Stills from film `Lingaa`.(Photo: IANS)

Yearend Review: Small was big for Tamil cinema in 2014

Small was big down south. Low budget films, which were high on creative content, emerged as the real winners in 2014. Offerings like “Yaamirukka Bayamey” and “Karthikeya” not only set the cash registers ringing but also spelt profit for the investors in the southern filmdom, which otherwise registered a mere five percent hits out of about 500 releases.

Biggies like “Lingaa”, “Kaththi” and “Veeram” managed to strike gold at the box-office, but they couldn’t qualify as successful ventures.

“A successful film is one which benefits every investor – from a producer to distributor to theatre owner. All these stars’ films are sold at exorbitant prices, hence it becomes extremely difficult for distributors and other investors to make profits,” trade analyst Trinath told IANS.

Still from  `Lingaa`.(Photo: IANS)

Still from `Lingaa`.(Photo: IANS)

A.R. Murugadoss-directed Tamil actioner “Kaththi” raked in over Rs.100 crore ($16 million) on an investment of about Rs.70 crore. Likewise, Rajinikanth’s “Lingaa”, said to be a Rs.80 crore movie, collected about Rs.100 crore in its opening weekend worldwide.

The most profitable Tamil films of the year were “Vella Illa Pattathari”, “Aranmanai”, “Yaamirukka Bayamey”, “Thegidi”, “Goli Soda”, and “Maan Karate”.

“Except ‘Aranmanai’, all other films were made under the budget of Rs.10 crore, but they managed to collect nearly double the amount invested in them at the box-office. These films have benefited all the investors because they didn’t have to spend too much on acquiring their rights,” Trinath said.

Horror-comedy “Aranmanai”, said to be a Rs.12 crore movie, earned Rs.22 crore. Other notable Tamil hits included “Manjapai”, “Sathuranga Vettai”, “Kathai Thiraikkathai Vasanam Iyakkam”, “Mundasupatti” and “Naaigal Jaakirathai”.

“Audiences are backing creative content. A case in point is the success of low-budget films such as ‘Sathuranga Vettai’. Who would’ve expected a film like ‘Naaigal Jaakirathai’ featuring a dog in lead role to do exceptionally well,” distributor Arvind Nambiar asked while speaking to IANS.

According to Nambiar, the biggest Tamil hit in terms of return on investment is Dhanush’s “Vella Illa Pattathari”. Made on a budget of Rs.8 crore, including promotional costs, the film collected a whopping Rs.53 crore.

It has been a bad year for Telugu movies. With almost all the biggies biting the dust, it was sleeper hits like “Karthikeya”, “Oohalu Gusagusalade” and “Run Raja Run” that maintained the footfalls.(IANS)

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