A box-office report card of 2014, thus far


By Kaushik L M

The year 2014 has kicked off in right earnest and it has been business as usual for the Tamil film industry. We take a quick look back at what was on offer in the first few weeks of the year.

The year started with a true bang what with two big releases, Veeram and Jilla vying for the audience’s attention on the same day. January 10th will remain an unforgettable day for all ardent film buffs as they fought against time to catch up with Thala and Thalapathy on the same day. Tickets to both these movies were hard to come by for the first 10 days or so, as Pongal holidays perfectly coincided with the release time. Both the movies opened big across the world, satisfied the expectations of the respective fan groups and it is safe to say that the numbers grossed by both these movies is something that only few stars and movies can manage.

In Veeram, Ajith proved that he could carry off a rural role with the same ease and attitude which marks his performance in suave, urban roles. Siva showed that the success of his first movie Siruthai was no flash in the pan. There are already talks that Ajith and Siva might do another movie, with the intention of matching Veeram’s success.

Jilla was lifted by the lethal duo of Vijay, Mohanlal and director Neason has managed to earn a place among a small group of directors who understand the skill of making commercial cinema. He is also likely to team up with Vijay again in the coming years.

In the much debated Veeram vs. Jilla box office battle, Veeram emerged with higher collections in the core market of Tamil Nadu while Jilla was a big outperformer in Kerala. In other markets such as Karnataka and the overseas space, it was a neck and neck battle between the two as Veeram finished on top in some while Jilla came out on top in the others. In the final analysis, both the movies have finished with comparable worldwide collection figures, thereby proving that there is little to separate between Ajith and Vijay.

But, the rejection of the entertainment tax exemption came as a blow to both the films as they couldn’t emerge as outright profitable products for all the stakeholders, despite such mammoth collections. Even then the trade has definitely been given a shot in the arm by these two superstars and their respective mass entertainers. This scenario was expected indeed.

But, the movie which has really taken everyone by surprise and has come across as an unexpected superhit is a small-timer by the name Goli Soda. Whoever has seen the movie has just loved it and commercial cinema never felt so fresh, vibrant and interesting in recent years. Right from Rajinikanth to the auto driver on the street, Goli Soda has been a big mass favourite. Made on a shoe-string budget, the movie was reported to have grossed 8 crores in Tamil Nadu alone, a few days back. With shows being retained admirably, Goli Soda can be expected to gross more in the coming days. The wait for the sequel is already ON.

Vijay Sethupathi’s Pannaiyarum Padminiyum is another movie which has received attention and it is critically a much-loved work already. It remains to be seen if the movie can translate all the positive reviews to box-office success. The opening has been decent though.

The first few weeks of the year have also seen a fair share of forgettable box-office turkeys such as Inga Enna Solludhu, Ninaithathu Yaaro, Ner Ethir, Malini 22 and Rummy.

In the coming days the action heats up with the much-hyped Idhu Kathirvelan Kadhal leading the way this week, with Bramman and Aaha Kalyanam to follow next week. Hopefully plenty of ‘wow’ moments ahead!



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