the hindi remake version. Raja Manthiri failed to impress from any aspect.
Films which are made with the right budget and producers who are rightly marketing their films are able to see good success. The engaging screenplay and entertainment factor are key roles for the film’s success. Films with the right budget, perfect marketing, engaging screenplay and a familiar story line are sure to be a big success in Tamil cinema. Thus, hereby we conclude that only Vijay’s Theri, Udhayanidhi Stalin’s Manithan and Vishnu Vishal’s Velainu Vandhutta Vellaikaaran made huge profits and were successful ventures for all the parties involved. Infact, the last two months has been a dry phase at the box office as many decided to stay at home. This report suggests that the film with wide releases and good entertainment value are people’s choice. The critically acclaimed and small budget films must opt for a wide release with aggressive promotions.
The third quarter looks quite compelling. The second half of 2016 has been kick started by Sibiraj’s Jackson Durai and Samuthirkani’s Appa which released on 1st July. Santhanam’s Dhilluku Dhuddu will be releasing on 7th July. Our gut feeling says that the second half of 2016 will surely belong to Superstar Rajinikanth’s Kabali which is due for release on 22nd July. Further we have films like Achcham Enbadhu Madamaiyada, Thodari, Kodi, Wagah, Iru Mugan, S3 and many are waiting to hit the screens. Hope all of these achieve bigger success by attaining the profit status so that there will be a sigh of relief at the box office.