Indian Express on last
Sunday 16th came with a exclusive one full page
article on South indian film industry's box office
success in this year.
This story from Express finds significance - because
- Indian express which gave many good news abt
Sivaji contiunuously for several weeks initially -
before Sivaji release - remained silent after the
release and there was no positive news abt the movie
after that. (A few positive news came from other
state edtions after release)
We later understood that it's intention was just to
create a hype about the movie and thrash it after
release. But the movie stood up to expectation and
became super-hit all over the globe.
Now, while Sivaji nearing 100 days this article
which speaks of Sivaji's success had come in last
Sunday Indian Express in full page. I have uploaded
the image in the following link.
For your easiness - we have highlighted the portion
which speaks about Sivaji in green. You can read that
alone and skip others.
BLOW HOT, BLOW COLD
While Rajnikanth's Sivaji continues to break BO
records, this year's releases prove that cinema in
the South is getting more unpredictable by the day
BY AYYAPPA PRASAD
The last nine months have been full of strange ups
and downs in the multi-coloured world of South
Indian cinema. Take the Rajnikanth-Shankar's
Sivaji for instance. As expected, it bossed the box
office almost everywhere. `Mega Star'
Chiranjeevi's mega film, on the other hand, bit the
dust in Andhra Pradesh. While Ganesh and Vijay, two
rather young recruits, are still creating shockwaves
in Karnataka, veterans Mohanal and Mammootty, rated
as two of India's best actors, had nothing new to
Let's begin, predictably, with Sivaji - the one
film common to the four southern states. No Tamil
film had ever had a release in so many centres. As
many as 16 screens in Chennai grossed Rs 3,45,4520
in two weeks. In Hyderabad, the film was released in
44 theatres and in the first week itself made a
profit of Rs 3 crore. A record for a non Telugu
film! In Kerala, the film was released in 77
screens, beating the previous record of 60 screens
of Mohanlal's Chota Mumbai.
The film had a tremendous opening but lost its
momentum by the second week - the Malayalee audience
felt it was all style and no substance. And in
Karnataka, even though the ver sions released were
Tamil and Telugu, the distributor recovered his
investment in 30 days.
More flash, less substance THE Malayalam film
industry, which usually strikes a balance between
middle-of-the-road cin ema and potboilers, has this
year favoured only the latter. With just four box
office successes from 40-odd releases, it's obvious
that the audience has not taken lightly to films
that were generously `inspi red' by Hollywood.
Considering the cost of production and col lections,
Vinodayathra easily leads the list of winners.
Director Satyan Anthikad made the right decision by
not waver ing from the tried and tested for mula of
happy family sagas. In the film, Dileep plays an MCA
graduate who prefers to shirk all responsibili ties,
while the heroine, Meera Jasmine, has to discontinue
her studies at an engi neering college due to family
pressure. A routine tale, but appealing.
While Mammootty, the superstar, delivered a hit
Mayavi directed by Shafi Mammootty, the actor, was
seen in only two films, Big B and Kaiyoppu. The much
hyped Mission 90 Days did not go down too well with
the audience. Of late, Mammootty's look is more
talked about than his performances, though his fans
ensure a spectacular opening for all his films.
Mohanlal's Chota Mumbai, Hello and Alibhai, all
three superhits, didn't do much to showcase his
talent. But upcoming films like P T Kunjimohammed's
Paradesi and K P Kumaran's Akashagopuram might just
surprise us. While Dileep made his presence felt
with Vinodayathra, Suresh Gopi, stuck in a rut after
the success of Bharathchandran IPS, should thank the
recent Nadiya Kolapetta Ratri for helping him out of
the cops-and-robbers rut he was getting into.
As for our comedians-turned-lead actors, Kalabhavan
Mani was finally seen emoting in Sarat Chandran's
Namma. Srinivasan-Lal Jose's Arabikatha, with its
realistic subject about migrant workers in the Gulf,
also went down well with audiences. Manoj Pillai's
cinematography in Kayoppu and Arabikatha came in for
Among the heroines, it was easily Meera Jasmine who
stole the show in Vinodayathra while Kavya, Gopika
and Navya Nair were reduced to props in hero-centric
Of late, Tamil and Telugu movies are increasingly
being dubbed into Malayalam Challenge, Happy, Arya
and Hero are some of the Telugu films. Racy plots,
glamorous song sequences and action-packed scenes in
these dubbed films have many takers in Kerala.
Telugu dubbing rights that once sold for Rs 2 lakhs
are now in the range of Rs 15 lakhs. The Tamil film
Pokkiri, starring Vijay, had a 100day run in
Thiruvananthapuram! Stars fall flat EVEN `mega
stars' cannot ensure a smooth run at the box office.
This was proved at the Andhra box office with the
disastrous run of Shankar Dada Zindabad (SDZ),
starring Chiranjeevi. The general belief in trade
circles is that even a flop film of Chiranjeevi
collects more than a hit film of the other stars.
SDZ proved otherwise. Adavari Matalaku Ardhale
Verule (AMAV), director Selvaraghavan's second
Telugu film, depicted real characters in a joint
family set-up. Seasoned with some comedy and
romance, the film went down very well with both the
urban and rural audiences. The onscreen chemistry
between the lead pair - Venkatesh and Trisha - also
worked in its favour. Evaidaithe Naakenti, the
remake of Malayalam film Lion, helped turn Dr
Rajasekhar's career around. Having bought the remake
rights of the film, he changed its subject for the
better - a topical film, Evaidaithe Naakenti raises
the issue of corruption.
Following on the heels of Pokkiri's success,
expectations were high for the Puri Jagannath-helmed
Desamuduru. The absence of a storyline didn't hamper
this film's success - an interesting screenplay,
hero Allu Arjun's sinewy muscles, petite heroine
Hansika Motwani, and the picturesque Kulu Manali
obviously did the trick. As for the other big names
in the industry, there was Director Sreenu Vaitla
and actor Manchu Vishnu's Dhee, a pot-boiler with
romance, action, and a brother-sister relationship.
At the time of writing, Sreenu Vyatala's latest
release, the Gopichand-starrer Lakshyam, is also
being termed a hit.
Talent's new wave MUNGARU Male, released towards the
end of 2006, changed the entire scene of Kannada
cinema. Still running, the film in its 25th week
collected Rs 40 crores, more than enough reason to
cheer. It also saw the rise of Ganesh as a star.
Another newcomer chose this year to make the
veterans sit up and take note Vijay, whose Dhuniya
made Rs 15 crores in 125 days. The other two films,
Hudugaata and Cheluvina Chittara, starring Ganesh
(remake of the Tamil film Kadhal) did fabulously
too, proving that the actor's earlier film was no
fluke. The result? From January to July, 90 films
went on the floor, of which 55 have been released.
Puneet Rajkumar's Arasu, Devraju's Sixer,
Shivrajkumar's Santha and Prem's Palliki managed to
recover their investment.
Holding out against this new wave is Ramesh Aravind,
whose directorial ventures Satyavan Savithiri and No
73 Shanthinivasa passed the test with its comedy
This has led to a stock taking about what the
audiences really want. Mungaaru Male, released in
Andhra Pradesh, Pune, and Mumbai, has been running
to houseful shows, with its music (NRI composer Mano
Murthy), cinematography (Krishna) and story - the
hero proves that sacrificing for love is a better
deal - making the cut. Heroine Sanjana Gandhi is
already a huge hit and everybody now wants to make a
film with director Yograj Bhat. Lessons learnt:
freshness in script and technical values, not
extravaganza, can get the Kannada youth to take a
break from Tamil and Hindi films and begin watching
a few in their own language.
The multiplex dilemma IN the Tamil film industry,
directors are now wondering if their target is the
multiplex crowd or the B&C segments. Combining both
is near impossible, only accomplished by two
directors so far - Shankar and Ameer. The former's
Sivaji succeeded because of Rajni's reach to all
classes. Ameer, on the other hand, with his
debutant hero Karthi and little known Priyamani,
struck a chord with both city and rural audiences.
The film's sheer honesty and realism were well
Chennai 600028, directed by Venkat Prabhu, Mozhi,
directed by Radha Mohan, Unnale Unnale directed by
the late Jeeva, Naan Avan Illai, directed by Selvah,
and Madhavan's Arya are movies with the `multiplex'
tag that did well. Chennai 600028, which dealt with
local cricket, and the rivalry between two teams,
clicked with the multiplex crowd despite a cast of
Unnale Unnale, with newcomer Vinay and Sada, was an
urban movie with good music by Harris Jeyaraj.
Selvah's Naan Avan Illai made Jeevan, who revisited
the role immortalised by Gemini Ganesan in the K
Balachander's classic, the most sought after hero.
While Madhavan's much-delayed Arya had no logic, his
fan following kept it going in the cities.
Meanwhile, Jeyam Ravi came up with a dud called
Deepavali. This year witnessed the emergence of
director-turnedhero C Sundar, whose Veerappu clicked
in the B&C centres. A remake of the Mohanlal-starrer
Spadikam, the film has resulted in Sundar signing
five films; his directorial ventures are pending.
Among the heroines, it is Trisha and Asin who are
dominating the scene with a hit each. Nayantara, who
had the maximum number of releases last year, has
shifted focus to Telugu films. And Sneha, who banked
on the recent Pallikoodam, was left high and dry -
the film, touted to be selected for Cannes, drew a
blank at the BO.
Among the most awaited films this year are Surya's
Vel and Vikram's Bheema. And of course there is
Kamal Hassan's Dasavatharam, in which he enacts ten
With the entry of corporates like Adlabs, Pyramid
Saimira and Insight Media, and with theatres
converting to digital projection, filmmaking is fast
changing in the South. And it looks like
transparency in deals and iron-clad � schedules are
here to stay.