2006- Hits & Misses

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 29, 2006 15:07 hrs

Tamil film industry is on a bull run, as 98 films were released and nearly 25 films were profitable. Remember that last year only a dozen films made money out of 90 odd films!

The boom is attributed to the audience coming back to the theatres and youth patronising movies with new concepts and new heroes. Karunanidhi government’s decision to exempt films with Tamil titles from entertainment tax also boosted ticket sales. The usual formulaic film with six songs, five fights and a larger-than-life hero plus a lot of glamour seems to be outdated this year.

Tamil cinema became more popular in neighbouring states of Karnataka and Kerala and had a huge dubbing potential in Andhra. And after Bollywood, Kollywood is the second most popular export earner among Indian films. Today there is great demand for Tamil films worldwide, mainly due to Sri Lankan Tamils.

The message emanating from Kodambakkam tinsel town is loud and clear: Story and presentation is more important than making movies to boost a superstar’s inflated ego. And the audience was not willing to take what was thrust upon them. Hardwork, discipline and innovative ideas paid rich dividends at the box-office. Small films like Chithirem Pesuthadi, Kokki, Thalainagaram, Parijatham, Dishoom and Thiruttu Payale that distributors were initially reluctant to touch turned out to be gold. Thambi, Perarasu, Em Magan, Pattiyal, E and the latest film Tiruvilayadal Arambham were also money grossers.

Films with newness in presentation were welcomed by the audience while a few films with superstars and big hype failed miserably. Films like Vijay’s Aathi, Ajit’s Tirupathi, Arjun’s Madrasi, Vijaykanth’s Sudesi, Surya’s Sillunu Oru Kadhal, Puthupettai and others like June R, Jambavan and Nenjirikkum Varai were all duds.

At the box-office it was Vetayadu Vilayadu which was the biggest grosser as it made Rs 30 Crore worldwide for its distributors. The film had Kamal Hassan in a very different role, something he had not done before. Gautham Menon’s slick packaging along with Harris Jayaraj’s rocking music clicked with the youth.

Our audiences have also matured as they have become more script conscious and are not willing to accept a film just for the sake of a hero. They were willing to accept Vadivelu as a hero in Imsai Arasan 23am Pulikesi because its director Simbudevan was able to package the film with all essential ingredients and made a star out of Vadivelu.

The biggest discovery of the year was Vishal whose Sandakozhi released last December ran for 200 days and was a super hit not only in Tamilnadu but also Andhra. His Thimiru was also a big hit while Sivapathikaaram was average.

There were half a dozen celebrity weddings in Kollywood like- Laila & Mehdi(Jan 6), Surya & Jyothika (Sep 11), Manoj & Nandana (Nov 19), Renuka Menon & Suraj(Nov 30), Arun Vijay & Aarthi (Dec 1), Selva & Sonia (Dec 15).


2006’s Top 5 films at the box-office

No-1 : Vetayadu Vilayadu

No-2 : Imsai Arasan 23 am Pulikesi
No-3 : Varalaaru
No-4 : Unakkum Enakkum
No-5 : Thiruttu Payale

Top five stars in 2006
(only actors with releases this year are included)

1. Kamal Hassan
2. Ajit
3. Vadivel
4. Vishal
5. Bharath

Top five heroines in 2006

1. Asin
2. Jyothika
3. Trisha
4. Nayanthara
5. Shriya

Stock Taking

Bharat- 5 films
Jyothika and Nayanthara- 4 each
Prakash Raj- 8 films (Negative roles)
Director- K.S. Ravi Kumar, Saran, Perarasu- 2 each
Music Director- D.Imman - 9, Yuvan- 7
Songs of the year- “Majal Veyil..." from Vetayadu Vilayadu and Vazha meenukkum vilanku meenukum kalyanam…” from Chithiram Pesuthadi