Moneycontrol
Last Updated : Nov 30, 2018 03:16 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Bollywood may be the big daddy, but Tamil cinema is carving a niche at the box office

From Rajinikanth’s Enthiran to Kabali to recently released Sarkar, Tamil films have made a place on the list of highest grossing films where Bollywood has secured a dominant position.

Maryam Farooqui @farooqui_maryam

India makes films in 42 languages and yet, the audience is mostly aware of Hindi films. The Indian film industry has become synonymous to Bollywood for many. However, in terms of movies produced as well as contribution to the overall box office collection, Tamil films play a major role. They are also the top contributor to domestic theatricals along with Bollywood.

A 2016 KPMG report expects that "cinema in southern India, especially Tamil and Telugu, shall soon surpass Bollywood in terms of the share of box office collections by language". And it would not be a tall ask for the Tamil film industry considering the number of box office hits they produce.

From Rajinikanth’s Enthiran to Kabali to recently released Sarkar, Tamil films have made a place on the list of highest grossing films where Bollywood has secured a dominant position. Not just that, at times when Bollywood fails to entertain movie-goers, Tamil films have come to the rescue.

The latest instance is when Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Thugs of Hindostan proved to be a disappointment, Tamil film Sarkar stood strong at the Indian box office and made records in the international market.

In a matter of six days, AR Murugadoss’ venture pocketed Rs 200 crore worldwide and Rs 100 crore in Tamil Nadu alone. In key international markets, the film has raked in impressive numbers. Until November 11, Sarkar came close to the $1 million mark in the US, Rs 3.63 crore in UK and Rs 2.21 crore in Australia. On the other hand, the Bollywood biggie managed to secure Rs 145 crore in India.

The latest Tamil offering 2.0, starring Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar, is all set to break several first day box office records. Despite being a non-performer, Thugs of Hindostan managed to rake in a record opening day collection of Rs 52.25 crore. However, initial trends suggest that 2.0 has already minted Rs 72-Rs 76 crore.

Crossing the Rs 100-crore mark is also not a difficult task for many Tamil films. Movies like Mersal, I, Vishwaroopam, Theri have easily gone beyond the century and some even touched the Rs 300-crore mark.

Many times, Tamil ventures have also been an inspiration to Bollywood. In fact, the film with which the pan-India obsession for the Rs 100 crore number began was Ghajini, which is a remake of 2005 Tamil film of the same name.

Then came Singham, Holiday, Bodyguard — all Tamil remakes. In 2011, three of the top 10 highest grossing Bollywood films were Tamil remakes.

Apart from collections, Tamil films are not shy of spending big bucks in making films just like their Bollywood counterparts. 2.0 is the most expensive Indian film made at a budget of over Rs 500 crore.

On the technology front too, Tamil films are carving out a reputation for themselves. They are upping the sci-fi game in India.

Despite all this, the content game remains strong in the industry down south. Films are getting commercial success but the story telling too is compelling.

Films like Aadukalam, Aaranya Kaandam, Jigarthanda, Kaakka Muttai have all swept national awards.

While Bollywood is putting its best foot forward, its Tamil counterpart is providing quality content with commercial treatment and serving it to the audiences.
First Published on Nov 30, 2018 03:16 pm
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