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2014 Yearly Report – Tamil Cinema

March 9, 2015 Leave a comment

A record 218 Tamil films released in the year 2014 with an average of 18 films per month or 4 films per week. This is also the first time in the history of Tamil Cinema that the release count has crossed 200 movies. Also half a dozen re-releases and 75 dubbed Tamil films from various languages made it to the silver screens of Tamil Nadu. Out of these, around 25 films turned out to be winners at the box-office with good word of mouth among audience. Let’s discuss hits & flops month-wise!

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January (20 releases: 2 Super Hits – Veeram & Goli Soda)

2014 started with 7 releases on the first week and all of them sank without any trace. Then came the Pre-Pongal weekend which has seen probably the biggest clash of the decade between the top 2 stars of Kollywood in present scenario. Thala Ajith’s Veeram has taken Ilayathalapathy Vijay’s Jilla head on during the big Pongal weekend. Entire industry was looking forward to the result of this epic clash as the winner will be the answer to the long debated question of who is next Box-office Baadshah in TN after Rajini? Both are commercial entertainers and everyone expected neck to neck competition as both actors have got huge fan base. They got around 400+ screens each in Tamil Nadu with Veeram slightly ahead in screen count as few multiplexes have given it additional screens & shows to get advantage from the ‘King of Opening’ Ajith Kumar. Veeram opened to largely positive reports as a perfect Pongal treat to family audience whereas Jilla opened to mostly negative reports as mindless masala. Both films got thundering opening but ultimately Veeram went on to become Super hit whereas Jilla ended as average grosser. After this big battle, 2 small films Goli Soda and Malini 22 Palayamkottai released. To everyone’s surprise, small budget film Goli Soda clicked from Day 1 because of fantastic reports. This film struck gold at the box-office as everyone loved this action entertainer starring ‘Pasanga’ boys. Goli Soda was declared Super hit & earned big profit to all the parties involved. The other small film Malini 22 Palayamkottai, remake of successful Malayalam film “22 Female Kottayam” failed because of bad execution. 2 more films: Inga Enna Solluthu and Rummy released in the last weekend of the month with the former film turned out to be a disaster with unanimous negative reviews whereas the latter starring current sensation Vijay Sethupathi too couldn’t set the box-office on fire due to poor reports.

February (19 releases: 1 Super Hit – Thegidi)

2 notable films: Pannaiyaarum Padminiyum and Pulivaal clashed in the first week of February. Unlike Rummy, Pannaiyaarum Padminiyum opened to positive reviews but even then couldn’t sustain at the theatres as Vijay Sethupathi’s back to back film release backfired. Pulivaal, remake of another successful Malayalam film Chaappa Kurishu failed miserably at the box-office. Valentine’s weekend saw big release of marketing giant Udayanidhi’s Idhu Kathirvelan Kadhal. The film opened to decent reports and turned out to be average at the box-office too. Next week, Sasi Kumar’s Bramman and Band Baajaa Baaraat remake Aaha Kalyanam released catering to different markets of single screens and multiplexes respectively but both turned out to be failures. 2 more films Vallinam and Thegidi released in the Final week of February. Though Vallinam got good reports, delayed release without much marketing made it a flop venture. Small budget film Thegidi opened to very good reviews, slowly picked up with more screens and went on to become super hit due to WOM.

March (19 releases: 1 Hit – Cuckoo)

Nimirnthu Nil, which was supposed to release on Friday – Mar 7th along with few more films got delayed due to some financial problems and released only on Saturday. Also it got delayed for one week in Trichy – Tanjore circuit. Due to these reasons, the film couldn’t get a bumper opening but sustained well in many theatres because of its commercial value and no other big releases. It ended as average grosser at the box-office. After Sivaji’s DI restored version Karnan went on to become blockbuster, MGR’s Aayirathil Oruvan re-released but didn’t get the same response and failed big time. Then Fox Star’s Cuckoo released quite big occupying main screens of all major multiplexes as the film got positive buzz from promotional campaign. It opened to better reports as expected and turned out to be another winner for Fox Star studios. Everything worked well for this small budget film right from content, marketing to release which resulted in being a hit film. Red Giant’s Nedunchalai made it to the screens last week but failed at the box-office despite positive reviews as release timing of last week before summer biggies has cost the film dearly.

April (14 releases: 3 Hits – Maan Karate, Vaayai Moodi Pesavum & Ennamo Nadakkuthu)

Summer started with a bang with Sivakarthikeyan’s Maan Karate. The film has taken fantastic opening, thanks to Escape Artists’ marketing, big release and timing. Even though the film was torn apart by critics, the film was loved by kids who are the primary target audience. Thus this medium budget film turned out to be a safe venture for the parties involved as it’s exempted from entertainment tax. Chimbudevan’s Oru Kanniyum Moonu Kalavanigalum couldn’t compete with perceived biggie MK and failed at the box-office. Next week, Naan Sigappu Manithan released big as UTV promoted the film aggressively as usual. The film opened to mixed reports and ended as average grosser. NSM was followed by Vadivelu’s Thenali Raman next weekend and this film also ended as another average grosser. Both the films suffered because of 25 to 30% tax with the former not eligible due to UA certificate and the latter due to Vadivelu’s political affiliation. Vaibhav’s first solo release Damaal Dumeel released along with Thenali Raman but went unnoticed amidst the biggies. 3 notable films: Vaayai Moodi Pesavum, Ennamo Nadakkuthu and Yennamo Yedho made it to the theatres in last week of the month. VMP opened to super positive reviews and it reflected at the box-office esp. at multiplexes. It didn’t do well in single screens but a super hit at Plexes. Ennamo Nadakuthu gave a first major break for Vasanth as it clicked at the box-office well and turned out to be hit esp. in single screens. Yennamo Yedho, remake of Telugu Ala Modalaindi opened to bad reviews and has been declared another flop for Gautham after Kadal.

May (15 releases: 1 Super Hit – Yaamirukka Bayamey)

Nayanthara’s Nee Enge En Anbe released with good expectation as it’s remake of Hindi hit ‘Anamika’ but it couldn’t re-create the same magic at the box-office as that of the original and eventually flopped big time. Superstar Rajinikanth’s long delayed animation film finally about to release next week but postponed further to last minute financial problems. So, 2 films Yaamirukka Bayamey & Vallavanukku Pullum Aayutham suddenly announced their release to cash in on the gap in the mid-Summer. Even though YB opened to mixed reviews, it slowly picked with good word of mouth as audience loved horror comedy. The film went on to become big hit & emerged as the trendsetter for many more horror comedies. Santhanam’s first solo hero film VPA is the remake of hugely successful Telugu film Maryada Ramana. But the film didn’t generate the same response here in TN but did decent business and ended as above average grosser. Kochadaiiyaan finally made it to the screens on 23rd of May and got mixed response from the audience and critics alike. Many praised screenplay but blamed poor CGI & performance capture technology. The film was a big failure everywhere as expected except in major multiplexes where it did good business. Small budget indie film Poovarasam Pee Pee released in final week of May. Despite getting very good reviews, the film ended as flop because of poor title and lack of buzz.

June (17 releases: 2 Super Hits – Manjapai & Mundasupatti)

Thirrupathi Brothers’ Manjapai & Prakash Raj’s Un Samayal Araiyil clashed at the box-office in the first week of June. Manjapai opened to average reviews from critics but the audience totally loved the film as it’s good old comedy cum sentiment film based on core family values. The film turned out to be biggest hit of 2014 and did fantastic business in all centres. The other release USA which is the remake of Malayalam hit ‘Salt n Pepper’ flopped due to poor direction once again by Prakash Raj. 2 more films Mundasupatti & Naan Thaan Bala clashed next week and the result was same as that of previous week. Mundasupatti, a full on comedy film based on the short film of the same name clicked with the audience and declared super hit. Fox Star’s marketing and release helped the film at the box-office. Vivek’s serious film NTB failed in all fronts. Next Jai’s Vadacurry opened to decent reports and turned out to be average grosser. Vetriselvan and Netru Indru also released in the same weekend but couldn’t make any impact at the box-office. Red Giant’s Saivam and another film Athithi released in the final week of June. Saivam opened to positive reviews and did good business at the multiplexes whereas Athithi which’s another remake of Malayalam “Cocktail” did decent business at the single screens. Lack of marketing for the latter has cost the film dearly.

July (11 releases: 1 Blockbuster – VIP & 1 Super Hit – Sathuranga Vettai)

Kalipuli S. Thanu’s Arima Nambi released big all over Tamil Nadu and marketed as slick action thriller. The film opened to mixed reports and did average business at the ticket counters everywhere. Nalanum Nandhiniyum and Ramanujam both couldn’t make any impact at the box-office. Dhanush’s 25th film Velai Illa Pattadhaari released very big by Madan’s Escape artists motion pictures. This commercial film was loved by general audience and went on to become blockbuster. Anirudh’s super hit album under the tag DnA played an important role in the film’s big success. Dhanush who was suffering with flop after flop went on to next level in terms of market with this big hit flick. Other small budget film Sathuranga Vettai which released on the same week suffered initially due to VIP’s opening. But super positive reviews made the film slowly pick up and emerge as sleeper hit. This again proved that good content with right marketing campaign will always win no matter the circumstances & gave hope to many small films. Aascar’s much delayed Thirumanam Enum Nikkah opened to mixed reports and failed at the box-office.

August (18 releases: 3 Hits – Jigarthanda, KTVI & Salim)

Karthik Subbaraj’s hugely anticipated Jigarthanda and Thirukumaran Entertainment’s Sarabham released in the first week of August. Jigarthanda opened to positive reports and instantly clicked with the audience. The film did fantastic business at TN multiplexes and adequately good in single screens. Overall, it’s another hit film for the young filmmaker. Sarabham opened to mixed reviews and it’s a first major flop under C.V.Kumar’s production. Later, it was found out that the film was a rip-off of a Korean film which was further blow to the indie film supporter Kumar. Suriya – Lingusamy’s Anjaan heavily marketed by UTV, released wide on Independence day. The film opened to negative reviews and was torn apart by general audience saying it’s just another commercial gangster film with lazy screenplay. Even though it did average business in single screens, it will remain as the most criticized Tamil film in recent times. Parthiban’s Kathai Thiraikathi Vasanam Iyakkam which was made on a shoestring budget with new faces clashed boldly with the biggie Anjaan and emerged triumphant. Creative campaign of a film without a story made the right buzz. It opened to positive reviews for its new style of narration and the film turned out to be hit. Bharath pinned all his hope on his 25th film Ainthaam Thalaimurai Siddha Vaithiya Sigamani which was a commercial potboiler but the film ended as another flop in the promising star’s career. 3 more notable films: Irumbu Kuthirai, Salim & Megha made it to the theatres in the last week. Atharvaa’s Irumbu Kuthirai turned out be another disappointment for the big production house AGS. Vijay Antony’s Salim opened to good reports and went on to become another hit for him much like his debut. Small budget film Megha in Ilaiyaraja’s music was a disaster at the box-office.

September (21 releases: 1 Super Hit – Aranmanai & 1 Hit – Madras)

3 Notable films: Amara Kaaviyam, Poriyaalan and Pattaya Kelappanum Paandiyaa opened in first week. ‘Naan’ director’s second film Amara Kaaviyam released with good expectations because of Ghibran’s awesome album but the film got predominantly negative reviews and ultimately flopped at the box-office. Vetrimaaran’s co-production Poiyaalan got good reviews but sank without a trace at the ticket counters. Vidharth’s comedy flick PKP opened to negative reviews but it god good response at the box-office esp. in B and C centres of TN. Another 3 notable films: Sigaram Thodu, Vaanavaraayan Vallavaraayan & Burma released the following week. ST opened to above average reports and received well at box-office too esp. at A centres. It ran very well and ended as above average grosser. Lowbrow comedy film VV opened to below average reviews but got decent response at B and C centres. Small budget film Burma by new team failed to create any buzz and ended as flop. Again 3 notable films: Aranmanai, Aadama Jaichomada & Aal released next week with all 3 opened to average reviews. Sundar.C’s Aranmanai got overwhelming reception at the box-office as Santhanam’s comedy clicked big time. It’s declared as one of the biggest hits of 2014 in terms of Return on Investment for all parties. Aranmanai’s success proved again that horror comedies are here to stay. Another comedy film AJ didn’t do well as expected and Aal too failed because of lack of marketing. After few months delay, Karthi’s Madras released with good expectations. The film opened to positive response as realistic North Chennai film. Karthi made a strong comeback with this film after hat trick of flops. He got both critical as well as commercial success. Finally, Suseenthiran’s Jeeva which clashed with Madras got decent reports but ended as average grosser.

October (18 releases: 1 Hit – Kaththi)

Jiiva’s Yaan released for the big Gandhi Jayanthi weekend. The film opened to negative reports and flopped big time at the box-office. Next week, a record 9 straight Tamil films made it to theatres. Out of that, only Vennila Veedu got good reviews but the same didn’t reflect in the box-office. It was a straight clash between Vijay-ARM’s Kaththi and Vishal-Hari’s Poojai. Both the films opened to mixed reports but the former did fantastic business in multiplexes and A centres whereas the latter did very well at B and C centres. Kaththi was in the news for A.R.Murugadoss story theft and lifting of important scenes from foreign films which gave it publicity and the buzz worked wonders at the box-office. Also, it got entertainment tax exemption which helped the film to end as a hit venture. Poojai, a neat masala flick from Hari suffered due to Kathi & tax and ended as average grosser. ‘Aarohanam’ director Lakshmy’s next commercial attempt Nerungi Vaa Muthamidathe got decent reviews but failed at the box-office.

November (21 releases: 2 Hits – Naaigal Jaakirathai & Aaaah)

2 films: Oru Oorula Rendu Raja & Jai Hind 2 clashed at the box-office in the first week. Both films opened to mostly negative reviews. OORR couldn’t survive and flopped immediately whereas JH2 at least did some business at B&C centres where Arjun has a pretty solid fan base developed over the years for his typical action flicks.  2 notable films: Thirudan Police and Appuchi Graamam released in the following week. The former got decent reviews and did pretty well in box-office too. It turned out be average hit. This film continued Dinesh’s winning streak and opened the gates for him as commercial hero. Small budget flick Appuchi Gramam too got good reviews but couldn’t create any major impact at the ticket counters due to lack of promotions. The film did well in few single screens though. The string of releases continued with another 3 notable films next week. Vijay Sethupathi & Kreshna starrer Vanmham opened well but flopped due to scathing reviews. Common people and critics who expected different offbeat films from VJ Sethupathi disappointed with this commercial entertainer even though it’s not bad. 2014 turned out to be a bad year for young star Vijay Sethupathi as all his 3 films are disappointments in terms of box-office. Sibiraj’s Naaigal Jaakirathai opened to decent reviews but clicked at the box-office. Audience loved this underdog film with a dog in the lead. Collections of this film slowly increased and it turned out to be sleeper hit. Vidharth’s Kaadu got mixed reports and ended as below average grosser. Final week saw 4 films fighting for screens. Vasanthabalan’s Kaaviyathalaivan opened to mixed reviews and to everyone’s surprise, the film’s collections dropped big time in the first week itself and ended as a disaster at the box-office. Even though, it’s a good attempt the reason for failure attributed to many flaws in screenplay and Siddharth’s miscasting in a periodic film. Shalom Studios’ Mosakutty was another disaster in the same week. Ganja Karuppu’s Velmurugan Borewells worked to some extent in B&C centres. It’s small budget horror thriller Aaaah which clicked at the box-office out of the four releases and slowly turned out be a winner at the box-office with increased patronage.

December (25 releases: 1 Super Hit – Pisasu and 2 Hits – Kappal & Vellakkara Durai)

December 2014 made history in Tamil cinema with highest no. of releases in a single month. 25 films made it to theatres in just 4 weeks. Many small films which was delayed, released just for the sake of making it to screens in 2014 itself. Ra, a small budget film created some buzz pre-release but failed at the box-office due to mixed reviews. Superstar Rajinikanth’s Lingaa opened on his birthday in 600+ screens at Tamil Nadu, biggest release for a Tamil film ever. Everyone in the industry was waiting with bated breath for the result of this film as box-office emperor’s live action releasing after 4 years. The film opened to negative reviews and ultimately turned out to be biggest flop in Rajini’s career as it was sold to exorbitant rates for all areas. It proved that Superstar doesn’t have the box-office pull anymore as it couldn’t even take a decent opening. Analysts came up with lots of reason for the film’s failure like KSR’s weak execution, bad release timing, saturation release, etc. Distributors further damaged Rajni’s image by various protests due to heavy losses. Myshkin’s Pisasu had limited release the following week but instantly clicked at the box-office as horror is the flavour of the season. The film got good reviews and reaped gold in all centres of TN. Finally, 4 notable films clashed for Christmas. Arya’s Meghamann opened to positive reports and did average business. Lack of promos and limited screens had cost the film heavily. Prabhu Solomon’s Kayal opened to decent reviews but couldn’t create the magic of previous releases like “Mynaa” & ‘Kumki’. Vikram Prabhu’s Vellakaara Durai which got the best screens out of 4 releases clicked at the box-office as audience loved the crass comedy flick. It turned out to be super hit esp. in B & C centres. Last but not the least, Vaibhav’s Kappal was distributed by Shankar and opened to good reports. This urban rom-com had a fantastic run at A centres and turned out to be the last hit of 2014.

Overall, 2014 had been a good year for Tamil cinema with many small films with good content turning out to be hits. Hope 2015 increases the hit ratio with more content based films.

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