By Mithun
Box Office 2014: First Quarter Report, Goli Soda, Idhu Kathirvelan Kadhal


The first quarter of 2014 had been a busy year for Tamil Cinema with more than 50 releases. At the current rate, there is a high probability that this year might see a record 200+ movies. However, despite the substantial number of releases, the movies that tasted box-office success are a meagre few - Cuckoo, Goli Soda, Idhu Kathirvelan Kadhal, Jilla, Nimirnthu Nil, Thegidi, and Veeram.


Thala – Thalapathy day (January 10) kick-started the year, with the two contemporary Superstars’ movies – Ajith’s Veeram and Vijay’s Jilla - releasing on the same day, after a period of 7 years. And, both the movies turned out to be money spinners for the producers, as they were tailor made for the fans of the stars and masala movie lovers.


On the other hand, the so-called parallel cinema lovers waited for the commercial hoopla to subdue, and for the two Vijay Sethupathi movies (Rummy and Pannaiyarum Padminiyum) to release back-to-back in the last week of January and first week of February. But, they were in for an earlier treat. Cinematographer – Director Vijay Milton’s Goli Soda opened up on Jaunary 24, to favourable reviews and critical acclaim, from almost all.


Even, Superstar Rajinikanth had issued a statement acknowledging the good work in Goli Soda. “I’m astonished on how the film was made in a place like Koyambedu market – especially with those kids performing so well. I called up the director and congratulated him for the good work. I also wished him luck for his next venture,” he said.


Vijay Sethupathi, the poster boy of the new wave Tamil Cinema, has made the industry proud with his choice of cinema so far. Hence, naturally because of his reputation, any movie, which bears his name on it, gathers enormous expectations. And, Rummy (January 31) and Pannaiyarum Padminiyum (February 7) succumbed to those expectations. But still, Pannaiyaarum Padminiyum managed to gather respect for the chemistry between the lead characters – Pannaiyaar (Jayaprakash), Pannaiyaar’s wife (Thulasi), Driver Murugesan (Vijay Sethupathi), and Pannaiyaar’s car Premier Padmini.


Valentine’s Day saw the release of Udhayanidhi Stalin – Nayantara starrer, Idhu Kathirvelan Kadhal, which registered a good opening and had the cash registers ringing.


And, then Thegidi took the industry by storm. According to Tamil Film Producer’s Council Head Keyaar, “2014 has not been that good for Tamil Cinema. Out of all the releases, only two have been profitable – Vijay Milton’s Goli Soda and P Ramesh’s Thegidi.”


Thegidi also managed to do a rare feat – Its second week collection exceeded its first week's. Interestingly, a Hindi movie starring Kangana Ranaut, Queen, which released in around the same time as Thegidi, also did the rare feat.


Cuckoo, directed by former journalist Raju Murugan, was another movie that grabbed the attention of viewers in the first quarter of 2014. It is about the love and struggle of two blind people, played to perfection by Attakathi Dinesh and Malavika Nair. The movie was specially appreciated for the director’s research in presenting the visually challenged onscreen. The music of Santhosh Narayanan was another highpoint for this movie.


The industry had its share of release issues, as well. Jayam Ravi – Amala Paul starrer Nimirnthu Nil shows were cancelled on the day of its release. Further worse, a rumour that Samuthirakani, the director of the movie, had committed suicide notwithstanding the release delay was circulated around. Thankfully, the director apparently put things in the right perspective and said that he was not a coward to engage in such a spineless activity. The movie, released after a day’s delay, had a good run in the box-office.


While, financial issues were touted to be the reason for the delay in Nimirnthu Nil’s release, Santhosh Sivan directorial Inam, about a bunch of orphans’ journey from the ethnic war of Sri Lanka, was taken down, after a three day run in the theatres, in order to avoid any political and security related complications. It must be noted that 4 scenes were removed and 1 dialogue was muted just before Inam hit the screens, due to stiff opposition from certain political parties. Optimistically, Inam might get a re-release after elections.


In a nutshell, the industry has not had a good year so far, and things hopefully should turn in the coming months, for there are very interesting releases – that includes Superstar Rajinikanth’s Kochadaiiyaan and Chiyaan Vikram’s Ai -  lined up. 



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